Red Mountain Trail

Red Mountain Trail, Flagstaff: Address, Phone Number, Red Mountain Trail Reviews: 4.5/5

Red Mountain Trail
National Parks • Hiking Trails
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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131 reviews
Very good

Marcie E
4 contributions
May 2021
This hike was one of the best we had during our road trip. There were hardly any hikers there. it was only a few miles total and very even terrain. The first mile was pretty ordinary but when it came to the mountain we were totally in awe. Beautiful!!! Then heading back we could see the snow capped mountain in the background and were able to get some beautiful pictures.
Written May 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Phoenix, AZ34 contributions
Nov 2014 • Couples
I was clued in to this hike by a nifty book, BOOTS & BURGERS: AN ARIZONA HANDBOOK FOR HUNGRY HIKERS, by Roger Naylor. It combines my two favorite things in the world, hiking and eating at diners after hiking – what a natural! So I went through the book with a fine-tooth comb and started marking hikes I want to do, along with their accompanying diner suggestions.

The first hike that tempted me was the Red Mountain trail, just north of Flagstaff on HWY 180, the same road that will take you to the Grand Canyon if you don't want to take HWY 89. There's nothing wrong with HWY 89 of course – after all, it takes you past Wupatki and Sunset Crater. But HWY 180 may be the road less traveled, unless you're really into skiing at Snow Bowl, or you can't resist the observatory or the museums – or . . .

Okay, maybe it's NOT the road less traveled. But on the Thursday we went looking for Red Mountain, there weren't a lot of people sharing the highway with us. The book warned us to watch for the mile marker after the Red Mountain sign, and this proved to be completely accurate. We turned left onto a forest road, drove past the sign warning us not to park in undesignated parking areas – you need to go to the end, where it loops, and THEN you can improvise a parking spot. Just try not to block the road. Not that anyone showed up while we were there – probably because everyone else knew that if you want to see the magnificent formations inside that partially-collapsed cinder cone, you need to show up in the morning, when light will ignite the full glory of those fantastical shapes.

The trail leads through a forest of junipers, ponderosas, and scrub – you see glimpses of the rock formations looming over it all, further down the trail. This is when you're saying to yourself, Dang! I wish we had gotten here before noon! Because those volcanic-tuff hoodoos are in shadow in the afternoon. They are mere shadows of themselves.

What's cool is that eventually you reach the cone, and you have to climb a short ladder to get up among the hoodoos. Somehow it all reminds me of scenes from The Lord of the Rings, when the company of friends travel into lands long abandoned to find half-ruined statues of ancient heroes. The formations are fantastical even in the half-light, and you will be busy snapping pictures of them. By the way – please don't be a jerk and climb on them.

On the way back down, I tested Roger's claim that Ponderosas smell like vanilla – and it's true. Put your nose right up next to them and breathe deep. The scent is amazing. And it only took me 56 years to find that out.

We had already located Mama Burgers on the way down – it's right on the elbow part of the bend that become HWY 180. It's a little place, and many of the employees are teenagers. I was tempted to try one of the shakes – I hear they're amazing, so I'll do that come summer – but I stuck to a burger and fries. My husband did the same, but he picked the Mamaburger, while I had the one with bacon and avocado.

They were EXCELLENT.

So five stars for the Red Mountain hike and the Mama Burger joint. Now – time to pick the next hike from BOOTS & BURGERS . . .
Written November 22, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

