Just north of the Grand Canyon and Mount Logan Wilderness, located at the southern end of the Uinkaret Plateau, Mount Trumbull is a large, basalt-capped mesa rising from about 5,400 feet to 8,028 feet. Steep south and west slopes are dominated by piñon and juniper with cliff rose, manzanita, silktassel, and shrub live oak. You may see groves of aspen and Gambel oak with big sage, agave, and cactus lower down. On top of this plateau is a pristine forest of ponderosa pine that has never felt the logger's saw.
Mule deer, Kaibab squirrels, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, jackrabbits, skunks, porcupines, big brown bats, and other smaller mammals inhabit the area. Wild turkeys, hawks, owls, and other birds are abundant. Close to the ground many lizards, skinks, and snakes slither and scamper, among them the western diamondback rattler.
The Mount Trumbull Trail climbs about five miles round-trip to the summit. The trail fades out as you near the top, so bring a map and compass to reach the northern rim of the mountain where you will see superb views of the region to the north, west and east as far away as 90 miles. Not far from the base of the mountain at Nixon Flat and near the Mt. Trumbull Trailhead, potable water is usually available.
Climate in the Arizona mountains varies greatly with elevation. The higher elevations generally receive much more precipitation and much cooler temperatures than the lower elevations. Summers at the high elevations bring warm daytime temperatures with cool nights. Low elevations often experience very hot summer temperatures. Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the summer. The winter and early spring months bring snow and sometimes cold temperatures to the highest elevations but frequent clear, sunny days. Winter brings moderate temperatures to the low elevations - a great time to recreate in these snow free areas - allowing both winter and summer type activities within very short distances.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Mount Trumbull Wilderness.
The Mt. Trumbull Wilderness is located in a remote corner of northwestern Arizona near the Tuweep Overlook of the Grand Canyon. Visitors pass Mt. Trumbull and the wilderness area on their way to this north rim Grand Canyon overlook. Access is provided from Fredonia, Arizona (take the Tuweep Road 5 miles east of Pipe Springs National Monument)and then driving south for approximately 50 miles on a maintained county road (may be impassable when wet). Alternate but longer access can be obtained by driving south from St. George, Utah to Bundyville, Arizona and then east to Mt. Trumbull, approximately 65 miles. No services or facilities exist outside of the nearby towns (Fredonia or Colorado City, Arizona or St. George, Utah). The Mt. Trumbull Trail provides an approximate 5 mile round trip hike to the top of Mt. Trumbull. Access to this trail is from the trailhead on the south side of Mt. Trumbull.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Mt. Trumbull is in a remote corner of northern Arizona north of the Grand Canyon within the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. Maps and information can be obtained at the St. George Interagency Center, 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah (435-688-3200) or in Kanab at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor's Center.
Mt. Trumbull Wilderness provides excellent opportunities for hiking, day use, photography, birding, wildlife viewing, historic site viewing, and enjoying ponderosa pine-forested areas in a remote, rugged setting. The Mt. Trumbull Trail provides moderate exercise to get to the top of the mountain and outstanding vistas of the surrounding area. The trailhead is located on the south side of Mt. Trumbull. Primitive camping is available in any previously disturbed area, no facilities or campgrounds exist nearby. The Tuweep primitive campground in Grand Canyon National Park is located about 1 hour drive to the southeast.
Climate and Special Equipment Needs
The area is high elevation, 6500 - 8,000 feet asl and is inaccessible during the winter because of snow accumulation. Temperatures are cold in winter and mild during the summer (highs of 80s). The access roads may be impassable during wet weather and in early spring because of the high clay content volcanic soils. High clearance vehicles are recommended, 4-wheel drive is not required. Normally the access roads are well maintained county roads.
Safety and Current Conditions
Be sure to let someone know where you are going because this area is remote with few visitors. Cell phone service is not available. Use of GPS devices without local maps and information may result in inaccurate and misleading access information. Take plenty of water (1 gallon/person/day), food, and two spare tires. Potable water may be available at Nixon Spring on the south side of Mt. Trumbull.
Want to Volunteer for Wilderness?
Citizens who volunteer their time to steward our wilderness areas are an essential part of wilderness management. Contact the following groups to inquire about volunteer opportunities.