Mars Hill Trail
The Mars Hill Trail is a hike that’s very easy to get to in the city, making it a go-to for Flagstaff locals when they want to spend some time in nature. This wide, relaxing trail takes you through a lovely forest to a viewpoint over the city. As it’s a very serene route and the navigation is a breeze, the Mars Hill Trail is definitely an awesome choice for families, with kids of all ages being able to finish the hike.
Mars Hill Trail has lots of shade on it, so a summer hike on a hot day is great as you won’t overheat. In the wintertime, you might need to watch for ice on the trail. If this route isn’t quite enough, there are trails on the mesa you can use to extend your adventure.
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Route Description for Mars Hill Trail
The Mars Hill Trail is a relaxing route in every sense of the word. This hike leads you through a pine forest, and the dappled light and the sound of the wind in the trees is enough to help anyone disconnect from the day to day. The viewpoints aren’t as huge as other hikes nearby, but the serene nature of the trail is definitely worth making the stop by.
This hike is great for families. Kids of all ages can enjoy the gentle elevation gain and pretty scenery, and any birds or animals you can spot will be fun for the whole family. It’s easy to navigate, so no stress when it comes to route-finding. If you prefer to have a GPS track on, you certainly can, but you won’t need one.
Although the Mars Hill Trail is fairly quick and easy, you can make use of the trails atop the mesa to DIY a longer adventure. You can connect with Karen Cooper Trail (Rio North Trail), pick up the Tunnel Springs Trail, or just enjoy this route as is.
We love this hike on hot summer days because of the abundant shade on the route. On the flip side, take care if you are hiking in colder months, as there can be ice on the trail.
Keep an eye out for mountain bikes on this route. While it’s mostly foot traffic, you might run into a bike or two. Share the trail with one another.
From the trailhead, cross N Thorpe Road and pick up the Mars Hill Trail, where you will head into the forest. There’s a bit of elevation gain required in this first part of the hike, but it’s not very aggressive. You’ll be heading up a cleft in the side of the mesa.
Once you’re almost atop the mesa, the route evens out for a moment before one more quick jaunt up a small hill that gets you properly on top of the mesa. Watch for a left turn here that keeps you on Mars Hill Trail where another route continues straight on.
You’ll almost immediately take a right, then at the next fork, stay right. You’ll be hiking on Mars Hill Trail now. Stroll through the forest on the wide, well-maintained path. You’ll be taking a left and then hiking straight through the forest.
The route ends at a 5-way junction. From here, you can take some time to wander about the top of the mesa if you want a longer hike. If you’re ready to turn back, retrace your steps to the trailhead.
Hiking Route Highlights
Coconino National Forest
The Coconino National Forest is a 1,856-million acre national forest that stretches through northern Arizona near Flagstaff. “Coconino” is a Hopi word for Havasupai and Yavapai Indians. The Mars Hill Trail dips into the forest, which is known for its plentiful conifers and evergreens, particularly its ponderosa pine. This trail also covers one of the key landscape features of the forest, mesas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Mars Hill Trail good for kids?
Yes, Mars Hill Trail is great for kids thanks to its easy nature.
Are dogs allowed on Mars Hill Trail?
Dogs are allowed on Mars Hill Trail as long as they’re kept on leash.
Insider Hints for Mars Hill Trail
- If you’re in the area, the Lowell Observatory isn’t far from this trail.
Getting to the Mars Hill Trail Trailhead
The trailhead for the Mars Hill Trail is off N Thorpe Road.
Mars Hill Trail Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Mars Hill Trail Reviews
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