Sunset Trail

EASY 52 reviews
#33 of 175 trails in

Sunset Trail is a 8.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Flagstaff, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

8.3 miles
1,935 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly


mountain biking


wild flowers


Directions from Flagstaff: Drive north on US 180 to FR 420 (Schultz Pass Road). Drive 6 miles east on FR 420 to the trailhead at a parking lot on the south side of the road. Road Condition: FR 420 is graveled and barely suitable for passenger cars. The road badly needs to be graded. Closed during winter because of snowpack.

1 month ago

This was a neat hike for a Sunday afternoon in November. I did appreciate having my jeep to get to the trailhead, it was 6 miles of rackety dirt road, that a regular car would do, but probably have some new rattles afterward. There is no parking pass needed. The parking lot is very clearly marked on the Southside of the road. The hike is a steady incline for most of the way and then becomes much steeper at towards the end with the real climb to the top. We often had to hop on the side of the trail to let fast moving dirt bikes pass by. It was the first time I was able to climb up a mountain and get a view of Flagstaff from above. We passed couples with hiking dogs, along with packs of mountain bikes alone the way.

For those coming from out of town, since half of this trail is tree covered you are in the shade for a long of it. The bits of sunny areas were always welcome. So the notes say it's an 8.3 mile hike but with my navigation it came out to 10.4 miles. The views at the top are gorgeous, and allow views all the way out to the plains in the distance.

Monday, August 28, 2017

A decent trail for sure, we hiked it but I think it's more suited for mountain biking. It's clean and quite but the scenery is the same throughout the trail. The trial immediately starts ascending at a decent pace, and doesn't end until you reach the 2 mile marker. This trail is rated easy I would say it's somewhere between easy and moderate just due to the constant uphill. The lake is nothing to write home about more like a pond. I wouldn't hike it again but I think it would be good on a mountain bike.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Absolutely loved this trail ! Beautiful views. Took my puppy and she had a blast.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Awesome hike!

Monday, May 22, 2017


Saturday, October 29, 2016

This was a great trail, pretty scenery, worth the workout.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nice, easy trail, with a steady incline. Mostly pine trees, with some aspens. Enjoyed the peaceful scenery and the view of the peaks.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

I went early this morning with my two dogs and we went up to Elden. It was absolutely beautiful! Much nicer now that's it's cooling down. Got there about 8am with only one other group on the trail. But on the way down I came across someone about every 5 minutes. So if you want to beat the crowd, go early!!!!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Beautiful summer shady trail to beat the heat and get some amazing views

Monday, July 25, 2016

Absolutely loved this trail. Went just this past weekend, arrived at about 11:30am and made it out before the small hail storm. Fairly nice increase and probably only got a few miles in due to my pitbull mix getting tired, but overall this is a very moderate hike and is absolutely gorgeous. It is used by mountain bikers, but I did have any issues sharing the trail with them and was by myself for most of the hike, which is what I prefer. Will definitely go back to hike further in.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Can be scary if you are afraid of heights but it was a moderate hike.

Sunday, June 05, 2016


Saturday, May 21, 2016

This was a beautiful trail. I accessed it via I-40 and had to take gravel roads that weren't really maintained; just FYI for compact car owners. I would absolutely go again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Driving in from the 180 gives you a much nicer Road than approaching from the I-40

Friday, August 07, 2015

I did the loop from Fatman's-->Christmas Tree-->Sandy Seep-->Heart-->Sunset-->Elden Lookout. Sunset was a welcomed easy portion that offered very different views including a grassy, windy catwalk and some shady forest. See notes on Heart Trail for the difficulty I encountered staying on the trail.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Easy trail, mostly incline heading in. It's gradual and easy to take. There were several others out there including a dozen or so bikes.

The trail map shown here is a system of which Sunset is the first leg.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Awesome trail

Saturday, April 20, 2013

LOVE this trail. Go all the way to Elden, it is worth it. You see so much on this trail. Watch out for Mountain bikers, they come out of no where! I was startled by two doe deers near the catwalk to Elden. Like most hikes, the earlier you go, the less people and the more wildlife you will encounter!

mountain biking
Sunday, July 31, 2011

probably my favorite trail yet
great for mountain biking
4 miles up and 4 miles back
way down is awesome
highly reccomend

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Sunset Trail is one of my favorites in Flagstaff, in part because it offers multiple options for longer out-and-back and loop hikes. While a hike just on the Sunset Trail to the catwalk on Mount Elden, where you can continue 1.8 miles further to the summit, is a great outing, the following are some other choices that don't require retracing your steps. While not all loops in this area need to include the Sunset Trail, these routes begin and end from the same parking area, where several trails converge:
Sunset Trail (moderate uphill) to the Heart Trail (downhill) to Little Elden Trail, which takes you around the base of Mt. Elden, back to the starting point (10 miles)
Little Elden Trail to Little Bear Trail (moderate, well-graded uphill) to Sunset Trail (north/right, a short up then downhill) back to the starting point (8 miles)
Little Elden Trail to Little Bear Trail to Sunset Trail (south/left, uphill) to Upper Oldham Trail (downhill, sometimes steeply) to Brookbank Trail (uphill) to Schultz Loop Trail (Brookbank Trail continues to the right, but go straight for this particular loop) to Dry Lake Hills and back down to the starting point (11.8 miles)
Schultz Loop Trail (uphill) to the Brookbank Trail (downhill) to Rocky Ridge Trail to Schultz Creek Trail back to the starting point (9.7 miles)
As you walk these trails, keep an eye out for old carvings on the aspen trees, made by Basque sheep-herders who once frequented the area.
Like the other trails in the area, the Sunset Trail is generally well-graded and rarely all that steep, making it a popular destination for trail runners and mountain bikers. So expect to make way for quite a few bikes, and you won't be surprised.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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