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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. From there 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.