Take a hike. Literally.

person walking on path through aspen trees

In honor of Take a Walk Outdoors Day on Saturday, Jan. 20, members of our NAU community share their favorite walks around Flagstaff. Between wilderness trails, national monuments, wildlife preserves and the Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS), Flagstaff has something for everyone, even when the snow is piled high. Here are 10 Lumberjack-approved walkable trails in and around Flagstaff. 

 1. Kendrick Park Watchable Wildlife Trail

Short loop
Length: 0.25-mile loop 

Longer loop
Length: 1.5-mile loop 


  • Short loop is paved for wheelchair access 
  • Both loops include an educational interpretive experience 

Recommended by: Grant Belcher (Marketing), Christine Kirby (CHER) 


 2. Red Mountain Trail No. 159

Length: 2.5 miles round trip 


  • Terminates in a volcanic cinder cone that creates a natural amphitheater 
  • Must climb ladder about 6ft high at end of trail to reach the amphitheater 

Recommended by: Grant Belcher (Marketing) 


rock surface etched with petroglyphs representing people, animals, and other symbols

3. Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve

Don Weaver Trail
Length: 0.7 miles 

Tom Moody Loop
Length: 3.9 miles 

Arizona Trail (within Preserve)
Length: 1.2 miles 


  • Self-guided interpretive tour 
  • Northern Sinagua petroglyphs 
  • Historic rail line 
  • Year-round waterfall 
  • Designated a Watchable Wildlife Site and Audubon Bird Sanctuary 

Recommended by: Jill Kimball (NAU Communications) 

“Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve, located just off Route 66 on the east side of town, is a guaranteed crowd pleaser because it checks so many boxes. Easy, family-friendly trails ranging from one to four miles? Check. Fascinating vestiges of the past, including Northern Sinagua petroglyphs and the remains of a 19th-century logging railroad? Check. Abundant wildlife, including 130 different species of birds? Check. To cap it all off, there’s a waterfall—and the cascades are particularly gorgeous in the wintertime,” Kimball said. 


Students walking up the trail toward Sunset Crater outside of Flagstaff

4. Lava Flow Trail at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

Length: 1-mile loop


  • Upper 0.25-mile loop is paved and wheelchair accessible 
  • Pets welcome on the paved portion of this trail 

Recommended by: Grant Belcher (Marketing) 


5. Sandy’s Canyon Trail No. 137

Length: 3 miles round trip 


Recommended by: Grant Belcher (Marketing) and Meredith Brown (Cline Library)  

“I really like Sandy’s Canyon, which has some cool rock formations, alternates between more forested and open sections of trail, and (if you walk long enough 😉) you can take in some amazing views from the Fisher Point vista,” Brown said. 


6. McMillan Mesa Natural Area Trails

McMillan Mesa Trail
Length: 0.5 miles 

Mesa Ridge Trail
Length: 0.3 miles 

Sunset Trail
Length: 0.6 miles 

Arizona Trail
Length: 3.9 miles 


Recommended by: Meredith Brown (Cline Library) and Tim Westerhaus (Kitt School of Music) 


7. Karen Cooper Trail – part of the Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS)

Length: 7.2 miles round trip 


  • Easy access to the Mountain Line bus route all along this trail 
  • Trail highlights include: the Rio de Flag, Frances Short Pond and the historic Townsite neighborhood 

Recommended by: Jessica Clark (NAU Communications) and Melissa Yates (Printing Services) 


8. Soldiers Trail at Fort Tuthill

Length: 5.2-mile loop 


  • Trail accommodates running, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding in the summer 
  • Connects to other trails in the Fort Tuthill area 
  • Connects to Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS) 
  • Opportunity for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing 

Recommended by: Melissa Yates (Printing Services) 


9. Campbell Mesa Trail SystemArizona National Scenic Trail guidebook at the Grand Canyon

Campbell Mesa Loop
Length: 5.7-mile loop 

Anasazi Loop
Length: 2.7-mile loop 

Continental Loop
Length: 1-mile round trip 

Walnut Meadows Loop
Length: 4-mile loop  


  • Multiple trail options within an easily accessible area 
  • Connects to Fisher Point and the Arizona Trail

Recommended by: Melissa Yates (Printing Services) 


10. Arizona Nordic Village Trails

Length: varies 


  • Acres of trails through ponderosa pine and aspen forests 
  • Opportunity for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing 
  • Snowshoe and ski rentals available 

Recommended by: Tim Westerhaus (Kitt School of Music) and Christine Kirby (CHER) 

“Some of my favorite places to take wintertime walks are reached by tossing on a pair of snowshoes, which make any snow-covered trail traversable, whether lightly—or heavily—covered,” Westerhaus said. “If you don’t have a pair snowshoes, I recommend visiting Arizona Nordic Center, northwest of Flagstaff about 20-25 minutes. They have snowshoe rentals and an extensive, well-marked system of snowshoe trails.” 

NAU Communications