Inner Basin Trail

MODERATE 117 reviews
#15 of 169 trails in

Inner Basin Trail is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Flagstaff, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
757 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

10 hours ago

Absolutely gorgeous this time of year. The Aspen trees are so colorful and make for an amazing hike. Also, make sure to go the entire hike or you will be extremely disappointed. Once you make it up the large hill and round a corner and start to see the snowy capped mountain it opens up onto a beautiful colorful meadow — KEEP GOING! This isn’t the end. Follow it into the snowy mountains you will eventually see the trail continue and hike into the snowy beautiful mountain trail (if it’s still there) what a beautiful treat!! We lived this trail. With the colorful Aspen trees and fresh snow— seems we picked the perfect day!

hiking
2 days ago

The most amazing hike I have ever done! The colors were breathtaking and it was perfect temperature. Got to the end of the aspen trees and decided to keep going, and glad I did! Maybe 1-1.5 miles, I’m not sure, but you get to this meadow area and see the snow covered mountains, just spectacular! We did however get hailed & rained on at the very end of our hike as the weather called for it, but so worth it!

2 days ago

Gorgeous! According to the Apple Watch a little over 6 miles round trip but totally worth it. Also the directions through all trails app are wrong- look for forest road 552 which is about a mile
Before where the app says 522 is (this road doesn’t exist). A few bumpy and steep miles in the car, but I have a small Mazda and had no issues. Just take your time. One of the prettiest hikes I’ve done in AZ

hiking
16 days ago

beautiful trail. love it

1 month ago

Woohoo. Yes. Great. So good.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful hike with dense aspen trees. Now my favorite hike in AZ. We had a group ranging in age from 14-65 and were all able to complete the hike.

1 month ago

Favorite hike in Flagstaff. Hike leads to the top of Humphrey's Peak, if one decides to take it all the way. first few weekends of fall are a true spectacle to witness, as the Aspen forest becomes engulfed by an abundance of yellow leaves that emblaze the caldera's steps slopes.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing hike! My wife, 2 year old daughter and I had a blast hiking through the aspens, up to the incredible view of the peaks! I was pleasantly surprised by the deceiving amount of elevation gain, thanks to the long, sweeping switchbacks. Can’t wait to do it again!

hiking
2 months ago

Really loved this hike. Narrow road up to the trailhead and narrow trail itself at times. Hiked with two labs without a problem. Gradual incline with stunning views of the aspen trees. Keep going to the end to see a gorgeous view of the San Francisco Peaks. Worth it. Bet it’s even more gorgeous in the fall. Bonus: no fee to enter and park.

4 months ago

Entrance to road is closed due to extreme fire risk

hiking
4 months ago

May 16th 2018. Yes the road is rough and narrow going in but totally worth it. The aspen are not quite yet fully leafed out and wildflowers haven't arrived but still a great hike and absolutely beautiful!! The elevation will leave you gasping for breath if you're not used to it - 9780 at the meadow - but it's a steady climb and never steep so just take it slow and enjoy the scenery.

hiking
8 months ago

road is currently closed 3 miles before Trailhead. closed for the season, unmaintained Road.

hiking
10 months ago

Who says after the leaves it’s not worthy. So worthy

hiking
10 months ago

I had a great time hiking the inner basin trail today. The dirt road to the trailhead was not too bad. I have a sedan and it worked just fine. I just put it in low gear and went slow. On the trail, I would highly recommend stopping once you hit the large meadow after the Jeep road. I hiked the whole trail till it hits the weatheford trail. For the amount of effort and time it took, it was not worth it. There is no grand finale at the end. Just steep climbs with no payoff. I hiked it at the end of November. I would recommend bringing a light jacket. At the trailhead there is no wind and you may think you won’t need a jacket. Once you hit the meadow, the wind is pretty strong.

