Once again we found ourselves pointing the nose of the car North seeking salvation from the heat. This time our destination was Mount Humphreys in Flagstaff. The promise of cooler temps, alpine air and the challenge of high altitude had us excited. I was thrilled to be headed up to tackle the peak from a new angle. I had hiked up from the ski resort, and the Weatherford trail but I had saved the most beautiful approach for last, the Inner Basin.
As mentioned this approach was by far the most scenic and challenging. The Weatherford trail is similar but drawn out longer, where as the Inner Basin Trail is a straight shot to the Weatherford, then the Summit Trail. The beginning of the trail starts in Lockett Meadow and switchbacks through numerous Aspen. The grade is solid and will get the heart pumping with each vertical foot gained. A third of the way up the trail finds itself in thick pines, peppered with views of the surrounding peaks. Eventually you make your way to the Weatherford Trail and begin a more moderate climb to the Summit Trail. The pines quickly give way to the tundra and the views really open up beyond the treeline. Looking back to the meadow you can see your starting point, and the massive climb you have accomplished. Looking up trail you are granted an unobstructed view of Humphreys. Although it appears close you still have a few miles and numerous false summits. Eventually you make your way to the peak and can enjoy the 360 degree view (pending the weather). Although feeling accomplished you still have seven miles of downhill till you arrive at your car.
Hike information can be found here.