7 top-rated trails to help you clear your head and get some fresh air

You’ve been working hard this semester — it’s time to reward yourself and take a break from your studies, get some perspective and enjoy the Flagstaff environment. There are a number of hikes for all levels of ability right around our little mountain town to help you refresh and recharge over the weekend!

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Find your map of the Flagstaff Urban Trails System here

Buffalo Park Loop

  • Length: 2 miles (if you’re feeling adventurous add another loop)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Dog friendly 🐶 ✔

From a leisurely walk with your pup to a conditioning run, Buffalo Park has something for everyone. Take a lap or two and customize your trek at Buffalo park to make the most of your time here. Bonus: the park has PERFECT picturesque views of the peak all year round!

Cedar Trail:

  • Length: 1.4 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Dog friendly 🐶✔

Located just north of Flagstaff Medical center, this hike is hidden amongst the pines. Get ready to gain some elevation as the last leg of the trail has a 10% grade that will be sure to get your blood pumping! It’s common to spot deer and other wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled and grab your camera.

Fatman’s Loop:

  • Length: 2.4 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Dog friendly 🐶✔

Named for the gaps between large boulders found along this trail, Fat Man’s Loop winds through some diverse landscape — you can see 5 different tree types on this hike! With views of Doney Park and Mt. Eldon, you can’t go wrong bringing some friends along for this trail, you’ll be glad you did.

Mars Hill Trail:

  • Length: 1.9 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
  • Dog friendly 🐶✔

Start in Thorpe park just northwest from campus and find yourself on Mars Hill with a gain of over 500 feet in elevation. Wind your way through ponderosa pines and enjoy their cool shade. Bonus: since you’re already in the neighborhood, a pit stop at Lowell Observatory is always a good idea!

Mt. Elden Lookout Trail:

  • Length: 4.7 miles
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Dog friendly 🐶✔

The most magnificent views come after the hardest climbs right? The Mt. Eldon Lookout trail will take a while to get to the top, but the view will be better than you could ever imagine. You’ll need to get over to the East side of Flagstaff by the Mall to get your way to the trailhead and park on the North side of Santa Fe Ave. Be sure to add this hike to your Flagstaff Bucket-List!

The NAU Trail:

  • Length: 1.1 miles
  • Difficult: Moderate
  • Dog friendly 🐶✔

Winding its way through campus, this trail is often used by students for early afternoon runs and weekend adventures. Easy grades and beautiful views through the pines help make this trail one of a kind. The best part is you can go walk these trails right after your classes are done!

Ponderosa Trail:

  • Length: 2.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Dog friendly 🐶✔

Not in the mood for hiking on dirt? Keep your new kicks clean with the Ponderosa trail. Enjoy the serenity of south flagstaff along Lake Mary Road and Beulah Blvd with this hike. Wide meadows and grass fields connect this trail to quiet neighborhoods and family parks. Take a leisurely stroll or get your morning run in with this peaceful trail!

No matter where your hikes take you, be sure to bring your water and pack out your trash — lets help keep our hiking spots clean and enjoyable year-round! Happy Trails, Jacks!

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