Route: Round Hump (AZ)

Submitted by MikeyCady on Mon, 05/03/2021 - 01:01pm
Arizona, US
32 mi
Vertical Gain
3,750 ft

Round Hump is a circumnavigation of Mt. Humphreys, the highest point in Arizona and the site of an ancient mega volcanic explosion that cut the mountain down to just over 12,600 ft elevation. The route covers 32 miles with 3750 ft of gain and elevation ranges between 8,000 ft and 9,800 ft. The connection of iconic trails are just high enough on the foothills of the San Francisco peaks to see for miles and miles through windows framed by ponderosa pine and Aspen trees. The Flagstaff allure is widespaning from the legendary Coconino Cowboys and NAU dominance in NCAA D1 track and cross country, and an almost equally impressive MT bike scene. You will most likely cross paths with the local and global hero's that will fade off into the horizon just as fast as they crept up on you, usually holding casual conversation with the tight pack of running machines. 

The start and finish to this route is at Schultz tank, where there is a decent sized parking lot (another parking lot a few hundred feet away at sunrise TH and miles of dispersed camping across the road.) Shultz tank is a watering hole where many a stick were feverishly hunted down by some of the greatest athletes on the planet, our beloved four legged fur babies.  

The course starts out at Schultz tank and goes a few hundred feet down the Schultz pass gravel road and turns left up Waterline road. After about 1.5 miles the road is blocked and turns to double track trail, so its a popular MT biking destination. After 3 miles you pass through a tunnel in a big rock. At 7 miles you reach the inner basin, which is the crater left from the mega volcanic explosion. The trail is well marked with signs pointing in all directions, but you will continue on waterline towards Bearjaw trail. Waterline will take you 12.5 miles up 1,800 ft, a steady 150 ft per mile climb to the highest point on the route at about 9,800 ft. A sign will say Bearjaw and you will turn right down a steep, rocky, technical decent turning into nice single track, dropping 1,200 ft in about 2 miles. Continue down the Bearjaw parking lot onto the dirt road for about a mile. Turn left onto FR 418, a nice gravel road for about 3.5 miles rolling down and up with big views of grass meadows laying neatly under the White Horse hills. At almost exactly half way, you will reach the state spanning Arizona trail. Turn left onto the single track AZ trail and have a winding climb through Aspen trees and grass meadows for about 5.5 miles up 700 ft of gain. Turn left onto the Aspen Nature trail towards Snowbowl, the sign will be there saying so. Turn right onto Humphreys trail for a few hundred feet to the Snowbowl parking lot. Weave through the dense hoards of people trying to get their slice of nature, while you smash the whole pie. Keep to the left side through the first parking lot to the road, cross the road carefully, kitty corner slightly left, jump into the next parking lot. Straight through the parking lot, past the large log barrier, and onto the Kachina trail. The Kachina trail is the most mysterious and oldest forest on MT Humphreys, with the most mythological sightings. For about 6 miles, the Kachina trail is technical, rolling single track through dense forest openning up to large grass meadows with views of Humphreys peak and backwoods Flagstaff. At the end of Kachina trail, turn left at the T, the sign will point you towards Weatherford trail. After about a half mile, you will turn right at the T, onto Weatherford trail. At this point, you have about 2 miles with 900 ft of drop to the finish at Schultz tank on semi-technical large single track trail. So, it's real nice to sprint down the weatherford trail to the finish, real nice.

This is a route where dog and human attached by leash the entire time, with the dog running the entire way, are encouraged. And, in its own category, Dog-Man and Dog-Woman along with male and female. It will be a 50k Mountain Dog Championship. It is my hope that for this FKT, allow a sub-category for the dogs. Let the dogs have their day, and let them train with their humans, and let them become Ultra Dogs! (Admin note:  We don't have a category for dogs, but you can credit your dog in your run report.)


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Frank, Shanna, Bear (dog), and I are attempting this FKT today, May 22nd 2021. I will post verification after.

Great idea for a route!  I'm planning to try it tomorrow.

Michael's GPS track shows a slightly different version through Snowbowl compared to the line currently on the map above (which I think might be partly cross-country and through the new parking lot); I'll be following Michael's path from May 22 which stays on trails.

Looking forward to exploring trails I haven't seen yet around the back of the mountains.