Welcome back to another #TalleyYourMiles adventure that Clinton and I were able to log in 2019! Most of our miles were logged during our extended adventures where we usually spent the night camping or exploring multiple areas in a day, but almost equally our miles were logged during day trips to various public lands.
Sometimes when you live in remote areas you don’t always have the variety of options to choose from for healthcare or other such services, which requires you to drive out of town. Sometimes you plan your day when traveling for such services to include a hike or two. Clinton and I always try to find opportunities to #GetOutdoors and a visit to Flagstaff, which is two hours away, is a perfect excuse for hiking. Coconino National Forest hosts beautiful views and amazing hiking trails, one of them Fatman’s Loop Trail. Heading south out of Page on US 89, the trail head is right off the highway with plenty of parking. Another cool touch is the parking lot survey they are conducting as a visitor use study. If you have the time and signal don’t hesitate or feel like they will put you on a “list”. This is a great way for the Forest Service to see how many people visit the trail during which time of year. I answered a few questions about the # of vehicles in the parking lot and the time/date and was done.
We did this hike early in the year so there was snow on the trail. We made sure to pack water and some food just in case we wanted to divert off the other trails that connect to Fatmans Loop, but in the end we ended up just doing the loop trail. While walking the trail take time to see the view. The beautiful eastern suburbs and scenic overlook of Flagstaff combine along this easy walk multiple times. Mt. Elden, which this trail provides access to the Lookout Trail and the summit, is evident along this trail as well with the many rock formations that detail its volcanic origins. Ponderosa pine and white fir are only two of the plant species to name in the many that are part of this diver community of plants. With even a small amount of snow the trees create a nice atmosphere during this lovely walk.
When visiting Flagstaff there is so much that you can do, so we of course recommend taking your time! There are three wonderful National Parks around the area, as well as many opportunities to visit Coconino National Forest. When visiting, even if it’s only for a doctor’s visit, take some extra time to see the outdoor beauty that Flagstaff has to offer!