- Schultz Pass to Cedar Ranch
Southern 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.
Northern Access Point: Cedar Ranch
From Flagstaff drive north on US 180 about 33.0 miles and turn right (east) onto FR 417 near mile marker 248 (if you reach the Kaibab National Forest sign, you’ve gone too far by 0.4 miles). Continue 5.2 miles to a point just a short distance north of Cedar Ranch Headquarters, where a side road (FR 9008A) leaves FR 417 to the left. The next passage begins here and follows FR 417 to the west (back along the road you just drove down).
Trail Route Description
From the Schultz Tank parking lot the route proceeds north on the Weatherford/Kachina trail for a short distance and then turns left (west) on new single-track trail. It works its way west-northwest across the Fort Valley Experimental Forest for about 7.4 miles to the Snowbowl Road. After crossing Snowbowl Road it climbs steeply for the next 4 miles, gaining about 1,400 ft to the bottom end of the Aspen Loop connector trail. From here the trail passes Lew Tank, and the junction with the Bismarck Lake TH access trail, and Bismarck Lake. The trail then trends northward down the slope, across several two-track roads and through an aspen grove to FR-418. It heads north-northwest around the base of the White Horse Hills, joins a two-track for a short distance, and then leaves the road and works its way northeast up to FR 514 and Kelly Tank. The trail parallels FR 514 and then continues to the north when FR 514 turns to the east. The route crosses FR 523 and begins following FR 416. It passes Badger Tank and Bonita Tank, and then the route turns to the northwest and travels to Missouri Bill Hill. It skirts around the west side of this hill, heads northwest to FR 417 and then west over to Cedar Ranch.
Water can usually be found Alfa Fia Tank and East Cedar Tank. 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.
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.
June 13, 2022
The Pipeline Fire started on June 12 near the Fort Valley Trail System and quickly consumed over 22,888 acres between Schultz Creek and Highway 89. Driven by dry conditions and winds in excess of 50 m.p.h., the fire necessitated an immediate evacuation of all campers and visitors on the Forest. On June 13, the Coconino National Forest issued an official closure order, which includes 47 miles of the Arizona Trail. Please don't venture onto any road or trail between I-40, Highway 89, Highway 180, and Forest Road 523. This impacts the following AZT Passages: Passage 32 (Elden Mountain) and 34 (San Francisco Peaks) from I-40 (AZT mile 573.8) and FR 523 (mile 613.5). Passage 33 (Flagstaff Urban Route) from Buffalo Park (AZT mile 7.3) and Schultz Pass Road (mile 14.7) No detours or reroutes of the Arizona Trail are available at this time. For more information on the Pipeline Fire, please visit Inciweb online.
January 4, 2022
East Greenwich News (January 31, 2021) by Jonathan Malone It was hot, it was dry, and I was afraid that I was running out of water. I had been hiking through the high plateau desert in Arizona for three days and I had seen only a handful of people, lots of cows, and a few horses. I had heard elk and coyotes, but had not yet seen any of them. I was deep in the wilderness, there were few people, and my water supply was worrisome. I chose to be in this place. In September I backpacked for approximately 100 miles of the wilderness of Arizona. Hiking and backpacking are things I love to do, and I have gone on many solo and group trips in the Adirondack Mountains in New York and the White Mountains in New Hampshire as well as other areas of the Northeast. I love taking time to be in the forest, by the streams and lakes, and surrounded by the mountains. This year I opted for something completely new to me; I decided to hike one small portion of the 800-mile Arizona Trail. I started just north of Flagstaff and headed to the North Rim of the...
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 8, 2021
The Slate Fire has forced a closure of the Arizona Trail north of Flagstaff near Babbitt Ranch. In the interest of public safety, the northern half of AZT Passage 34 (San Francisco Peaks) is currently closed between Kelly Tank (mile 603.3) and Cedar Ranch (mile 616.2). Trail users are discouraged from visiting Passage 35 (Babbitt Ranch) as the fire advances further north. The Slate Fire was first reported on June 7 and has grown to over 11,148 acres (as of June 15). To learn more about the Slate Fire, visit the Inciweb page here.
June 5, 2020
Please use caution while enjoying the Arizona Trail near Hart Prairie between Aspen Corner and Forest Road 418 during the summer of 2020. The U.S. Forest Service will be cutting and masticating ponderosa pine trees throughout the area to restore the meadow environment. This project allows regrowth of Bebb willow and other alpine meadow species that have been pushed out by the recent growth of pine trees. No trail closures are anticipated, but thinning and processing activities will temporarily impact the scenic resources and natural quiet near the Arizona Trail.
April 2, 2020
Be aware of a temporary detour between 593.9 (Dog Food Trail Junction) and mile 592.4 (Old Weatherford Road) on Passage 34a of the Arizona National Scenic Trail due to forest thinning activities. Follow Forest Road 6275 (Old Weatherford Road) instead of AZT for 0.5-mile. Look for orange detour signs.
November 13, 2019
Arizona Daily Sun (November 13, 2019) by Sam McManis Want to start an argument among local trail runners and hikers, get their heart rates zooming as if they've just sprinted up Humphreys Peak? Ask them which section of the Arizona Trail, the segments wending their way through Flagstaff and environs, is the best. By best, we mean the most enjoyable experience for trail users. Challenging, yet reasonably navigable. Vertical, yet not hands-on-knees steep. Verdant and tree-lined, yet diverse enough in foliage and geologic makeup to keep one engaged. Let us, then, offer up an opinion. Our choice is a 6.2-mile stretch of the Arizona Trail that starts at Aspen Corner on the way up to the Snowbowl and ends at the intersection of Forest Road 418. We chose this part — officially called Segment 34c — because it may be the most accessible segment of the AZT around Flagstaff without being, well, boring. To read the rest of the article, click here.