Old Caves Crater Trail Hike
35°16’13.1″N | 111°32’08.9″W
This is just a quick write up for you Explorers and Hikers. I wrote about this trail and hike in greater detail for ExploringtheSouthwest.com and you can read it here.
Old Caves Crater Trail Hike is a moderate to easy trail hike near Flagstaff Arizona. The summit gives you great views of the San Francisco Peaks and Mt. Elden, while offering a much easier and shorter hike than trying to summit any of these mountains. If you want an easy hike, with some cool views over East Flagstaff the Old Caves Crater Trail Hike is perfect.
The trail starts out flat, beautiful, and easy as you wander gently through tall Ponderosa Pine. The climb to the top is easier than the surrounding hills, but it is a steep climb up winding switch backs. Remember you are hiking at elevation, so if you aren’t used to hiking above 7,ooo feet elevation take it slow and get ready for some deep heavy breathing. The climb is steep but short, and at the summit you will a network of old lava tube caves created when this Cinder Cone was active long ago. It is fun exploring through the tiny caves.
Watch for Snakes! We have seen many of them while hiking this trail in warmer months. I have personally never seen a Rattler near this trail, but judging from the amount of other snakes and rodent markings strewn about I wouldn’t be surprised to see one. They are not common at this elevation, but I have seen many Rattlers in warmer months near these hills.
The hike to the top is about 1.2 miles, which makes this a perfect day hike with kids and/or dogs. Dogs are allowed on leash.
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