10 Easy Hikes in Flagstaff With Kids
Flagstaff is packed full of great hikes for kids! We’ve listed a few in other Flagstaff themed blog posts, and recently took another weekend trip north to hike and explore. We found some new favorite trails as well! Read more on each trail and bookmark one to try on your next trip.
Picture Canyon Trailhead – this is a gem in Flagstaff, with multiple hike options. The preserve is 478 acres total and is a riparian habitat for birds and wildlife. The Don Weaver trail is 0.7 and the main loop which will take you to the canyon for gorgeous views. The Tom Moody loop is 2.8 miles and a wider loop on the preserve. This area also connects with the Arizona Trail. We loved this area so much! Port-a-potties are located at the small parking lot.
Fort Tuthill County Park – located just a few miles south of Flagstaff, this place has hiking trails, a bike park, an extreme ninja course, an archery course, and more! Learn more about the hiking trails here. Soldiers Trails is about 5 miles and loops around the perimeter of the park. Bridge Trail is shorter, at a mile, at more of a nature spot, great for little ones. This is a fabulous place to bring a picnic and spend the day! It’s also the winter location of the North Pole Experience and Snow Park. Restrooms are in various places around the park, admission is free but some activities (like the extreme course) cost.
Nate Avery Trail – located at the popular Buffalo Park, this 2 mile loop trail on open prairie like ground is good for walking and biking. At one point (to the west), the trail dips but it’s mostly flat. The views of Flagstaff and the San Francisco Peaks are beautiful! We’ve enjoyed bike riding here – and seen many tarantulas (don’t worry, they are just as scared of you). Switzer Trail and, again, the Arizona Trail, intersect with Nate Avery if you feel the desire to walk more. There are no restrooms at this huge parking lot.
Hiking Trails in Flagstaff
Sawmill Nature County Park – this little but fun park has a playground, short nature trails, and easily accesses a beautiful portion of the Arizona Trail for further exploring. We like to pick up coffee and snacks before visiting this place and relax while the kiddos play, then walk the trails. Restrooms are by the environmental center.
Frances Short Pond – we love this place! The pond is abundant with wildlife, fish and birds (a permit is required to fish), and there’s a walking loop that also intersects with other paths around Flagstaff. We’ve biked and walked these paths many times, such a peaceful area just outside the downtown area. It’s a short walk from Thorpe Park, which we also love. There are no restrooms, with parking by the lake.
Fatman’s Loop Trail – aside from the Nate Avery Trail, Fatman’s Loop is one of the most popular trails in Flagstaff. It will be packed on the weekends! The 2.4 mile trail is mostly an easy walk, with a handful of steep sections, and offers a stellar view of the town. If you feel adventuresome, continue on the Eden Lookout Trail and 2,000 feet to the top of Mt. Eden. There are no restrooms. The parking lot can be difficult to see from Rt. 66/Hwy 89, especially heading north; it’s just past the Flagstaff Mall on the northwest side of the street.
Hart’s Prairie – this nature conservation area is a mixture of prairie and aspen trees, so gorgeous in the fall. We explored here during our Fall 2017 visit and fell in love. But it’s a beautiful place to drive and explore any time of the year, minus winter. There are no restrooms, and several places to pull over and wander with no specific trails.
Aspen Loop Trail – this trail is near the Arizona Snowbowl, and a great hike for kids almost year round! There are fall colors in October, and wildflowers in April or May on this 2.5 mile loop trail they wanders around trees and open grassland, with awesome Mountain View’s. If open, try a ride on the ski lift after your hike; you can read about our experience here. No restrooms, parking is free (use lot Number 9, trailhead is at the north end).
Campbell Mesa Loop Trails – this trail system has something for everyone, with no bad views on any trail. Sinagua Loop is about a mile, Continental Loop is 1.8 miles, and Campbell Mesa Loop is the longest at 5.7 miles. All intersect with each other, so it’s easy to make your way back early if needed. There are so many bird sightings here so bring your binoculars! No restrooms, free parking.
Kendrick Park Watchable Wildlife Trail – great for toddlers, this is more of a nature trail, and is partially paved as well. Restrooms are available with free parking.
For a map and list of the Flagstaff urban trails, click here.