One of Flagstaff’s most popular trails, this fun little 4.2-mile trail can be completed as a one-way downhill or uphill with an easy shuttle or as an out-and-back totaling 8.4 miles. This trail follows Schultz Creek, a small stream that is often dry but flows in the spring and after the monsoons.
The trailhead is at the junction of Schultz Pass and Elden Lookout Road. From the parking lot, the path winds past some fun jumps and weaves in and out of the stream channel, intersecting one tricky section of large rocks before the gradient picks up. The trail then gradually climbs through ponderosa forest, aspen, and eventually into a mixed conifer forest. About halfway up, the trail meets with and becomes the Arizona Trail. As you near the top parking area, views of the San Francisco Peaks can be found between openings in the trees. The trail terminates in a parking lot from which several other rides can be linked. The trail is generally packed with both mountain bikers and hikers on weekends so be cautious coming around turns. Look out for jumps; one rather large jump above the rocky section has been known to surprise downhill riders unfamiliar with the trail, although it is easily avoided if you see it in time.
One of the real merits of this trail is the flexibility it provides. The trail can be done one way in either direction, as an out-and-back, or you can simply ride up the gravel road and down the trail. The only hitch is that the upper parking area is 5 miles up the gravel North Schultz Pass Road, which is closed in the winter. This limits your ability to shuttle or do the trail one way when the gate is locked.
This trail can be linked up with the Sunset Trail, the Brookbank Trail, the Rock Ridge Trail, or a number of other trails in the area to form loops of various sizes.