8/21/2005 trip reportAugust 24 2005 at 6:18 PM
|Mark B |
Response to Humphreys Peak, Arizona (12,633 feet)
I climbed Humphreys Peak on August 21st, 2005. This was my 19th state highpoint and the highest hike (not counting Hawaii) for me so far.
We set out from the trailhead around 6:30 AM. The weather was cool and skies were mostly clear, the trail goes uphill gradually at first through the woods, getting progressively steeper closer to the saddle. The trail was fairly easy to follow, but there are a few places above treeline where the correct trail is not completely clear. The posts with "trail" carved into them provided good direction in most of these situations.
Above the saddle, the weather started to get cloudy and dark. I was concerned about storms, but this had the benefit of keeping the temperature a bit cooler which was helpful. There was very little wind, which was a nice surprise.
When I arrived at the summit, there were about a dozen people already there and four dogs. The clouds continued to gather, but conditions stayed about the same with a slight breeze and no precipitation. There was no wooden post or sign to mark the summit, as I had seen from previous photos. I was able to locate the USGS marker from 1920 with "Frisco Peak" on it.
We hung around for about 20 minutes or so, took the obligitory summit photos, then headed back down. We passed a couple dozen people on the way down who were headed for the top. It seemed like the early-morning people were the more hardcode hikers for the most part. The woods were damp and chilly, and I was wishing I had brought additional winter headgear to keep from catching a cold. It started to rain lightly just as I got back to the parking lot.
We celebrated with micro-brewed beer & burgers at the Beaver Street Brewery in Flagstaff - I would definately go there again, it seemed to be more of a local place with less of the European tourist types from the downtown area. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) If you are staying in town the night before, I recommend getting a room near I-40 away from the downtown area. There is a railroad which goes right through town, and the frequent train horns & related noise all through the night can make it difficult to sleep.