Location

  • Interstate 40 to Schultz Pass

Length

  • 13.7 miles

Southern Trailhead: I-40, Cosnino Road Exit

  • GPS Coordinates: 35.20249° N, 111.48559° W Note: this point is located across a private property boundary from the I-40 frontage road. No parking is allowed along the frontage road.

Access

Currently, there is not direct access to the southern boundary of this passage. The closest access to the south 4 miles south at Old Walnut Canyon Road: From Flagstaff, follow I-40 east and take exit 204 toward Walnut Canyon. Follow the paved Walnut Canyon Road (FR 622) south for 2.5 mi to Old Walnut Canyon Rd (FR 303). Turn right. The trailhead is about 1.7 mi west on the left (south) side of the road. There is room for horse trailers.


Northern Access Point: Schultz Pass

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.


Trail Route Description

The trail heads north, goes under some railroad tracks and heads west. It follows Wildcat Canyon and after several junctions and a gate, the trail reaches FR 510. From here it works its way north and west, and across a large open area. After reaching a road it follows it due west for a short distance and then continues northwest up to the Rio de Flag and a bridged crossing. Climbing out of this drainage the trail crosses numerous 2-track roads and then goes under Highway 89. A turn to the northeast and it reaches the junction to the Sandy Seep Trailhead. The route now follows the Sandy Seep Trail, connects with the Little Elden Trail, climbs up and around Little Elden Mountain and then reaches Schultz Pass Road and the Schultz Pass Trailhead.

 


Difficulty

  • Moderate

Season(s)


Water

There are no reliable water sources on this passage. Water can sometimes be found in some of the drainages the trail crosses and there is water in the city of Flagstaff.

Notes/Warnings

  • All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
  • The water in the Rio de Flag is contaminated and should not be used.
  • The bridge over the Rio de Flag in this passage may be a problem for equestrians. There is an alternative crossing about 1/4 mile northeast/upstream. There are two-track roads on both sides of the stream that you can follow to get to this bridge.

Resources

  • USGS Topographic Maps: Winona, Flagstaff East, Sunset Crater 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


Current Passage Info

Shady, swooping trail in Flagstaff is fun for hikers, mountain bikers. Here’s how to do it

Arizona Republic (September 16, 2021) by Mare Czinar Slung between the edge-hugging dirt track of Schultz Pass Road and the sheer foothills below Mount Elden, Schultz Creek Trail rolls out like an emerald half-pipe. Because of its fluid, north-south track, hairpin turns and mild jumps, the historic route in the Mount Elden-Dry Lakes Hills area just a few miles north of downtown Flagstaff is a magnet for mountain bikers as well as hikers who don’t mind sharing the path with swooping wheeled traffic. The pine-cloistered trail clings to ledges above numerous drainages and the course of Schultz Creek. The U-shaped space through which the trail runs is short on mountain views but long on woodland diversity. Throughout the hike, slash piles — pyramids of cut logs and brush — are stacked neatly off to the side. The piles are part of the ongoing Midway portion of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project, a joint effort of state, city and Coconino National Forest teams to help reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and post-fire flooding through treatments such as tree thinning and fuels reduction. Forest service contractors will use heavy equipment to move the piles in the vicinity of Schultz Pass now through March. Trail users should...
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Easy Flagstaff hike is a gateway to endless options on Mount Elden. Here’s how to try it.

Arizona Republic (June 9, 2021) by Mare Czinar Short, easy and scenic, the Sandy Seep Trail offers quick access to a network of routes on the east flanks of Mount Elden in northeast Flagstaff. While the 1.5-mile path makes for a sweet standalone hike, it also serves as an on-ramp for the 42-mile, city-circling Flagstaff Loop Trail and the 800-plus-mile, state-traversing Arizona National Scenic Trail. In addition, the route can be used to access two heart-pumping trails — Little Bear and Heart — that climb steep slopes to the ridgelines of Elden Mountain. Located just a few clicks north of downtown Flagstaff off U.S. 89, the old standard Sandy Seep Trail has been a pillar of the Mount Elden/Dry Lakes Hills trail system in Coconino National Forest. Having survived several devastating wildfires, including the 1977 Radio Fire and the 2010 Schultz Fire, the trail is also within the scope of proposed changes that will improve forest health and enhance user experience in the popular recreation hub. You can weigh in on how the changes might roll out. Coconino National Forest is asking for public input regarding proposed improvements to nonmotorized trails in the Mount Elden/Dry Lake Hills area. Popular hiking, biking and equestrian...
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Flickr Photos

Photos from the Arizona Trail Association’s Flickr galleries, for this specific passage. View the entire Flickr account.

[AFG_gallery id=’33’]