Humphreys Peak

October 2nd, 2008

The backside of the Humphrey's saddle

Ahh clicheNow that I was on a mission for home I wasted no time. After the Kelso Dunes I drove to Flagstaff, sleeping at the rest area just outside of town. I hit up the coffee shop for a while in the morning, busted up Humphreys Peak in about 4.5 hours, swung by the Flagstaff Brewing Company, and then headed for Utah. Fast paced, yet strangely relaxing. I really liked Flagstaff (the little I saw of it) after LA. It felt a lot like Bozeman. The coffee shop was full of college students and played Damien Marley, Dispatch and Slightly Stoopid over the PA… a slice of home!

Fall near FlagstaffAfter coffee and breakfast I went up to Snowbowl to climb Arizona’s highest point, Humphreys Peak. There’s a separate little parking area for the trailhead, and the trail goes right up from there. Flagstaff itself is at about 7000′, and the trailhead is at 9000′, so the summit’s 12,600′ makes the climb just about 3,500′ - no sweat compared to some of the peaks I’d climbed just on It was windy as balls on Humphrey's summitthis trip. The trail was well maintained and swung a few big long switchbacks through the trees to the saddle between Humphreys and Agassiz Peak. Then it follows the ridge up Arizona’s only tundra to the summit. The turning colors of the Aspens made it a beautiful hike. My only complaint is that it was windy as BALLS on top. The kind of wind where the gusts knock you over. I took a few pictures up there but I couldn’t find the USGS marker so I guess you’ll have take my word that I wasn’t on some other peak that looks exactly like Humphreys. :)

Fall has arrivedMy camera does this sometimes until I whack on it a few timesSinage

Safely returned from the hurricane to the van I got some wings and beer downtown, then drove to Natural Bridges National Monument to check out it’s famous night skies. Sadly there was a storm front moving in and I could only see the stars occasionally through the clouds. I did see some nice shooting stars, but it was not the “dark sky” experience I was after. Still it was fun, and I checked out the bridges in the morning before heading to Moab.

Mountain colorsAgassiz Peak by HumphreysNatural Bridges National Monument

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