- 14 miles
- Aerobic Difficulty:
- Time To Allow:
- 2 - 3 hours
- Trailhead Elevation:
- 6905 feet
- April - November
Leaving from downtown Flagstaff, the Observatory Mesa ride is sure to entertain all skill levels of riders. A ride on fire roads, the Observatory Mesa ride gains elevation quickly from town, leveling out at the top of the mesa as it winds through a combination of Ponderosa Forest and open meadow. Eventually the trail reaches the extinct Volcano of A-1 mountain and loops back toward town.
Views along the Observatory Mesa are excellent, with dramatic vistas of the San Francisco Peaks along the way. A handful of side spur loops can be found along the way, though riders should be careful to respect private property and closed gates.
Handful of side spur loops can be added for additional mileage and time
Time To Allow:
More time if side loops are taken
The Observatory Mesa roadway is multi-use area; horseback riders, vehicles and hikers can be encountered along the way. Please be considerate on the trails and understand right of way protocol. In addition though the Observatory Mesa area is not terribly remote, riders should consider bringing extra food, water and clothing as temperatures may shift dramatically and summer thunderstorms are not uncommon.
From downtown Flagstaff, head north on San Francisco Street. Turn left on Aspen Street. Turn right on Toltec Street. Toltec becomes Thorpe. Go straight onto BIA Dorms dirt road. Pass dorms and cross cattle guard onto FS 515.