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The San Francisco Mountains, Arizona
Photo By Steve Showalter

  • Title: The San Francisco Mountains, Arizona
  • State/Province/Region: Arizona
  • Country: United States
  • Nearest Area: Highway 180
  • Nearest Town: Flagstaff
  • Brief Directions: Highway 180 north from Flagstaff, AZ. Turn right on Snowbowl Rd.
  • Notes: The triple peaks of San Francisco Mountain is an eroded Stratovolcano which includes Arizona’s highest Point: Humphreys Peak at 12,633 feet. The San Francisco Mountain is one of hundreds of volcanoes in the San Francisco Volcanic Field which covers about 1,800 square miles of northern Arizona. The volcanic activity created a topographically varied landscape with forests that span six life zones, as describe by nineteenth-century naturalist C. Hart Merriam, from Piñon-Juniper at lower elevations through Ponderosa Pine to Fir and Bristlecone Pine to the Alpine life zone. The best seasons for photography are mid spring through mid autumn. Due to the rapid change in elevation, a day of strenuous hiking is rewarded by a wide diversity of flora and fauna and a variety of photo opportunities. If you are stealthy you may encounter predators such as Mountain Lions, Bobcats, Goshawks, Great Horned Owls, Spotted Owls, Golden Eagles, and their prey. There are several good trails in the area including one which leads to Humphreys Peak. If you venture off the trails, the terrain is very rugged and unpredictable. Be sure someone knows where you are. Your cell phone may not work here.
  • Best Season: Autumn
  • Gear: Photo gear, hiking gear, water
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