Always start a hike earlier in the day rather than later. That’s the lesson my friend Jordan and I learned on after our four-hour trek on Monday afternoon in Flagstaff.
Last week, Jordan invited me to hike Humphreys’s Peak, the tallest mountain in Arizona, with an elevation of 12, 633 feet. He had already hiked it in March with a few of our friends from NAU(Northern Arizona University). However, during that time, there was still lots of snow on the mountain so they only made it to the first saddle. This time, he wanted to make it to the top.
We left around 10am on Monday and zoomed to Flagstaff. It only took us about two hours and thirty minutes to arrive in the city. We stopped to buy a few snacks for the hike and then headed to Arizona Snowbowl, the ski resort where Humphrey’s trail begins.
We started the hike around 12:45-1pm thinking we had just enough time to make it to the summit. Unfortunately, we should have started earlier.
On our way up, we encountered other hikers who warned us of the strong winds at the top. We decided to keep going anyway. It took about 2.5 hours to make to the first saddle.
We stopped and ate a few snacks and received a small taste of the strong winds awaiting us. They sent chills down our bodies as we stood on the first saddle. It was as if a giant was standing above the mountain and blowing a breath of icy air towards us. It wasn’t strong enough to knock us down but strong enough to convince us that today was not the day. We were told the winds would only pick up as time passed by and that it may be better to come back another day and start earlier.
We stayed a bit longer and indulged in the beautiful views of Flagstaff before turning back down the trail.
Overall, it was a wonderful day and a great adventure. One day, we’ll start earlier and actually make it to the top!
If you ever have the chance, I definitely recommend exploring Mt. Humphrey! It’s a pleasant trail 🙂