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Kachina Trail First Snow

Kachina Trail First Snow

"This high country ramble delivers a big mountain experience without any real climbing, bless its woodsy heart. Kachina follows a gently rolling course across the midsection of the San Francisco Peaks. It passes through conifer groves an huddles aspens framed by slanted meadows filled with waist-high bracken ferns. The trail stretches five miles, descending 700 feet from the upper end at 9,500 feet to its terminus in the mouth of Weatherford Canyon. Limber pine and Douglas fir dominate old growth forests at the highest elevations. As the trail drops to the South facing slopes of Agassiz and Fremont peaks, our old friends the ponderosa pines rise up in welcome.

Although popular, the trail seldom feels over-run. Everyone seems to find a comfortable pace and strings out among the trees. As a card-carrying curmudgeon, I tend to steer clear of crowds but have never gotten cranky on Kachina. Clusters of andesite boulders, remnants of an ancient lava flow, are scattered through the timber. Such a peaceful landscape, it’s hard to believe it was born of fire. The river of lava that once scoured these slopes has been embraced by the forest, which seems to bear no grudge. Big boulders are sprinkled with soil, leaves, and debris, and trees grow from their very pores."

Source: Roger Naylor "Boots & Burgers: An Arizona Handbook For Hungry Hikers"