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Red Mountain Trail

Coconino National Forest
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
Red Mountain Trail webpage
Red Mountain Volcano brochure
Red Mountain Trail map

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Coconino County

Red Mountain Trail
Coordinates: 35.5371037, -111.8576872
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Birding in Arizona

About Red Mountain Trail
Red Mountain, located in the Coconino National Forest of northern Arizona, 25 miles northwest of Flagstaff, is a volcanic cinder cone that rises 1,000 feet above the surrounding landscape. It is unusual in having the shape of a “U”, open to the west, and in lacking the symmetrical shape of most cinder cones. In addition, a large natural amphitheater cuts into the cone’s northeast flank. Erosional pillars called “hoodoos” decorate the amphitheater, and many dark mineral crystals erode out of its walls. Studies by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Northern Arizona University scientists suggest that Red Mountain formed in eruptions about 740,000 years ago.

Head northwest from Flagstaff on US-180. This highway snakes through the central part of the San Francisco Volcanic Field on its way toward the Grand Canyon. About 25 miles from Flagstaff (at milepost 247 along the shoulder of the highway), turn left at a large Forest Service sign that announces the Red Mountain Geologic Area. Drive about a quarter mile on the dirt road to a parking space at the trailead. The walk from there to the base of Red Mountain takes about 30 minutes. Carry plenty of drinking water on a hot day (at least 1 liter of water per person). Trees in the natural amphitheater provide some shade.
From Red Mountain Trail webpage