Passage #30 - Mormon Lake

Old railroad bed north of Mormon Lake Location:  Gooseberry Springs Trailhead to Marshall Lake Trailhead

Length:  33.9 miles

Southern Trailhead:  Gooseberry Springs Trailhead
- GPS Coordinates:  34.82130° N, 111.43177° W
- Access: From the turnoff leading from Forest Highway 3 to Mormon Lake Village, continue south on Forest Highway 3 for approximately 5 miles and then turn left onto a prominent road (FR 92) on the south side of an open meadow, and drive 0.25 miles to a sharp left turn in the road; the trailhead and a steel AZT sign are on your right. You can also reach this point from AZ 87 by driving north on Forest Highway 3.

Northern Trailhead:  Marshall Lake Trailhead
- GPS Coordinates:  35.11125° N, 111.54138° W
- Access: From Flagstaff, take the Lake Mary Road exit (339) off I-17 for 9 miles, then turn left (east) on FR 128 at the sign for Marshall Lake. Pass the observatory turnoff, then at 2.2 miles turn left before Marshall Lake (more of a marsh) and park at the AZT sign on the left. If you are coming from the south on Lake Mary Road, the Marshall Lake turnoff is 7.5 miles north of Pine Grove Campground.

Trail Route Description:  From Gooseberry Springs Trailhead on FR 92 the trail crosses a meadow and a wooded area and then reaches Highway 3. After crossing the highway, and passing through a gate in the fence that parallels the highway, the trail follows the route of an old railroad bed. It leaves the railroad and crosses FR 91 and then heads north-northeast until it reaches Railroad Spring. At this point the route follows a road for about a mile and then becomes a trail again. It crosses FR 219 and then FR 219A, and then passes near Navajo Spring. From here the trail heads north and west, passes Wallace Spring, crosses FR 90H and then contours over to Double Springs Campground. The trail climbs up to FR 240 and then turns east. It circles back around to the west and passes above Dairy Springs Campground, crosses several forest roads and then turns to the east and joins up again with the old railroad bed. It crosses FR 132 and then just south of Railroad Tank the trail turns to the east and works its way over to FR 651, which is the entry to Pinegrove Campground. It crosses Highway 3 and climbs up past the Horse Lake Trailhead. It turns to the north and crosses Anderson Mesa, and then passes Horse Lake. It follows a two-track, turns to the west, and becomes a trail again. After crossing FR 129 the trail passes Vail Lake and Prime Lake, and then skirts around the Lowell Observatory. It passes by a trailhead near the observatory, then heads north and then west to Marshall Lake.

Difficulty:  Moderate

Season(s):  Spring, Summer and Fall (current weather forecast)

Water:  Water can usually be found at Double Springs and Dairy Springs Campgrounds, and at some of the stock tanks along the route. There is seasonal water at Navajo Spring and in some of the drainages the trail crosses.

Sunshine and clouds along the trail Notes/Warnings:

  • All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.


  • USGS Topographic Maps: Hutch Mountain, Mormon Lake, Ashurst Lake and Lower Lake Mary.
  • Coconino National Forest - Visitors Guide.
  • Coconino National Forest - Recreational Opportunity Guide.
  • Coconino National Forest map.
  • BLM Information Center maps.

For more information, contact:

Current Trail Information:

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