Best Hiking Trails in Coconino National Forest
You don't usually think of alpine tundra in Arizona, but when it comes to extreme landscapes, Coconino National Forest has it all. Located within a short drive of both Flagstaff and Sedona, Coconino contains everything from desert and famous red rock buttes and mesas, to pine forest, tundra, and volcanic peaks.
You'll find variety in more than just landscapes. Here, you can hike, mountain bike, camp, fish, climb, or offroad in designated areas. There are also ten wilderness areas located within the forest.
Get a taste of the vibrant red sandstone mesas and rock features outside of Sedona by hiking to Cathedral Rock or the Devil's Bridge Trail. Stretch the legs by amping up your distance and elevation on the Weatherford Trail #102. Explore the San Francisco Peaks and hike to the highest point in Arizona, 12,633-foot Humphreys Peak.
If you plan on spending several days exploring the vast landscapes this national park has to offer, you'll find plenty of backpacking trails and campsites available.
When to Go
The national forest offers visitors year-round access as long as you know where to go to find the best conditions. The best times of year to visit are in the spring and fall. Enjoy summer hiking exploring volcanic peaks, or spend the winter skiing and snowmobiling.
The America the Beautiful Interagency Recreation Passes are honored in Coconino National Forest. Refer to the national forest page for more information on required passes or permits, or call a ranger station for more specifics, especially if you plan on staying more than the day.
Dogs are permitted within the national forest in most places. However, there are a few sites that prohibit dogs to protect areas of historical or archeological significance. More information can be found here, at ranger stations, or posted at the parking areas. If you aren't sure, it may be best to play it safe and leave your pet at home.