259 contributions
May 2012 • Couples
If we weren't waiting for or seeing a train, it seems that much of our 2 day visit to Flagstaff had something to do with a volcano. We stopped here on our way to the Grand Canyon. Follow Rt. 180 north out of Flagstaff. It is maybe 30 miles out of town, just on the edge of the Coconino National forest. There is a sign just before you turn left onto NR 247 (the turn is at mile marker 247). A short drive down a dirt road will bring you to the parking lot.
The trail is 1.5 miles one way with a gentile up hill climb of 150 feet over the length of the trail. It is a nice walk trough a pinyon-juniper forest with a view of Red Mountain in front of you for the most part. As you enter the crater, you see the cinder on either side. You will have to climb up a very sturdy 6 to 7 foot ladder with railings on both sides to actually get into the crater.
I would suggest that you also check out Sunset Crater Volcano off of Rt. 89 on the other side of the San Francisco Peaks. Sunset Volcano erupted about 1000 years ago and you can compare it to the much older eruption of Red Mountain.
If you would like to hike in a lava tube, check out Lava River Trail also off of Rt. 180, but closer to Flagstaff (NR 245).
Written May 18, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cooper City, FL177 contributions
Jun 2018 • Couples
Caveats: We are age 66 and 70, mobile with no restrictions. We live at sea level. This hike was NOT easy for us at 10 a.m. in the full sun, temp about 84. There is precious little shade and outbound it's all uphill on a gentle grade. There were constant aggressive annoying flies the entire way. Long story sort carefully consider the temperature, season, time of day, and your ability. The ground is gravelly with roots and rocks. It is far from a simple walk for the casual or older hiker or anyone for whom this altitude an be an issue. Bring water, sunscreen and large hat.
Written June 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Arizona371 contributions
Sep 2013 • Couples
The trail to Red Mountain is easy, quick and well maintained. To get to it, take I-17 north to Flagstaff. Follow the signs for US-180 then head north to milepost 247 (about 30 miles). Turn left (west) at the milepost & the follow dirt trail to the trailhead parking lot. The hike along the way is okay, but once the trail runs into the riverbed (usually dry), it gets really interesting. Almost like walking onto some sort of epic movie set. The obvious trail ends at the spires so we took our time to explore all over & climb right to the "amphitheater" wall. Not difficult to scramble to but does take some careful maneuvering. This is a really easy hike & definitely well worth it!
Written September 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Manchester, UK380 contributions
I chose this trail as I thought after a night at 7000' ready for some mountain hikes, this would be easy to gauge the terrain and effects. This trail off the 180 is easy to find and a pleasant hour and a bit there and back. Approximately 3 miles there and back with an ascent of 500 feet or so.
The weather was excellent and the views across the mountain ranges pretty awesome. The photos will give you a flavo(u)r on what is to be seen. This was hike number one and pretty effortless. Once the more wooded area is reached, bugs get a little lively but a good spray of DEET worked to settle their hash. All in all a good first thing in the morning hike to limber up ready for Slate Mountain. Can recommend a breakfast of champions at Fred and Barneys Flintstone diner if you are heading in from that direction (drove north from Williams and down the 180)
Written June 1, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John P
Tucson, AZ26 contributions
Nov 2018 • Couples
My wife and I almost decided not to do the hike due to its short length and distance outside of Flagstaff. We're glad we chose to go, the hike would easy for most people. The first part of the hike is typical scenery of the area, but when you get up the ladder it becomes remarkable. You are in the cinder cone of an extinct volcano with ancient lava flows, slot canyons and towering walls! There are trees and vegetation that just add to the experience. If you're in the area I would recommend you do this hike, you won't be disappointed.
Written November 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Panama City, FL1,846 contributions
Nov 2013 • Solo
This is a nice hike between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Located at mile marker 247, just on the west side of the road. The hike is only 1.5 miles one way and well marked. You are really missing out if you don't hike up past the ladder into the canyon with the steep, lava rock walls. Everything before that is just a stroll in the woods along a wash. Well worth the quick diversion off the highway. No support facilities and the road and parking area are dirt. Road and parking are maintained so any car can make it; I made it in a rental Prius so I'm not making it up. Bring your own water.
Written November 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Atascadero, CA273 contributions
Oct 2017 • Family
If you are looking for an easy and fun hike for a young family, make sure you do this hike. It was one of the highlights of our Flagstaff trip for our kids.

The hike starts through a piñon/juniper forest, then drops into a dry creek bed (which my kids named Crystal Creek due to the obsidian like pebbles found within). It then takes you into Red Mountain, which was fascinating. The kids had a great time exploring all the hoodoo formations. We spent about an hour wandering around the hoodoos, and then hiked back out to our car.
Written July 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Betsi B
Weatherford, TX233 contributions
Dec 2017 • Friends
After you ascend the little ladder (missing a step so do carefully), walk another 60 feet past the cinder cone and your breath will be taken away by the beautiful red rock cliff and box canyon. The diversity is gorgeous. We did a mid-afternoon jaunt and the cliff was in the shadows rather than full sun. This is very much worth the short drive. Dog friendly too.
Written December 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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