Fine Art Print - San Francisco Peaks, Arizona Panoramic - scenic colorful photograph, gift ideas present home office wall decor furnishings JManjeotPhotography. If you want to enjoy one of the best fall color displays in Arizona without the crowds, skip Arizona Snowbowl and head to the north side of the Peaks, where the aspens are plentiful but the leaf-peepers are few and far between. The 49-Mile Drive may be one of San Francisco's oldest marketing ploys, created in the early 20th century to show off the city to new drivers. SF’s historic, 49 mile loop around the City has been reinvented as a walking adventure! Both end at the Waterline Road (FR 146) along the base of a long talus slope topped by Humphreys Peak, Arizona's highest point. This loop of state-maintained highways through the San Juan Mountains can be done in your own car and at your own leisure, but be aware that various parts of this beautiful, scenic drive do feature steep drop-offs without guardrails. Continuing on FR 418, the rocky road gives way to smooth gravel as you descend through rolling foothills and continue east, toward the Painted Desert. Move quietly and stay alert for mule deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, coyote, badger and porcupine. You've seen the signs around San Francisco -- a seagull looking over one white shoulder into a blue sky, regal as an eagle, and the words: 49 Mile Scenic Drive. That way you can take more than one day to do this drive or combine it with one or more of the other scenic drives in the vicinity of the San Francisco Peaks. (Photo: Courtesy of Mike Koopsen). As you climb up rocky FR 418, you’re skirting the boundary of the Kachina Peaks Wilderness and some of the most remote stretches of this long-dormant volcano. Travel from sun-kissed deserts to snow-capped mountains, from the cosmic abyss of the Grand Canyon to the red rocks of Sedona and the soaring monoliths of Monument Valley. 49 Mile Scenic Drive through San Francisco. Read or Share this story: https://www.azcentral.com/story/travel/arizona/road-trips/2020/10/09/arizona-scenic-drive-san-francisco-peaks-loop-flagstaff/3630423001/, (Photo: Roger Naylor/Special for the Republic), "Arizona’s Scenic Roads and Hikes" is available in stores, on Amazon and at. Scenic Drives: There are four designated scenic drives. The 49-Mile Scenic Drive is a designated scenic road tour highlighting much of San Francisco, California.It was created in 1938 by the San Francisco Down Town Association to showcase the city's major attractions and natural beauty during the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition.. Snowbowl Road makes a winding climb up the slopes to a major ski area, offering multiple runs during winter and a scenic chair lift ride in warmer months. These 9 Beautiful Byways In Arizona Are Perfect For A Scenic Drive. The San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road was designated on January 12, 1990, by the Arizona Department of Transportation. | Douglas Koepsel. San Francisco Peaks. The rolling White Horse Hills unfold to the north. This is a test to see whether we can improve the experience for you. Mogollon Rim Road Scenic Drive. Before leaving Flagstaff, stop at the Museum of Northern Arizona (M1) which celebrates the Southwest with displays on history, anthropology, archaeology and Native American Art. "Arizona’s Scenic Roads and Hikes" is available in stores, on Amazon and at https://www.rogernaylor.com. Take An Unforgettable Scenic Drive Around The Highest Mountains In Arizona. To the west, Kendrick Mountain, a large lava dome, rises above the forest. Meadows spread wide through here, a good area to spot wildlife. Follow him on Twitter @AZRogerNaylor and keep up with him at https://www.facebook.com/RogerNaylorinAZ. San Francisco Peaks: Beautiful Scenic Drive - See 251 traveler reviews, 73 candid photos, and great deals for Flagstaff, AZ, at Tripadvisor. The San Francisco Peaks are a quiet volcanic mountain range with six summits including Mount Humphreys towering at 12,633 feet, the tallest peak in the state. 1.49 Mile Scenic Drive Through San Francisco Buckle up for an urban adventure on the 49 Mile Scenic Drive in San Francisco. This new event is inspired by and made possible thanks to Kristine Poggioli and Carolyn Eidson, authors of Walking San Francisco’s 49 Mile […] Open country continues until the road climbs back into the forest before it reaches the town of Tusayan, just outside the park. Turning right will take you up to Lockett Meadow and the Inner Basin Trailhead. Drive for 1 mile and turn left on FR 171B to the parking lot. Getting To the Peaks. Roads throughout he San Francisco Peaks provide access to some of Arizona’s best fall colors. The Museum of Northern Arizona tells the history of the Colorado Plateau, from its