Last Friday I hiked the Heart Trail.
Turned out to be the hottest day we’ve had since last summer! I decided to try out my new Mountain Hardwear hiking pants, but I brought shorts to change into just in case I felt like my legs needed to be free. I’m a bit of an anti-long pants person.
I didn’t take any pictures so I’m just using a few I found online to give you an idea of what the Trail involved.
To access the trail you need to start at the Sandy Seep trailhead and cross over a section of the Arizona Trail, then you start on the Heart Trail that ends at Sunset Trail. (Sunset Trail is one of my favorite hikes.)
The trail leads you through a burn area and literally has no shade. The sun soaked right through my SPF 50 sunscreen lotion. The trail is rated difficult and between wearing pants and the heat beating down on me, I’d agree. The last mile of steep rocky switchbacks was enough to convince me.
The great thing about hiking in Flagstaff is, once you’ve conquered Mt. Elden, which gains about 3,000 feet in 3 miles, every other hike compared to that isn’t too bad.
Regardless I was thrilled to reach the end of the trail and was greeted above the ridge with fantastic shade and views.
I was looking forward to hiking back down in my cool comfortable shorts… that idea was short lived as it turns out my shorts never made it into my backpack!! The good news is my legs were the only part of me not sunburned!
Seems I always learn something new every hike! Here are a few lessons learned:
- Double Check your backpack before hitting the trail!
- Drink lots of water on hot hikes even if you don’t feel like it.
- Pack a hammock so you can take a nap in the shade.
- Melted chocolate is still chocolate… but what a mess!
Flagstaff is full of all sort of surprises. One of which is the weather. Friday I was burning in the sun and today it snowed!! Gotta love a city that can have all four seasons in the same day!