Saturday, August 28, 2021

Moving to AZ and Hiking Fatman’s Loop in Flagstaff…


Our time was up in Gallup NM so we packed up and headed west once again. A rather short drive later we pulled into Take It Easy RV Park in Winslow, AZ. We planned to stay three days and were still in some heavy monsoonal action. As soon as we set up camp I told Sharon we needed to hit the road for a hike in Flagstaff AZ some 55 miles away.


Why the rush? Of the days we would be in Winslow this would be the only day rain wasn’t in the forecast, at least not until late in the day.


An hour later we parked at the trailhead of our destination where the plan was to hike the Fatman's Loop. Rated as a moderate hike, it is very popular in the Flagstaff area. The trail sits on the eastern slope of Mt Elden and is roughly a 2.5-mile loop.


The trail started out well marked as we followed signs for Fatman's Loop. We were gradually climbing all the way to the Elden Lookout trail which was 2 miles further and a whopping 2,000 more feet of elevation gain!


Once we broke off from the spur to Mt. Elden the trail became rockier and quite a bit steeper. We pressed on thinking we had topped out on the trail several times before we actually did. Along the way we were treated to views of much of the eastern suburbs of Flagstaff. We had our eye on the sky as it was raining nearby and it even looked as if a tornado was brewing but it was just low hanging clouds. So we moved a bit quicker going back downhill as we didn’t want to get wet again!


Besides the city views we saw lots of beautiful wild flowers and some pretty cool rock formations. At one point we came upon a pretty narrow gap in the rocks which we had to squeeze through. I am pretty sure this may be why it was called Fatman's trail.


The trail was fantastic as it wound through a forest of white fir, ponderosa pine, cliff rose and one of my favorites, alligator juniper. Alligator juniper is best identified by its bark as it looks just like the skin on the back of an American Alligator.


After the hike I drove Sharon through the town of Flagstaff since she had never been there though I I had. We found some great beverages at the Lumberyard Brewery for a nice finish to the day.


NOTE:  We are currently in Prescott, Arizona until August 29th…