11 months ago

Cold windy day so going up was challenging hiking into strong wind gusts but coming back was a breeze. Beautiful hike even without the leaves in the Aspens.

hiking
11 months ago

Really good hike however I would make sure the leaves havent dropped - not easy to get to - the last few miles to the trailheads are on a really poorly maintained road - if I had my SUV no problem - rental car different story

11 months ago

Did this trail the other day. The leaves had all fallen but the scenery was still amazing!! And coming around the corner to the view in the Inner Basin was well worth the hike! About 4 miles round trip and it took roughly 2 hours which included a decent amount of time spent in the basin admiring the view!

11 months ago

It was a nice hike. No leaves, but still fun.

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Sunday, October 15, 2017

We missed peak as all the golden leaves had fallen to the forest floor. But still heaven on earth. Nice moderate hike through switchbacks in the aspens out to the inner basin. A must do hike!

hiking
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Very nice hike. Nearly all the fall leaves are gone. But I want to make a correction to the map. The Inner Basin Trail goes beyond the highlighted line as depicted. It actually continues along the Waterline Road for about four tenths of a mile and then continues on to the Weatherford Trail #102. So if you take the full trail, it is more like 8-9 miles. If you are really ambitious, you can take the Weatherford Trail all the way to the top of Mount Humphreys. There is a bit of a challenge getting to the Inner Basin trailhead. The forest road near the top of the approach to Locket Meadows is wide enough for only one and a half cars. There aren't many turnouts so you have to be respectful going up and coming down to other traffic. Parking can be a problem on weekends if you are not there by 8 a.m.

hiking
Saturday, October 14, 2017

Went 10/14/2017 and 99% of the trees had lost their leaves. The ground had some yellow because of the fallen leaves but we we're just too late. Still pretty but disappointed that we missed it.

hiking
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Beautiful even if part of the forest still shows signs of a past fire, which actually give it colors and color diversity worth seeing.
Moderately easy and with beautiful aspen trees that unfortunately had almost all lost their yellow leaves in mid-October.
No vistas however and too many people for my taste, which removes a star.
Worth it if you are near Flagstaff or even Sedona.

hiking
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Absolutely beautiful with the changing colors. Only gave it a 4 because it was so crowded and the road getting there isn’t the best (narrow with a steep drop off). Loved the hike itself and the scenery.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Beautiful trail.

hiking
Thursday, October 05, 2017

This is a trail I've hiked a few times now. Third year in a row to see the Aspen leaves at full fall colors. It's beautiful any time of the year, but it's really a treat to see the golden tree lines! If you have a chance to see it, definitely try to plan it. I'd say this weekend to early next week is the last chance for this year.
We went on a Thursday, and it was definitely better than trying on a weekend. During peak season, only the first 100 cars will be allowed in, so if you are going this weekend, plan a super early morning!

hiking
Monday, October 02, 2017

This was a beautiful hike! The trees were beginning to change and we were able to get great photos. A couple pieces of advice:

First, the road in is steep, twisty, bumpy, washboard at times, and dirt. Using a car will probably work, but be warned you may bottom out or strike the bumpers. If you have a truck (like me), SUV, or crossover, you'll be fine.

Second, there are a lot of people that hike here on weekends. It's surprising how empty the trail seems compared to the amount of cars. Parking is horrible. Do yourself a favor, pay the $8 per car and park in a guaranteed fee spot. Once you do, you get to use that area the whole day. You can have a fire, eat lunch, or just relax after your hike.

If you choose to "roll the dice" and try the free area, be warned. Don't park in the grassy areas along the road (because there aren't any spots) be prepared to get a ticket from a ranger. I'm sure the ticket is more than $8. Don't be one of those people. Otherwise, it's a really great hike and totally worth the drive in and out!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Fun

hiking
Friday, September 29, 2017

Hiked this today. Had the whole trail to ourselves on the way up. Made it to the Inner Basin meadow and it was beautiful. I strongly recommend doing this hike. The aspen stands are magnificent on the way up and the ascent is steady and fairly easy.

hiking
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Breathtaking!

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