Saturday, September 6, 2014

Kendrick Peak

Kendrick Peak (10,418 ft.) Trail Run via Kendrick Peak Trail 
September 6, 2014

After a lazy Saturday morning, I decided to go run up Kendrick Peak just 30 minutes west of Flagstaff.  Kendrick Peak is the second most prominent peak within the San Francisco Volcanic Field.  The mountain is the product of an extrusion of viscous, volatile-poor lava (rhyolites and dacites) approximately 2 Ma.  For more information on the geology of the region, click HERE.

I started running just after 4 pm.  I planned this late departure because I knew the lighting would be better for photos.  The moderate trail makes its way up the southwest side of the mountain towards the summit and the fire lookout over about 4.3 miles, 3100 ft.  I ran on flatter sections and hiked quickly on steeper sections.  After about 5 minutes of running, a coyote trotted across the trail in front of me without even noticing I was there.  I stopped and watched it trot into the trees, nose to the ground and then it disappeared.  After the quiet moment and thinking about what other wildlife may be around, I continued upward.  I reached the summit in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I spent 20 minutes alone on the summit as I watched small rain storms move across the high desert.  Rays of sunshine would occasionally find their way through the clouds and illuminate the small and forested cinder cones below.  The North Rim of the Grand Canyon was obviously visible and lit up by the southwestern sun.  The views were incredible in all directions.  Northern Arizona is my new home and I'm not upset about it.

After a nice break, I made my way down.  I reached the trailhead after about 45 minutes of continuous downhill jogging just before dark.

Wildflowers along the Kendrick Peak Trail
A nice conical cinder cone with a central crater
Fire lookout tower on the summit of Kendrick Peak 
Looking east towards Humphreys Peak 
Scattered rain storms move across the high desert of Northern Arizona
Dark sky, bright beard
Moon rising over Humphreys Peak to the East