Passage #33 - Flagstaff


Buffalo Park in Flagstaff Location:  Fisher Point to Passage 34 Junction

Length:  15.5 miles

Southern Trailhead:  Fisher Point
- GPS Coordinates:  35.15093° N, 111.59998° W  
- Access: Fisher Point has no road access. The closest trail access is on Trail #106 from Canyon Vista Campground, 4 miles south of Flagstaff on FR3.

Northern Trailhead:  Schultz Pass
- GPS Coordinates:  35.27279° N, 111.65262° W  
- Access: To reach the starting point, drive on Interstate 17 (or I-40) to downtown Flagstaff, and drive north on Highway 180 (North Fort Valley Road). After you pass the Sechrist School on the right (east), continue 1.5 miles and then turn right (northeast) on Schultz Pass Road (FR 420). Follow this paved road 0.7 mile, turning left (north) at the fork in the road. Continue north for 3.9 miles to a small parking area on the right (south) side of Schultz Pass Road. The AZT can be found on the north side of Schultz Pass Road across from the parking area. Passage 33 crosses Schultz Pass Road at this location and connects to Passage 34 on the north side of Schultz Pass Road.

Trail Route Description:  The southern end of this passage begins at the bottom of Walnut Canyon near Fisher Point. The route starts up Skunk Canyon, follows several drainages, climbs over several small ridges, goes through a fence and descends down into the Rio de Flag drainage. It there encounters an asphalt road that is an extension of Babbitt Drive. Follow this road uphill for 0.60 miles to Butler Avenue (Taco Bell). Turn right and go 0.15 miles to Ponderosa Parkway (McDonalds). Turn left on Ponderosa Parkway and go 0.20 miles to Route 66. Cross Route 66 at the light and continue on Ponderosa Parkway past the Fire Station. Angle left on the paved FUTS path that parallels Ponderosa Parkway and follow the signs to the top of McMillan Mesa. Continue following the FUTS path as it cuts north and east across the mesa with the St. Francis Catholic Church on the right (pray for safe trails?). Cross the bridge over Cedar Ave. When you approach the water tank in Buffalo Park bear right to follow the path to the Dale Shewalter Memorial. If you turn left at the water tank you will find water and porta-potties. From either route, continue north on the main path through Buffalo Park until you reach the Lower Oldham Trail.
It climbs up along the side of Mount Elden and joins the Rocky Ridge Trail. It passes a trailhead and works its way west over to the Schultz Creek Trailhead. The route now follows the Schultz Creek Trail up and around to a trail junction. The route cuts back to the west, crosses FR 420 (Schultz Pass Road) and climbs up to the junction with the San Francisco Peaks passage and the end of this passage.

If approaching Flagstaff from the north, enter Buffalo Park from Lower Oldham Trail and follow the main path south. The first alternative is to look for the Arizona Trail sign directing you southeast to the Dale Shewalter Memorial and around the left side of the large water tank. If you want water or porta-potties continue straight past the Arizona Trail sign to the Buffalo Park entrance and then continue around the right side of the water tank to find the trail continuing over the bridge, across McMillan Mesa, and down the FUTS trail paralleling Ponderosa Parkway to Route 66. Cross Route 66 where Ponderosa becomes Enterprise Rd. Follow Enterprise for 0.20 miles. Go right on Butler for 0.15 mile to Babbitt Drive. Go left on Babbitt for 0.60 miles where the asphalt ends and the trail soon enters the woods.

Schultz Tank at sunset Difficulty:  Moderate

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

Water:  Water may be found seasonally in Walnut Creek, year round at numerous businesses along the route in Flagstaff, and at the Buffalo Park Trailhead.

Notes/Warnings:

  • All the water found in creeks and springs on this passage should be purified prior to use.

Resources:

  • USGS Topographic Maps: Flagstaff East, Flagstaff West and Humphreys Peak.
  • 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:


Previous Passage   |   Next Passage   |   Passage Home