- Interstate 40 to Schultz Pass
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.
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
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
Passage 32 skirts the Turkey Hills and crosses the Rio de Flag near Elden Pueblo. The second half is part of the Elden Mountain Trail System and follows the base of Little Elden Mountain on its way up to Schultz Pass. If you’re in need of resupply or simply interested in seeing a little bit of Arizona’s most famous mountain town, you may wish to use the Flagstaff Urban Route (Passage 33) instead. If you’re more interested in maintaining the wilderness experience of the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) then this is the passage for you!
Water is available in Flagstaff as the trail cross Highway 89 and often can be found at Little Elden Springs. Check the online Arizona Trail Water Report for current information at https://aztrail.org/explore/water-sources/.
- 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.
- 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
June 28, 2022
Due to significant precipitation received across the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests of northern Arizona, fire restrictions and certain area closures will be lifted starting at noon on Tuesday, June 28. Fire-related area closures will remain in effect around the perimeters of the Pipeline and Haywire fires but have been reduced in size. The decision to lift fire restrictions was made based on the amount of precipitation both received and forecasted across both forests. While a ban on campfires and smoking has been lifted, visitors are reminded that fireworks are never allowed on National Forest land at any time. Please check National Forest websites before traveling and recreating to learn more about area closures and restrictions, which can change rapidly.
April 19, 2022
Due to extreme fire danger, the Coconino National Forest has issued a closure order for camping and campfires near Flagstaff. There is no overnight camping permitted along the following passages and mileages (using the FarOut app): Passage 31 (Walnut Canyon) from Sandys Canyon Trail (mile 554.8) to Walnut Canyon Road (mile 565.2) Passage 32 (Elden Mountain) from Railroad Tracks (mile 567.5) to Heart Trail (mile 576.0) Passage 33 (Flagstaff Urban Route) from Sandys Canyon (mile 0) to Fort Valley Trails (mile 12.8) Click here to view the current Camping and Fire Restriction Order.
September 20, 2021
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...
June 10, 2021
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...
Photos from the Arizona Trail Association’s Flickr galleries, for this specific passage. View the entire Flickr account.