Slate Mountain • San Francisco Volcanic Field
• Coconino Plateau
• Coconino County

Slate Mountain as seen from the forest road

Sign at the trailhead

Lower trail

Kendrick Peak

Higher up now

Almost to the top

From the top, looking northwest at Red Mountain and Red Bluff way off in the distance

Southwest view of Sitgreaves, then Bill Williams Peak in back

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Prominence Peaks


Date: October 11, 2015 • Elevation: 8,215 feet • Prominence: 853 feet • Distance: 4.5 miles • Time: 2 hours • Gain: 840 feet • Conditions: Beautiful

Beth and I were in Flagstaff for the long weekend, and I had two peaks on my agenda, Slate Mountain and A-1 Mountain, both in the Flagstaff area, and both that I had originally tried for back in January, then again in May. Weather and general conditions kept me away from both peaks those times.

We arrived yesterday and stayed at a Motel-6 in town. Early this morning, I got my stuff together and drove to Slate Mountain, about 25 miles northwest of Flagstaff along US-180. The peak is north of bigger Kendrick Peak, and due west of Red Mountain. I followed Forest Road 191 about two miles to the small parking area and trailhead, rolling in a little after 7 a.m. No one else was here. The conditions were awesome: blue skies, cool but not cold, a soft breeze, no clouds for hundreds of miles, and no humidity.

The route to the top is along an old road, which has long been closed to vehicles. The path now looks more like a traditional trail, but in places you can see the old road cuts and berms. Because it was an old road, the gradients are always very gentle.

I started hiking at 7:15 a.m., and kept a steady pace the entire way up, never stopping. The views are excellent, rarely obstructed by big trees. Higher up, the forest becomes thicker. There are a few informative signs along the route describing the main plant species.

The route corkscrews to the summit, and in exactly an hour, I had arrived on top. The views were outstanding. I could see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, plus sense where the Coconino Plateau abruptly ends at the South Rim. I could see all the main peaks, such as Red Mountain, distant Red Butte, Sitgreaves Mountain, Bill Williams Mountain, Kendrick Peak, and of course, gigantic Humphreys Peak, which had a dusting of snow on it already. I spent about 10 minutes up top.

The hike down went fast. I was back to my truck after 50 minutes. Counting my time up top, my round trip was exactly two hours. According to the sign, it is 2.4 nmiles each way, but others using GPS put the mileage slightly shorter. I cut the difference and call it a 4.5-mile round trip.

This was a nice hike. It was not tiring, due to the easy grades, and the views were excellent all the way up and down. Due to its distance from Flagstaff, not many people hike it. The sign-in log at the trailhead showed just a couple people from yesterday. I would expect it to be more popular than it is.

I returned to our hotel and relaxed the rest of the day with Beth. The next morning, I hiked A 1 Mountain.

(c) 2015 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.