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Hike 12,633 Feet to the Highest Point in the Entire State of Arizona for an Epic Adventure Like No Other

Suny Errot



Arizona is undeniably a majestic place with tons of natural lands that surely convince each and every visitor to come back. Grand Canyon may be the Top 1 or most sought-after destination of travelers. But if you want to go somewhere else, you should check out the highest mountain in Arizona. With an elevation of 12,633 feet, Humphrey’s Peak is truly a scenic San Francisco summit that will amaze you. If you want to know more about it, please keep on reading.

Humphrey’s Peak is the Highest Point in the Entire State of Arizona

Humphrey’s Peak Summit az

Source: Instagram

If you’re one of those people who think that Arizona is nothing but landscapes and deserts, today we’ll prove you wrong. There are mountains in Arizona and one of them is 12,633 feet tall! With that kind of elevation, you can see Arizona in a vast perspective. Humphrey’s Peak is located north of Flagstaff, near Coconino National Forest. It is also a part of the San Francisco Peak.

Some say that despite being the highest point in Arizona, this mountain is relatively easy to hike compared to others around the same feet range. However, don’t be fooled. Most hikers who have been to this mountain several times still say that this is actually a difficult climb and you better come prepared.

Humphrey's Peak az highest point

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There are two routes that you can take: Humphrey’s Peak and Weatherford Trails. You need to take note that you might have to spend the day completing the hike, depending on your level of experience. If you take Humphrey’s Peak, expect that it will be a tough hike with lots of loose gravel, roots, rocks, and even boulders. Hikers who use this trail sometimes trip on the way up. That being said, the climb seems to go on forever, but just keep pushing.

If You Want to See Snow in Arizona, You Need to Visit Humphrey’s Peak!

Humphrey’s Peak winter

Source: Instagram

Can you believe that this place is actually in Arizona? It’s like a winter wonderland!

Arizona could be compared to a huge oven during summertime but there are places here where you could enjoy the snow. Flagstaff is known to have snow during winter and Humphrey’s Peak is just up north so you can experience snow climb here.

Expect that this will still be an intense climb, but once you reach the top, you’ll know right away that it is totally worth it. The summit is simply spectacular and you will enjoy looking at the state high point under your belt. It will take you between 5-8 hours to get from trailhead to top and back down. So if you think that this is your average day hike, you are wrong. It’s best to train before climbing Humphrey’s Peak to avoid altitude sickness.

You need to plan your trip especially if you want to visit when there’s snow because safety comes first. Secure a permit and make sure that you have everything that will help you survive in this chilling situation. You can also try skiing if you want something more adventurous. Lastly, if you don’t want to hike at that time of your visit, you can always enjoy snow even at ground level.

When Is the Best Time to Visit?

Arizona Highest mountain

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While Humphrey’s Peak takes pride in how beautiful the mountain looks like during snow season, it’s really not the best time to visit considering the weather conditions. The suggested months to climb are from June to October. June would be perfect because it is considerably warm and there are fewer chances of having monsoons. For the rest of the months, you have to be alert especially if there are monsoons. It can be pretty dangerous. On the other hand, you should be cautious of the bugs during the “calm days.” Don’t forget to bring an insect repellent!

AZ Humphrey's Peak Trail

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If there’s a month that you should avoid, it would be May. There would still be snow and the condition won’t be so good. It would be windy and the gust may move from 50 to 80 MPH. Whatever month you wish to go, we recommend you start hiking before noontime. While the night sky in Humphrey’s Peak is beautiful, it is suggested to see it on the ground level to be safe.

How to Get to Humphrey’s Peak

Flagstaff Arizona view from a mountain

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You may simply input “Snowbowl Flagstaff, AZ” in your GPS. The trailhead is located in the day parking area of Snowbowl. It will ascend up and around the ski lift after you make your way past the first “Humphreys Peak” signs.

From Southern Arizona
1. Drive to I-17 for 2.5 hours. Once you reach Flagstaff, just find your way to South Milton Road.
2. Make a left on Humphreys Street and continue driving. You will eventually turn become Fort Valley Road the further you drive. Watch the road for signs (right side) for Snowbowl.
3. Once you reach Snowbowl Road, continue 7 miles up until you see the parking lot for Snowbowl and Humphreys Peak Trailhead.

What You Should Know:

Arizona Mountain Hiking with a dog

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  • There are some who say that climbing Humphrey’s Peak is relatively easy. However, you should come prepared because it’s actually difficult.
  • When you see the sign at the trailhead that says 4.8, this pertains to the distance to the saddle up top.
  • Watch your knees and ankles on the way down at the first section in the woods. There are lots of rocks and roots. Using poles may also come in handy since it will provide ankle and foot support.
  • It is best to get an early start because a lot of people show up later in the day. Bring a headlamp if you are coming super early. You should also bring lots of water so you can power up and prepare for the altitude change. Remember, you will be 12,633 feet above sea level.
  • Dogs are allowed. This is one of the best dog-friendly hikes in Arizona that you will ever conquer!
  • Before you leave, make sure you snap a photo with the marker at the summit!

Humphrey’s Peak Details:

Rocky Mountain in Arizona Humphrey’s Peak

Source: Instagram

Trail Distance: 16.9 km
Elevation Gain: 1,022 m
Route Type: Out & Back
Trail Type: Boulder & Rocks (summer season), Snow & Ice (winter season)
Dog-Friendly: Yes (but dogs must have a leash!)
Accessibility: Plenty of parking in the day parking lot
Fee/Permit: FREE permits during snow season – these can be obtained from Saturdays and Sundays at Agassiz Lodge

Have you ever been to Humphrey’s Peak? On a scale of 1-10, how difficult was the hike? Let us know in the comments below.

Location: Coconino County, Arizona

If you liked this article, you would appreciate the jaw-dropping mountain range that takes you to the highest point in Tucson. You can also brave a hike in Arizona said to be one of the most dangerous hikes in the world!