San Francisco Peaks Scenic Loop Drive
Whatever brings you to Flagstaff, Arizona, if you have 2-3 hours to spare, you will thoroughly enjoy the landscape beauty during this 44 mile loop around the San Francisco Peaks. Located in the Peaks District of the Coconino Forest, this scenic drive takes you all the way around Arizona's highest mountain.
So, pack a picnic lunch for your group and get ready for some outstanding views as you wind through pine forests, aspen groves, open prairies and some rustic homesteads..Anytime is a great time to experience this drive in Northern Arizona's cool and refreshing high country. However, the roads are closed during most of the winter months from late November to early March. During the heavy snowfall season, you might consider snowmobiling the loop.
During the spring months, colorful wildflowers co-mingle the lush vegetation and follow the retreating snow up the mountain sides. The brilliantly colored meadows will continue to decorate the views as the summer period comes to a close. The drive during autumn is particularly outstanding as the aspens deliver the visual feast of the golden colors of fall. Don't forget the camera to embed the memories. You will likely see some unusual birds and wildlife roams the area including Arizona Elk.
During the 44 mile loop, there are several places along the route where you can stop to enjoy the scenery during a leisurely picnic lunch. Be sure to take a blanket to spread for relaxing comfort and perhaps a mid-day short nap in beautiful weather. If you are a biker, take your bike and enhance your pleasure with a short bike ride or hike into the landscape. If you have the time and are into roughing it a bit, there are places to set up a primitive camp.
Getting There. From Flagstaff Az, drive northeast 14 miles on US 89 to Forest Road 418. Turn west 12 miles to Forest Road 151. Then go south 8 miles to US 180. It's 9.5 miles back to Flagstaff. Total loop drive is about 44 miles. Depending upon length of stops, the trip takes 2 to 3 hours or longer.
The Season. April through November.
Road Conditions. Highways 89 and 180 are paved roads. Forest Roads 418 and 151 are gravelled but suitable for passenger cars in good weather. They are impassable for most of the winter months due to snow.
For More Information
Nearest Lodging & Accommodations
Around The Peaks Loop Map