Near Flagstaff, the Slate Mountain Trail (#128 / 2.4 mi.) is an old jeep track providing a spiral ascent to the narrow summit. Located 37 miles north of Flagstaff off US 180 at FS191.
Though this trail has a humble beginning at an old roadblock, it quickly reveals itself to be one of the Coconino National Forests premier day hikes. Actually an old jeep track, now used solely as a foot trail, this 2.4 mile climb is a gradual but steady ascent along a wide gravel track to some of the best views on the forest. Interpretive signs along the way add a bit of educational interest by naming trailside species of trees and shrubs.
Near the top of the climb, the path spirals up the mountains narrow summit like a stripe up a barber pole. The effect is as if you were riding past some of the Forests most spectacular scenery on a huge lazy Susan. The San Francisco Peaks, Kendrick Mountain, Red Mountain, the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, you can see them all, just by turning your head, from the top of Slate Mountain.
To reach the mountain biking trailhead from Flagstaff, drive 35 miles north of Flagstaff on US 180 to FR 191. Turn west 2 miles to the trailhead on the right side of the road. US 180 is paved. FR 191 is graveled and suitable for passenger cars in most weather.
Overall, Slate Mountain Trail is the 88th most popular mountain bike trail of all 103 mountain biking rides in Arizona.