geologic creation to the peoples who have populated it. Snow-capped San Francisco Peaks, Kaibab National Forest and the intense colors of light and shadow stretching across the rocks, buttes, and spires of the Grand Canyon await as this scenic drive explores 2 billion years of the earth’s history. And if hot magma is raining down from the sky, put the top up on the convertible and turn around at the first opportunity. Red Mountain looms to the left, a volcanic cinder cone. In this guide I feature all 27 of Arizona’s state-designated scenic and historic roads, including five National Scenic Byways. The best part of the San Francisco Peaks Drive is the 14-mile-long unpaved stretch of road, linking Highways 89 and 180. This road is a state-designated scenic road. The entrance requires scrambling over boulders but then the chamber widens. Length: 49.3-mile loop (from Flagstaff)Directions: From downtown Flagstaff, go northwest on U.S. Route 180 for 19 miles to Forest Road 151. The San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road (U.S. 180) is one of the two primary routes leading from Flagstaff, AZ, to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. I flew across the country from Ohio to attend Northern Arizona University. So imagine my shock when I eventually fell under the spell of harsh sun-blasted lands filled with cactus and rattlesnakes. Watch for the turnoff to the Arizona Snowbowl, 7 miles northwest of Flagstaff. That’s where I first set foot in Arizona. Traveling between these high lonely slopes across the plateau and into the arid depths of the nearby Grand Canyon was where biologist C. Hart Merriam developed his “life zones” concept — that altitude and temperature determine what type of plants grow in a particular place. Map link: U.S. Route 180 Even the mountains the road skirts around, the San Francisco Peaks, are the ragged remnants of a hulking stratovolcano. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Between the two habitats, you may encounter a variety of bird and animal life. Snowbowl Road, a paved road that goes on for 15 miles, is a quick drive … A ladder climbs over a stone wall and you’re engulfed in a wonderland of gnawed spires, twisted pillars and contorted walls bubbled with trapped gasses. You will need to register before adding a comment. The next morning I saw the outline of the San Francisco Peaks. The tallest peak is the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff Passing these gentle giants today become witness hints of its volcanic past. Exhibits highlight a history of logging, ranching and transportation. This road takes you along Route 180 for a perfect view of the San Francisco Peaks and other mountains in the area. Grand Canyon Loop. Flagstaff is the closest major city to the loop, so it’s generally wise to begin your San Francisco Peaks Arizona road trip there. Driving northwest from Flagstaff on U.S. Route 180, continue past Snowbowl Road and Arizona Nordic Village to the second turnoff for Forest Road 151, and hang a right. But the problem for people seeking to get their annual leaf-peeping fix is that popular spots high on the mountains can feel as congested as a shopping mall’s parking lot on Christmas Eve. Road. Around the Peaks Loop. From the Abineau (#127) and Bear Jaw (#26) trails, on the north slope of the San Francisco Peaks, you can see the Grand Canyon seventy miles away. Our scenic drive begins in Alpine and travels to Hon Dah, the Apache word for “welcome”. I was utterly smitten with the mountains. This scenic drive takes you to the North Rim and passes by the Kaibab Plateau. (Photo: Roger Naylor/Special for the Republic). It won a 2020 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award in the Travel category. It is pretty, but if you want to see … Turn left onto FR 552 and continue 1.6 miles to U.S. Route 89. Schultz Pass Road offers 26 miles of you, the road and the changing trees (closed in winter). "Arizona’s Scenic Roads & Hikes" covers all 27 of Arizona’s state-designated scenic and historic roads, along with nearby hiking trails, attractions, activities and suggestions on where to eat and stay. You do not need a Facebook profile to participate. To the northeast, golden meadows fall away into the Painted Desert’s sea of color and space. Share. Drive 9 miles north of Flagstaff on U.S. 180 and turn left on Forest Road 245 (at milepost 230). The steep, challenging hike is just under 10 miles round trip, ending with a lung-squeezing slog across treeless tundra. The trail starts along an old road that winds through junipers and pinion pines, then dips into the bed of a wash. After a mile the sandy streambed squeezes between towers of black cinders. San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road. Subscribe to azcentral.com today. The cave