How to Hike the Aspen Loop Trail in Flagstaff, AZ

The Aspen Loop Trail near Flagstaff in northern Arizona is the perfect way to see the fall foliage in Flagstaff.

It’s an easy hike that takes you through the pine trees and aspen trees that fill the Flagstaff, Arizona, Snowbowl.

So, if you’re looking for a quick day hike, you’ve come to the right place.

How to get to the Aspen Nature Loop in Flagstaff

The Aspen Loop in Flagstaff (sometimes called the Aspen Nature Lollipop Trail) is located about 30 minutes north of Flagstaff in the Aspen Corner.

You can travel here from Sedona or the Grand Canyon, but be prepared to set aside some driving time to get there.

Aspen Loop Trail Flagstaff address

The Aspen Loop Trail doesn’t have an official address. However, you can type Humphrey’s Peak Trail, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, into your GPS and it’ll direct you right to the trailhead.

If you prefer directions, then I’ve got you covered. From the center of Flagstaff, it’s easy to find:

  1. Head toward US-180 W/N Fort Valley Road toward N Snow Bowl Road in Fort Valley.
  2. Follow this for about 6 ½ miles before turning right to N Snow Bowl Road.
  3. Follow N Snowbowl Road until you reach the Ski Lodge area (parking lots 4 and 5)

The most difficult part will be finding parking. I went on two separate occasions and had completely different experiences.

If you go during the week, parking will be easier to find (naturally). 

On the weekend, expect to do some searching for a spot.

Hiking the Aspen Trail in Flagstaff

You’ll first notice the towering Humphrey’s Peak that sits at the top when you get out of your car.

The slope of the San Francisco Peaks (which Humprey is one of) is a popular skiing area, and you’ll see many people travel here during the winter months.

But, for the other seasons, this area belongs to hikers!

An interesting fact about the area is its part of the San Francisco volcanic field, which covers about 1,800 square miles.

But don’t be discouraged. The area is plenty safe to hike!

Is the Aspen Loop Trail open?

First things first before you head off on your hike. Yes, the Aspen Loop Trail is open, and you’ll find many hikers on your visit.

This obviously depends on the time of year you visit. During the winter, snow lovers take over the area, and that’s obvious with the scenic chairlift running up the mountain.

But, any other time of the year and you’re good to go!

There are a total of three hikes in the area: the Aspen Nature Loop Trail, the Kachina Trail, and the Humphrey’s Peak trail.

Ranking their difficulty from most difficult to least, it goes like this:

  1. Humphrey’s Peak Trail
  2. Kachina Trail
  3. Aspen Nature Loop Trail

So, if you’re a beginner hiker or just looking for something easy, the Aspen Nature Trail is perfect for you!

Aspen Loop Trail details

  • Distance: 2.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 350+ feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: 1-1 ½ hours

The trail is easy to follow and makes for a leisurely walk through the Aspen forest along the 2.5 mile long route that joins with the Arizona trail.

The Aspen trailhead starts near parking lot number four. 

You’ll follow the trail for a short while before it splits, one way headed toward Humphrey’s Peak and the other toward the Aspen Trail.

Stay left and take the Aspen Trail as it goes downhill into the trees.

From here, it’ll wind through the aspen trees and forest on a clear trail. If you’re here in the fall, this is the perfect time to catch the fall colors people worldwide rave about.

Yellows, oranges, and browns mix together, creating a real-life painting right in front of your eyes.

Plan plenty of time for pictures because you’re sure to take a lot.

Aspen Loop Trail map

Tips for hiking the Aspen Nature Loop in Flagstaff, AZ

Even though this is an easy hike, you’ll still want to take some precautions.

So, here are some tips to make sure your hike goes as smoothly as possible:

  1. Wear proper footwear. The trail isn’t the most difficult on your shoes, but wearing hiking or trail running shoes is still a great idea. All it takes is one slip to hurt yourself.
  2. Bring enough water. People are different, and some require less or more water than others. So, bring enough water with you (especially during the summer) to ensure you don’t dehydrate.
  3. Take your time. Everyone has a different fitness level, so take the time you need. After all, you’re surrounded by all this beauty, so why not enjoy it?
  4. Be courteous. This is a popular trail; on a normal day, you’ll be surrounded by others. So, do your best to make everyone’s experience great that day. Step out of the way for those who are having a difficult time, help others when they need it, and enjoy the fact that we all get to hike this gorgeous trail!
  5. Watch the weather. You could arrive, and it’s a bright, sunny day. Or, the winds from a storm can sweep in quickly and turn your day on its head. Watch the weather, and prepare accordingly. If you’re unsure, talk to the forest service when you arrive.

Aspen Loop Trail photos and videos

Aspen Loop Trail Forest
View of Mount Humphrey
Start of the Aspen Loop Trail
Mount Humphrey's towers over the trail
A gorgeous view of the Aspen trees and surrounding mountains
The Aspen trees turn yellow in the fall, giving off a vibrant color

What are you waiting for? Go hike the Aspen Loop Trail!

While hiking the Aspen Loop Trail, I asked, “Can this trail please be longer?”

The sheer beauty of the aspen trees and the views you get along the way are amazing. And it’s the perfect place to pause for a moment and take it all in.

So, if you’re in the Flagstaff area, don’t miss out on the chance to hike this trail.

It’s well worth it.

Before you go, if you’re in the Phoenix area, you’d definitely enjoy the Echo Canyon Trail at Camelback Mountain! With great views and moderate difficulty, it’s an excellent way to spend a morning in Phoenix. Afterward, you could head to the Treasure Loop Trail in Lost Dutchman State Park to hike near the Superstition Mountains!

Last, if you aren’t already, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok!


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