Bismarck Lake to Snowbowl Road Hike in Flagstaff

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More mucky swale than lake, Bismarck Lake is a volcanic crater at the base of the San Francisco Peaks that fills with water during snowmelt season. For a longer trek, connect with the Arizona Trail.

Getting There: 

  • Bismarck Lake Trailhead:

From Flagstaff, go north on U.S. 180, pass milepost 225 and turn right onto Forest Road 151 (south entrance to Hart Prairie Road). Go 6.4 miles on FR 151 to FR 627 (signed for Bismarck Lake), turn right and continue 0.6 miles to the trailhead. FRs 151 and 627 are maintained dirt passable by sedan.

  • Snowbowl Road Trailhead:

From Flagstaff, go north on U.S. 180 to milepost 223 and turn right onto Snowbowl Road (FR 516). Continue 6.5 miles uphill on FR 516 to the Aspen Corner parking area. To find the trail from here, hike into the woods following a dirt road beginning at the fence opening on the west (left) side of Snowbowl Road for about 0.2 mile to the AZT intersection, located just before where the road enters an open meadow. At the intersection, take a right (north) and follow the signs. Roads are 100 percent paved.

Length: 8 miles round trip

Rating: moderate

Kid Friendly: NO

Pet Friendly: NO

Elevation: 8,800-9,300 feet

Best Season: May-October


Photo credit Mare Czinar/PHOENIX


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