The Mountains of Arizona

Turkey Hills North Peak

At the summit, view north toward the Cinder Hills

View of Humphreys, yep, it's still there

Peak 7004

View east from Peak 7004, Merriam Crater and other peaks

View of the Turkey Hills from 7004's top

Peak 7004 from Slayton Ranch Road

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Doney Park Peaks

Turkey Hills North • Peak 7004

Last week, I smacked into an elk near the town of Pine on highway AZ-87, which you can read about here. I got the windshield replaced during the week, then set up an appointment at the Flagstaff Subaru dealership to get a new rear-view mirror installed. I got the first available slot at the service center for today, and drove up from Payson to get the new mirror. The drive went well, in that I hit no elk this time. Yeah, I was looking out for them left and right.

I was not expecting to get the car back before noon, so I looked at a couple very local hills to climb as a consolation once the car was done. I did not have time for any long hikes and I wanted to stay close to town. I lined up two peaks in the Doney Park area, slightly east of Flagstaff. Neither peak was of particular interest to me, but given the circumstances and limited time, today would be a good day to tag them.

The weather today was not ideal. There was a layer of high clouds that blotted out the sun and blue sky (except for rare patches), giving the whole area a dingey gray look. It was warm for Flagstaff, in the 70s, and it was breezy. It was fine for hiking but not necessarily for the scenery.

Turkey Hills • North Summit
• San Francisco Volcanic Field
• Coconino National Forest
• Coconino County

Date: May 1, 2021 • Elevation: 7,280 feet • Prominence: 360 feet • Distance: 2 miles • Time: 45 minutes • Gain: 560 feet • Conditions: High clouds, warm and breezy

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The Turkey Hills are two peaks east of Flagstaff. The southern one is higher and I hiked it last October with Matthias. After I got my car back, I got onto the Townsend-Winona (TW) Road and headed east a few miles to Forest Road 510B, then south on 510B less than a mile to a power-line access road that runs between the north and south peaks.

I got a little ways up the power-line access road then came to a "no trespassing --- state trust lands" sign. I was surprised to see this since I thought this was Coconino Forest property. I could have got away with entering since no one was here to check, but I wanted to keep it legal, so I logged on to the State Trust Lands website with my phone and bought one on the spot.

I drove to an open area and parked, roughly a half-mile east of the pass between the two peaks. The roads were good, but with some ruts in spots that was a little too much for my car. I was close enough to walk anyway. I locked up the car and started walking.

I walked most of the way toward the saddle, but left the road early at a random spot to start up the slopes, everything looking equal. The ground was loose pumice rubble that held together most of the time, and could be dreadfully loose at other times. The slopes were brushy with few large trees, but with many game trails that allowed me to hike nearly the whole way up without ever needing to actually bash through the brush. I was on top about 25 minutes after starting, a one-mile hike counting all the little wiggles I made following the game trails.

The top had a couple trees and low brush, and a fire ring. I shot a couple photos but did not stop at all. It wasn't that interesting a place and I just started right back down. Going down was much faster, taking advantage of the pumice slopes to "fast step" almost the whole way down. I was off the peak in about ten minutes and back to my car soon thereafter, a 45-minute round trip hike. The hike had gone well, and I can't complain.

Peak 7004
• San Francisco Volcanic Field

Elevation: 7,004 feet • Prominence: 384 feet • Distance: 1.4 miles • Time: 45 minutes • Gain: 464 feet


Next up was Peak 7004, about 5 miles northeast of the Turkey Hills. I got back on the TW Road and headed east a couple miles, then got onto Slayton Ranch road, heading north. This area is more open, dotted with homestead-style homes, usually on 10-acre lots (my guess, just by looking), some homes very elaborate, others more humble. This is the community of Doney Park, a sub-entity of Flagstaff.

I drove to Sunbeam Road, then east a quarter-mile to a bend in the road before the last house. There is a let-in point to the Coconino Forest here, so I parked nearby and started walking quickly, already dressed and packed from my last hike. I was slightly concerned about parking here since technically I might have been on private property, but judging by the footprints in the old road at the let-in point, it appears many people come here.

I followed an ATV path east a little bit to a "better" road that went north. I followed this road that then curled east again and gained uphill toward a saddle south of Peak 7004. The road was fine volcanic sand and made walking difficult and tiring. At the saddle, I followed a rocky and steep track up the final 180 feet to the summit. This last track was so loose I actually hiked alongside it in the low grass, with marginally better footing. I was on top quickly. Like the last peak, it was unexciting. The highest point was one of three or four agglutinate blobs of rock. I tagged them all, snapped a couple photos, then started down.

I was able to inch down the track, slipping, sliding and skiing down the rubble in two-foot segments, to get back to the lower road. The walk out went quickly and there were a couple other hikers now down low. I was back to my car, this hike also taking 45 minutes. The two hikes together covered about 3.5 miles with a little over a thousand feet of gain in under two hours, including drive times. These weren't memorable hilltops, but today, they were perfect. I stuck around in Flagstaff to run a few errands, then drove back to Payson, arriving about 3:30 p.m..

Today had gone well. Our Subaru Forester now has a new mirror and is essentially all healed up from last week's elk encounter. I still am aware, with much clarity, how lucky I was to not be more seriously injured myself (or kilt), or have a more bashed-up vehicle, after swiping that elk last weekend.

(c) 2021 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.