Old Caves Crater Trail

MODERATE 111 reviews
#24 of 167 trails in

Old Caves Crater Trail is a 4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Flagstaff, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
685 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

trail running

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Dirt, well marked

6 days ago

It was a good hike, not too strenuous up the mountain. Missed the caves though. There should be a sign showing the trail to the caves.

7 days ago

hiking moderate and at the top great view of Mount Humphreys

hiking
8 days ago

I read that several people missed the caves. They are not marked. There is a fork in the trail as you near the peak where you can look over the saddle and see houses on the back side. The fork to the left takes you on the main trail on the loop to the highest point. The trail to the right takes you on a short run along the lower ridge toward the West. That is where the caves are. It is a dead end trail. It is a nice hike. The higher altitude makes it harder to get your wind. It’s a good workout.

hiking
13 days ago

Good workout ! Didn’t like the cinder gravel though

14 days ago

I actually really liked this trail even though we somehow missed the caves. I felt like the hikes were easy enough to follow but I always use the AllTrails App when I go out. We met a few friendly people along the way but it wasn’t too busy. The climb to the summit was a small challenge but you can feel it in your legs. I also saw a snake slithering across the path although it didn’t look like a rattler. It was a nice break from the hot Phoenix heat.

19 days ago

Terrible markings. We drove very far to see the caves and missed them entirely. I read all the reviews and did lots of research, yet we still went to the top instead of the caves somehow. Also harder than moderate.

1 month ago

Gorgeous home through the trees with a nice contrasting view of green trees and brown hills

1 month ago

Nice views on top and caves were on top too. Lots a shortcutting if you want to veer off the path.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is well marked. The assent is moderate, but nothing too difficult. The old caves are pretty neat and is worth the hike. There are also panoramic views of Flagstaff and the San Francisco Peaks. This hike is well worth it and only took a couple of hours.

3 months ago

Nice trail, beautiful view with a lot less elevation gain to get to it that elder lookout was. Great for a relaxing hike with good views

hiking
3 months ago

This is a good trail for casual walking, and would be a great spot for trail running. It also provides some variety from the other more mountainous scenery of other local trails. The loop winds through beautiful pine forest and grassland. The summit is a long gradual ascent to the top. There are nice views, very well maintained trails throughout, and few other people, all of which result in a pleasant place to walk.

3 months ago

Beautiful views, perfect to go after a snowfall! Only saw three other people on the trail!

6 months ago

Nice hike. Spotted wildlife, including a bobcat. Was clear and cool. Going to do it again soon.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice hike with a gradual uphill incline with various switchbacks. Numerous small caves to explore at the top.

hiking
7 months ago

very nicely maintained trail with clearly marked entrance from a parking lot. Big 600-foot incline within the first mile, after you decline Back Down The Summit the trail pretty much levels out with slight incline until you complete the loop back at the trailhead but you're trekking through soft black sand which provides quite the workout! Definitely some of the most beautiful views I have seen on any hike in Flagstaff so far! However, I did not see any old caves.

hiking
Monday, July 03, 2017

Beautiful hike! We had our 3 kids; 20, 2.5, and 5 months. They all did great. The 2.5 yr. old made it the whole way. It was a soft trail, so he did have a few spills, but it didn't slow him down. Just the right amount of sunshine and shade. Will do again!

hiking
Thursday, June 15, 2017

it was a nice little hike. not too long. the bottom half is like walking through sand, which was a little extra resistance I wasn't expecting. be careful by the top, I slid a couple of times because the ground was covered in lava rocks like loose gravel. make sure you go to the summit and take the fork right to explore the caves!

hiking
Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Good, short hike not far from Flagstaff. You begin by walking through a Ponderosa Pine forest. The summit is not difficult to climb and includes nice views of town and the surrounding peaks. There are lava caves at the top.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Great short trail with 180 degree views! Beautiful Ponderosa Pine forest.

hiking
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The loop trail is quite easy and relaxing. I did not care for how close to the highway it gets, but the majority is remote so I was able to overlook that. We did the summit as a part of our loop. The summit is much more physically demanding but worth the views of Flagstaff and the San Francisco Peaks. I wouldn't mind trying just the loop next time!

hiking
Saturday, January 07, 2017

Great views off the peaks and the valley. Just gorgeous. The northern side up / down depending which way you went at it was slippery today. The dogs had a blast.

hiking
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A perfect day hike especially with kids and dogs in the Flagstaff Area. The hike is moderate, but don't let that fool ya, the last part up the hill is nice and steep. Great views of Elden and the Peaks from the top. Also at the top there are numerous lava caves. None of them are huge, but perfect for exploring with little ones.

My family and I have hiked this often when we just want to get a small hike in, and stay away from the crowds on all of the Elden Trails.

Watch for snakes, I have seen plenty on this trail.

Usually light to medium traffic. There are also several trails to choose from. There is a loop around the base if you don't wan't to take on the steep climb to the top. Nice workout, simple hike, beautiful views from the top.

hiking
Saturday, March 05, 2016

This is a really great hike for someone who wants to stay in town and is looking for something easy to moderate. Great views of the peaks and Elden, would definitely do again!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I used to hike this trail when I was a little boy. Also when there was hardly any houses out there, and now there everywhere. Still a good hike though.

hiking
Sunday, June 29, 2014

Not much shade on trail and the trail is sandy. Overall a fun hike the caves were fun to explore.

hiking
Saturday, May 05, 2012

This was a good hike! I brought my 7 yr old daughter with me, and we made it to the summit and back down. The views were cool, and the kid loved the caves. The only complaint i had was that the Loop trail near the bottom was not marked well at all, and we had to cut cross country to get back to the trailhead. Otherwise, very enjoyable hike, took roughly 2 hours with a 7 year old with me. :)

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