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    Elden Lookout, Sunset, and Heart Loop

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    16.6 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    756 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Elden Lookout, Sunset, and Heart Loop is a hard hike near Flagstaff that leads you up Elden Mountain and near the summit of Little Elden Mountain using three different trails. This mountain is one of the most obvious features of Flagstaff’s sightline and getting on top of it shows you both the city and the surrounding landscape in a beautiful way. This hike is rated as hard, and we don’t recommend it for beginners or children. While there aren’t any significant technical challenges to note, there’s a fair amount of elevation gain required. Expect moderate traffic.

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    Route Description for Elden Lookout, Sunset, and Heart Loop

    The Elden Lookout, Sunset, and Heart Loop is a hard hike that climbs up the eastern side of Elden Mountain, Flagstaff’s defining local peak. It then traverses to Little Elden Mountain before descending, creating a tough but rewarding loop hike. The Elden Lookout, Sunset, and Heart Loop features some interesting geological features, including a staircase of petrified lava. Everywhere you look in Flagstaff, you can find some small (or quite obvious) hints of the area’s volcanic past, including these lava steps.

    From the trailhead, hike straight north towards the base of the mountain. The lower parts of the trail pass through mixed pinon and juniper forest, which gives way to ponderosa pines further up. You actually might run into some cactus, too. You’ll take on your first set of switchbacks, then complete a short northeast traverse before settling back into switchbacks. Push up to the top, where you get an expansive view of Flagstaff to the south.

    Traverse the ridge on Sunset Trail, heading towards Little Elden Mountain. Drop off the ridge to descend off the mountain, then take Old Little Elden Trail to Christmas Tree Trail to return to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Elden Lookout, Sunset, and Heart Loop Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Elden Lookout, Sunset, and Heart Loop is off AZ SR 89.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


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    Elden Lookout, Sunset, and Heart Loop Elevation Graph

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    Elden Lookout, Sunset, and Heart Loop Reviews

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