Have pack, will travel... to Flagstaff
September 4, 2007 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Backpacking adventures near Flagstaff?

So... I've been bitten with the wanderlust and want to get out backpacking for a weekend. I've got all the requisite gear, am in really good shape, etc... but have no idea where to go.

My ideal backpacking trip would take me somewhere cool -- like up to a lake or a great vista or something like that. Some kind of destination, at any rate. I'd like to hike in at least 5 miles, as anything less seems... well... pointless, but for something cool, I'm flexible. Off the beaten path, but... you know... not so off the beaten path that I can't go up just for a weekend from Phoenix.

I may (or may not) have my dog with me, so somewhere where that isn't a problem would be the best. I'm concerned not only with park regs, but also the availability of water -- hence, the interest in going to a lake or spring or something similar.

Any ideas?
posted by ph00dz to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sedona! I missed the opportunity to go there when I was in Flagstaff and I've regretted it ever since. Friends of mine who have gone said it was beautiful. I'm pretty sure they were in the Cococino National Forest.
posted by AV at 7:11 PM on September 4, 2007

er, excuse the typo, that's Coconino National Forest...
posted by AV at 7:12 PM on September 4, 2007

The greatest vista of them all: the Grand Canyon.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:39 PM on September 4, 2007

There is an area with some cliff dwellings nearby, I believe it is called Walnut Canyon, on FS land. They are a developed thing to see, with and admission fee and all that, but you could combine it with a backpacking trip. There might be some other cliff dwellings in the area to see backpacking, not sure about that.

No water probably, but you can hike it in with you. Even if you are going to end up at a place with water, you need to bring a generous amount with you, at least a gallon for a person and a dog. If you are only going to be out a night or two it's easy enough to carry some water. If you are doing this, plan things so you won't need water for cleaning up or more than very minimal amounts for cooking, or don't do any cooking and leave your stove.

On the Hualapai reservation there is a hike you can do down to a village in the Grand Canyon, unless they have barred the public from doing this. I'm not sure of the details, but you would probably need to get a permit or something in Peach Springs. If I had the time when I was last in the area, this is where I would have hiked.

Sedona is gorgeous, but very reachable from Phoenix.
posted by yohko at 7:58 PM on September 4, 2007

Response by poster: Sure.... there's the Canyon, but it's waaaay too late to try and set that up. I've already done the whole rim to rim to rim thing, so while I may return to do that in a few weeks, camping in the canyon itself is of somewhat unappealing.
posted by ph00dz at 7:59 PM on September 4, 2007

Best answer: For what it's worth, I've decided to go hike a chunk of the Arizona Trail, an emerging trail system which runs from Mexico to Utah, right up the middle of the state. The portion I'm going to go do tomorrow is southeast of Flagstaff, an area called Mormon Lake... aka Passage #30.

It is, as AV suggested, in the Coconino national forest, which means that dogs are cool and you can pretty much camp anywhere, outside common-sense type restrictions. There are lakes and long haul distances involved, so this pretty much fits the bill for what I was looking for.
posted by ph00dz at 5:36 AM on September 7, 2007

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