Sinclair Wash Trail


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Sinclair Wash Trail Facts

States: Arizona
Counties: Coconino
Length: 5.7 miles
Trail end points: Arizona Trail near US 40 and Fort Tuthill County Park
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015207
Trail activities: Bike, Wheelchair Accessible, Mountain Biking, Walking

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Sinclair Wash Trail Description

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 Peak—at 12,633 feet Arizona's highest—looms 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.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the southern trailhead, take the Fairgrounds Road Exit from I-17 and go west. Take an immediate right onto Highway 89A. After just under 0.2 mile turn left into Fort Tuthill Park and park in the lot. The trailhead is in the wooded area near the track.

To reach the northern trailhead (McConnell Drive trailhead), take the South Milton Road North Exit from the I-17 and I-40 interchange. Take an immediate left onto McConnell Drive. Go 0.2 mile, cross South Beulah Boulevard and reach the shopping area parking lot, where you will find the trail in the northeast corner.

Sinclair Wash Trail Reviews

It's a decent trail to escape to escape the Arizona heat. Even in the middle of July still a cool ride through the shade of the Flagstaff Pine trees. It does a great job of linking up to the NAU trail which is worth a look (interesting buildings architecturally), the Arizona Trail and the Route 66 trail but doesn't really link to Mars Hill trail very nicely, a roughly one mile elbow ticker of a ride down the skinny shoulder of RT 66 involved in the effort.

Dirt trail but suitable for recumbent trike.

Fort Tuthill Trail rates one star for Tri-Cycles.
Started this Trail uphill from the North end, parking in the Shopping Center. After crossing University Drive the trail has some steep grades where one couple turned around rather than come back up the hill. I was able to slowly get down the hill, on my tri-cruiser, with out sliding off the trail, I would not do it again. The gravel is loose. Two more slopes as you go south. After crossing Nf- 532 the trail is back on the RR Grade to its end at N35.14300 W111.69191, with Parking.
On returning A lady rider stopped and pushed me up one Hill that the rear wheel could not get enough traction. Then she showed me the overgrown RR Grade that avoided the remaining two Hills, Thank You! The Trail Map on traillink does not follow 0.36 mile of the RR Grade. I still had a problem getting my Trike over the Boulders at the exit. A busy trail this Monday 9-11:30 am. Noel Keller 1 Sep 09

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