Deer Hill Trail No. 99

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

If you are looking for a gentle trail that meanders between semi-dense forest and wide open country then this one is for you. In addition, you will enjoy spectacular views of the San Francisco Peaks worthy of bringing along your camera: especially during the fall season when the aspen trees on the mountain side explode into a glow of brilliant gold.

If you're lucky you may also get a chance to take a snapshot of the abundant wildlife that roam this area. Mule deer and elk are often seen foraging along the trail corridor, especially during the early morning and early evening hours. Also, keep you ears open for Abert squirrels and Steller's jays that often compete to see who can be the loudest, and don't be alarmed to hear the early morning yelps of coyotes as they bid one another good morning.

This trail, which is relatively flat, travels north from Little Elden Springs Horse Camp towards Sunset Crater. It was constructed primarily to accommodate equestrians that visit the campground, but by no means does that restrict hikers and mountain bikers from using the trail. In fact, don't be surprised if you see more hikers and mountain bikers on the trail than horses.


September 30, 2017: Deer Hill Trail re-opened for the first time since the 2010 Schultz Fire! Our deepest thanks to REI, American Conservation Experience, Youth Conservation Corp, and all the fantastic volunteers and sponsors who contributed to repairing the fire and flood damage, and making the trail safe once again for horses, boots, and bikes!

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Best Season: May thru November
Closest Towns: Flagstaff, AZ
Operated By: Flagstaff Ranger District - 928-526-0866

General Information


Location: Just north of Little Elden Springs Horse Camp off of Elden Springs Road (Forest Road 556)

GPS (Map): 35°16'55.6"N 111°34'32.8"W

USGS Map: Sunset Crater West

Access: Drive 5 miles north of Flagstaff to Elden Spring Road (Forest Road 556) and turn left (west). Continue on this road approximately 3.5 miles to the Little Elden Springs trailhead which will be on the right (north) side of the road. Park at this trailhead and follow signs to horse camp (approximately 1 mile). The trail starts at the north end of the horse camp and is well signed.


Click on map image for PRINTABLE view.

Deer Hill Trail Map

General Notes:

Rating: Easy

Hiking time: 2 to 3.5 hours depending on your physical ability(one way)

Trail Etiquette: Please remember that you share the trail with other users and that trail courtesy and safety is your responsibility. Be sure to observe all rules and regulations, stay on designated trail, and minimize your impacts by not trampling vegetation and avoiding muddy areas. Also, hikers and mountain bikers should yield the trail to equestrians, and mountain bikers should yield the trail to hikers.

Notes: This is a non-motorized, multiple-use trail intended for hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use only.

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Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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  Area/Length : 
5 miles

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