Water Line Trail
Location: Coconino National Forest
Length, One-Way: 14 miles
Trail Type: Out and Back
Minimum Elevation: 8000 feet
Maximum Elevation: 10400 feet
Elevation Change: 2400 feet
Best Season: May to November
The Water Line Trail begins at the heart of Schultz Pass, traverses the northeast slope of the San Francisco Peaks into the Inner Basin and then continues north and northwest to Abineau Canyon. The views include the volcanic fields east of Flagstaff, Sunset Crater, the Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon ninety miles away. This old road (also known as the Watershed Road) runs along the base of a long talus slope topped by Arizona’s highest point, Humphreys Peak. The southern portion of the road borders the Kachina Peaks Wilderness and from the Inner Basin to the Abineau Trail both sides of the road are Wilderness. Remember no mechanized vehicles, including Mountain Bikes, are allowed in Wilderness. There is a chance you may see sign of the shy Black bear here. Elk and mule deer are abundant in this area. Common bird species you may see include: Dark-eyed junco, Stellar Jay and Clark’s nutcracker.
Drive 2 miles northeast of Flagstaff on US Highway 180 to Forest Road 420 (Schultz Pass Road). Turn left (stay on Forest Road 420) at the Forest Road 557 intersection. Continue on Forest Road 420 for 6.5 miles to Forest Road 146. Turn left and follow to the end of the road. Parking here is limited, additional parking is available at Schultz Tank. Equestrians should park at the Sunset Trailhead.
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