Passage 34 of the Arizona Trail runs through 36 miles of stunning high country territory beginning in the cool pine forests around Schultz Tank and ending on the arid scrublands near Cedar Tank Ranch. With numerous easy-access trailheads, it’s a cinch to hike this passage in a series of short day hikes like the one we did last Saturday. Beginning at the Schultz Tank/Weatherord trailhead, our objective was to do a 7-to-10-mile, out-and-back trek.About 50 yards up the Weatherford trail a nice wood sign marks where the AZT heads left and also states that it crosses the Moto Trail at 3.5 miles. Given that the sky was churning with ominous storm clouds, this sounded like a do-able turnaround point. As it turns out, there’s no sign at the Moto junction (although some graffiti points the way to Snowbowl and So. Flagstaff).Because the trail is so flat and easy (and the rain clouds were dissipating), we decided to continue hiking. It’s at about this point where the mountain bike traffic really picks up.That’s because the Moto trail connects with the Fort Valley Trails System—another favorite of bikers.And its easy to see why–the relatively new trail is smooth, free of rocks and full of long hairpin turns gliding through fern gullies, fields of lava boulders and coniferous forests.The route crosses several dirt service roads and various off-the-maps mountain bike trails (a biker who stopped to chat identified one as the “Dog Food” trail) as it gradually climbs up to the aspens along Snowbowl Road.
LENGTH: (all one-way from Schultz Tank)
to Moto Trail junction: 3.5 miles
to Kachina trailhead: 7.6 miles
to Snowbowl Road: 7.8 miles
to Moto: 8020′-8800′
to Kachina: 8020′-9321′
to Snowbowl Road: 8020′ – 9310′
KID FRIENDLY: yes
BEST SEASON: May thru October
DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 155 miles
Schultz Tank Trailhead:
From Flagstaff, travel north on US180 (Fort Valley Road) to milepost 218.6 and turn right on Schultz Pass Road (FR420).Follow FR420 0.7 mile to a fork, veer left to stay on FR420 and continue 4.8 miles to the Schultz Tank/Weatherford trailhead on the right.
Snowbowl Road /Humphreys Trailhead:
From Flagstaff, travel north on US180 (Fort Valley Road) to milepost 223, turn right onto Snowbowl Road and continue 4.2 miles to the trailhead on the left.
Bio: Serial blogger, manic hiker and “mom” to a dozen adopted dogs, Mare Czinar has been exploring Arizona trails for more than 20 years. After being led astray (or just plain confused) by outdated hiking books and online resources (hence the tagline: We got lost, so you don’t have to), Czinar sought to create a fully vetted, frequently updated online hike travelogue with current driving and hiking directions to spare fellow hikers the mental and physical wear-and-tear of aimless wandering.
In addition, blog entries are amended when road closures or wildfires restrict trail access. When not working, blogging, writing about the great outdoors or picking up dog poo, Czinar attempts to “stay found” while checking out new trails.