was formed 700,000 years ago by a river of molten lava blasted from a volcanic vent in nearby Hart Prairie. By the first or second weekend in October, aspen stands on the San Francisco Peaks are golden and glorious. It's all about the city's size: 49 square miles. I’m not sure what utter collapse of judgment, what failure of common sense led me down the reckless path to become a desert rat but such is my fate. Aspen leaves carpet a trail high up on the slopes of the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff. Basically just assume every hill and mountain you see along this road were volcanoes or mixed up in volcanic treachery. The amphitheater calls to mind a miniaturized Bryce Canyon bristling with colorful hoodoos. On this trip, ... you can loop back to San Francisco by continuing on 92 to 280 (recommended) or 101 (blech! No tips yet. And don’t let the tall pine trees and meadows streaked with wildflowers fool you. Housed in a building of volcanic rock, the Pioneer Museum covers a wide range of the region’s past. Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. Here's what to expect at Sky Harbor, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. About 3 miles after turning onto FR 418, you’ll reach the intersection with Forest Road 9123J and a spectacular panorama (and ideal picnic spot) that encompasses the crown jewels of Northern Arizona. Turn right onto FR 151 and continue 1.6 miles to Forest Road 418. San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road Overview: Passing through thick forests, mountain meadows and sagebrush flats, this road travels along the edge of … Typed comments will be lost if you are not logged in. And they may not be finished. Designed to show off the city, this 49-mile stretch of road is among the best San Francisco drives. Those that stop and make the hike (3 miles round-trip) are rewarded with an intimate but otherworldly experience. Coconino National Forest, FlagstaffBy Annette McGivney. This will take you through Castro District and Twin Peaks. And welcome to my world! Turn left onto FR 418 and continue 11.1 miles to Forest Road 552. Getting To the Peaks. All rights reserved. Turn onto Forest Service Route 418 and drive 12 miles west to FS 151. Trail begins at milepost 247 off U.S. 180, 25 miles northwest of Flagstaff. "Boots and Burgers: An Arizona Handbook for Hungry Hikers. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. Copying and downloading images from this site is strictly prohibited. If you set out on a road trip, remember to observe mask mandates and other COVID-19 safety practices. If you see comments in violation of our community guidelines, please report them. The stunning drives are arranged by region and include starting and ending points, mileage, photos, full descriptions and suggestions on locally owned places to eat and sleep. "Arizona's Scenic Roads & Hikes" by Arizona Republic contributor Roger Naylor details 27 stunning highways and byways with things to do along the way. At a Glance. We all cherish the memory of our first love. Why is it 49 miles long? A little more than a mile from the intersection, on both sides of the road, are lush aspen stands ideal for photo ops or just wandering in awe beneath the golden canopies. This road is within the Colorado Plateau Region and is distinguished by remarkable canyons and mountain ranges. To your left and straight ahead, grass-covered cinder hills might be dappled in shadows beneath cotton-ball clouds. Please be polite. The Red Mountain Trail north of Flagstaff skirts past colorful hoodoos, twisted pillars and gnawed spires. Photo: Forest Road 418 offers a view of golden-leafed aspens and the San Francisco Peaks to the south. Downtown Flagstaff is filled with historic buildings and is known for its shops, restaurants, bars and microbreweries. This new event is inspired by and made possible thanks to Kristine Poggioli and Carolyn Eidson, authors of Walking San Francisco’s 49 Mile Scenic Drive. A lone hiking trail climbs above the tree line and crosses alpine tundra to reach the summit of Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona. The four major summits of the San Francisco Peaks are Fremont, Doyle, Agassiz and Humphreys. The San Francisco Peaks are the remnants of a stratovolcano that once rose to a height of 16,000 feet. © Copyright 2020 Arizona Department of Transportation, State of Arizona. Geologists believe it once reached a height of 16,000 feet but continued to blast itself apart. ", "The Amazing Kolb Brothers of Grand Canyon. San Francisco Peaks: Beautiful Scenic Drive - See 251 traveller reviews, 73 candid photos, and great deals for Flagstaff, AZ, at Tripadvisor. Like many of our scenic drives, this one can be done in either direction. 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