My brother, Don, and I climbed Humphreys on a swing through southern
Utah and northern Arizona. Locals told us we were very lucky to
have the balmy 70-degree weather. The previous year they had already had
the season's first major snowfall by this date.
The hike starts at
the Fairfield Snowbowl ski area just north of Flagstaff.
The ski area is an unfortunate scar on the otherwise very
beautiful San Francisco Peaks region. The trail
is a popular one and the well-trampled path is easy to follow
and not terribly steep. It climbs to the saddle between
Humphreys and Agassiz Peak where it emerges above the treeline.
it is a scramble over boulders up the ridge line to the peak.
At the summit is a three-sided windbreak made of stones piled up
by previous visitors.
The spectacular vistas, which included nearby Sunset Crater,
were enhanced by the bright yellow fall foliage of the aspen
trees on the lower flanks of the mountains. The total time for
the hike, including lunch, was about 6-1/2 hours.