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San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road

  • Hiking Red Mountain extinct volcano near Flagstaff AZ
  • Golden aspen trees on highway 180 near Flagstaff
  • San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff


  • Highway 180 boasts spectacular mountain and forest scenery on the way to Grand Canyon National Park.
  • The road passes the San Francisco Peaks, through stands of tall aspens and across wide meadows with amazing views.

San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road


The San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road is a 31-mile section of Highway 180 beginning near Flagstaff. The route gives visitors an up close view of the San Francisco Peaks, Arizona's highest mountains (Humphreys Peak is 12,633 feet) and the location of Snowbowl Ski Area. In summer and early fall, detour to the ski area for a panoramic view from the ski lift where you can see all the way to Grand Canyon. Continuing, the road winds through stands of tall ponderosa pine trees, fir and quaking aspens that turn golden in autumn. 
A few miles from the Snowbowl turn off near mile marker 230, another detour leads to Lava River Cave, a 700,000 year old lava tube formed when lava erupted from a nearby volcano. The lava cooled near the top and bottom but left a flow of molten lava that carved out the cave. The scenic road soon opens up to a wide meadow at Hart Prairie, a 245 acre nature preserve with a wide array of wildlife and colorful summer wildflowers. As the road begins to descend from the tall pines to pinon and juniper, watch for Red Mountain, the remnant of an ancient volcano. A short hike leads up to this rust colored peak where visitors can explore the interior of the volcanic remnant.
From Red Mountain, you can return to Flagstaff by retracing your route or continue on to the junction with Highway 64 that leads to Grand Canyon.

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Call 928-527-3600
Come visit us! Highway 180, Flagstaff, AZ - 86001,US

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