Internationally renowned for outdoor recreation activities and as the launching point for visits to Grand Canyon National Park, the city of Flagstaff also boasts one of the best community trail systems (known as Flagstaff Urban Trails System) in the state. An integral part of the system is the Sinclair Wash Trail, which crosses the city and connects to many other trails. One of many beautiful recreational trails in the area, this crushed stone rail-trail doubles as a commuter route for people who live on the south side of Flagstaff.
The quintessential Western mountain town, Flagstaff offers a wide variety of activities, including hiking, skiing, camping, rock climbing and rafting. It is also home to the University of Northern Arizona and blends a youthful vibe with the spirit of the Old West.
The trail begins about 3 miles south of town at Fort Tuthill Park, a large park and campground and site of the Coconino County Fairgrounds. From here, the trail flows north through a high pinyon forest. The magnificent, snowcapped Humphreys Peakat 12,633 feet Arizona's highestlooms in the distance.
After the first mile the setting changes from forest to a quiet residential area; many locals hop on the trail here to commute downtown. Once past the neighborhood the corridor becomes wild again. After passing through the neighborhood, you reach Beulah Boulevard. Where Beulah intersects Lake Mary Road, the Ponderosa Trail
heads south. Stay on the Sinclair Wash Trail, which then goes underneath I-40. Just after the underpass, the trail meets the Woodlands Trail
to the left (west).
The Sinclair Wash Trail then skirts the edge of a large shopping center, where you'll find lots of restaurants and shops. Turning east, the trail passes under I-17/Milton Avenue, enters the campus of Northern Arizona University and winds along a forested hillside across the south end of the campus. On campus the trail intersects the south end of the NAU Trail
along McConnell Drive. When it reaches San Francisco Street at the eastern edge of campus, the Sinclair Wash Trail crosses the San Francisco Trail
East of Lone Tree Road, the trail parallels the Rio de Flag through a verdant, limestone-walled canyon. In this section there is an atmosphere of quiet and solitude, even in the middle of Flagstaff. Two small seasonal ponds at the eastern end attract a variety of water birds and other small animals. The trail ends at its intersection with the Arizona Trail
. To continue to downtown Flagstaff, follow a connecting trail that leads off to the right and is part of the Flagstaff Urban Trails System.
There are several steep sections on this trail that may require walking your bike.