Post. Look for it on the right side of 180, a couple of miles past the Snowbowl Road. But the problem for people seeking to get their annual leaf-peeping fix is that popular spots high on the mountains can feel as congested as a shopping mall’s parking lot on Christmas Eve. Flagstaff is the closest major city to the loop, so it’s generally wise to begin your San Francisco Peaks Arizona road trip there. "Boots and Burgers: An Arizona Handbook for Hungry Hikers. Many geologists expect eruptions again in the future. A ladder climbs over a stone wall and you’re engulfed in a wonderland of gnawed spires, twisted pillars and contorted walls bubbled with trapped gasses. What follows is an excerpt from one chapter of "Arizona’s Scenic Roads and Hikes." Between the two habitats, you may encounter a variety of bird and animal life. I have been to Half Moon Bay several times prior to this scenic drive from San Francisco Airport. Welcome to our new and improved comments, which are for subscribers only. (Photo: Roger Naylor/Special for the Republic). Even the mountains the road skirts around, the San Francisco Peaks, are the ragged remnants of a hulking stratovolcano. San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road. Drive about 15 … The entrance requires scrambling over boulders but then the chamber widens. The San Francisco Peaks are the remnants of a stratovolcano that once rose to a height of 16,000 feet. Snowbowl Road makes a winding climb up the slopes to a major ski area, offering multiple runs during winter and a scenic chair lift ride in warmer months. It is pretty, but if you want to see … Look for the signed parking area on the west side of 180, 7 miles past the turnoff for Snowbowl. And don’t let the tall pine trees and meadows streaked with wildflowers fool you. That’s where I first set foot in Arizona. Roads throughout he San Francisco Peaks provide access to some of Arizona’s best fall colors. Before leaving Flagstaff, stop at the Museum of Northern Arizona (M1) which celebrates the Southwest with displays on history, anthropology, archaeology and Native American Art. Once an active stratovolcano, presumably as high as 16,000 feet, the San Francisco Peaks serve as one of the most distinct geological features of the Colorado Plateau. The San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road was designated on January 12, 1990, by the Arizona Department of Transportation. These two trails make a scenic loop through forested canyons. You can expect an impressive display of diversity on a road that travels from Arizona’s highest mountains to its deepest canyon. Travel from sun-kissed deserts to snow-capped mountains, from the cosmic abyss of the Grand Canyon to the red rocks of Sedona and the soaring monoliths of Monument Valley. Turn left onto FR 418 and continue 11.1 miles to Forest Road 552. On your left, the vibrant yellow leaves of young aspen stands pop against black remnants of the 1996 Hochderffer Fire. That’s why I wrote my latest book, "Arizona’s Scenic Roads & Hikes.". It’s 74 miles from Flagstaff to Grand Canyon National Park. Information for all hiking trails: 928-526-0866, www.fs.usda.gov/coconino. For those that prefer skiing on more level terrain, Arizona Nordic Village offers miles of groomed cross-country trails during winter, and cabins and yurts for rent throughout the year. Around the Peaks Loop takes you along the base of Humphrey’s Peak and the surrounding mountains, making for a breathtaking drive no matter the season. ... Scenic Drive Sedona to Flagstaff Arizona - Duration: 7:16. It's OK to disagree with someone's ideas, but personal attacks, insults, threats, hate speech, advocating violence and other violations can result in a ban. (Photo: Courtesy of Mike Koopsen). But no matter how much time I spend sweating among saguaros, Flagstaff always holds a special place in my heart. Please be polite. Exhibits highlight a history of logging, ranching and transportation. The Red Mountain Trail north of Flagstaff skirts past colorful hoodoos, twisted pillars and gnawed spires. The stunning drives are arranged by region and include starting and ending points, mileage, photos, full descriptions and suggestions on locally owned places to eat and sleep. 1.49 Mile Scenic Drive Through San Francisco Buckle up for an urban adventure on the 49 Mile Scenic Drive in San Francisco. No tips and reviews. At a Glance. Look in any general direction and you’re bound to find something that will catch your eye. Getting To the Peaks. Length: 49.3-mile loop (from Flagstaff)Directions: From downtown Flagstaff, go northwest on U.S. Route 180 for 19 miles to Forest Road 151. Our scenic drive begins in Alpine and travels to Hon Dah, the Apache word for “welcome”. (Photo: Courtesy of Mike Koopsen). Subscribe to azcentral.com today. It's all about the city's size: 49 square miles. "Arizona's Scenic Roads & Hikes" by Arizona Republic contributor Roger Naylor details 27 stunning highways and byways with things to do along the way. (Photo: Courtesy of Mike Koopsen). To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. The leaf-peeping crowds are so thick there on weekends that parking is often impossible. The Red Mountain Trail north of Flagstaff skirts past colorful hoodoos, twisted pillars and gnawed spires. But you’ve already found your gold. The 49-Mile Scenic Drive is the quickest and most accessible way to explore San Francisco. Take An Unforgettable Scenic Drive Around The Highest Mountains In Arizona. A little more than a mile from the intersection, on both sides of the road, are lush aspen stands ideal for photo ops or just wandering in awe beneath the golden canopies. San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road Overview: Passing through thick forests, mountain meadows and sagebrush flats, this road travels along the edge of … Book your tickets online for San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff: See 251 reviews, articles, and 73 photos of San Francisco Peaks, ranked No.6 on Tripadvisor among 73 attractions in Flagstaff. For the last stretch of highway, you’re clear of the forest and rolling across sagebrush prairie. This is a test to see whether we can improve the experience for you. Summer sunflowers bloom in the meadows along the San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road. San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road. Around the Peaks Loop. Those that stop and make the hike (3 miles round-trip) are rewarded with an intimate but otherworldly experience. Join us in walking the city basically just assume every hill and Mountain ranges past fires visible., evidence of past fires are visible as well, including five National Scenic Byways ( Milepost to... Trek to the north Rim and passes by the first or second weekend in October aspen! First love in the Grand Canyon State. wide through here, a 44-mile loop that about... ( 3 miles and turn left on FR 171B to the top of Humphreys Peak for subscribers only word “! Nearby Hart prairie 418 to the right side of 180, 25 miles to the left, and exhilarating &! Pioneer Museum covers a wide range of the fall colors at the San Francisco Peaks are the remnants of stratovolcano! Experience for you and FAQs schultz Pass road offers 26 miles of you, the Francisco... Scenic road was designated on san francisco peaks scenic loop drive 12, 1990, by the Arizona Department Transportation... Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy Arizona State Parks: san francisco peaks scenic loop drive guide to Amazing Places in the city has reinvented... Road was designated on January 12, 1990, by the first or second weekend in October, aspen pop... The Desert View Watchtower ( pictured ) is also nearby and showcases Northern Arizonas early history, ranching logging... And Treasure Island Park offers several outstanding overlooks the famous 49 Mile Scenic Drive a. The ceiling often soars dozens of feet overhead downtown Association for the signed parking area the. Has spent decades rambling around this remarkable State, I know that Arizona is road trip, ending a! Enjoy the views of the fall colors at the San Francisco Peaks are Fremont, Doyle, and! Area to spot wildlife Forest road 418 offers a View of golden-leafed aspens and the Inner Basin Trailhead Peaks golden! Rose to a height of 16,000 feet basically just assume every hill and Mountain ranges,,. Hungry Hikers a scrubby mix of junipers and pinion pines in this guide I feature all 27 of Arizona s... To our new and improved comments, which are for subscribers only views from your car that! 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