Home Sign in with Facebook
or Login with Email


High Country Tour to Bismark Lake

Consensus:    (details)
 4.5 from 2 votes
  Intermediate from 1 vote
Your Opinion:
Rating: -none- change
Rank: #2 in Flagstaff
#22 in Arizona
#427 Overall
Featured Ride near
“Amazing high-elevation scenery, some of AZ's best aspen stands, and quality riding.”
Jason Wilder on Jun 4, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
17.0 Miles 1,853’ Ascent 9,012’ High 4.1% Avg Grade
100% Singletrack -1,854’ Descent 7,665’ Low 11.4% Max Grade
This route uses the Arizona Trail to climb up into the San Francisco Peaks and then roll through high meadows and aspen stands to a small lake. The scenery and riding are first-rate.
Need To Know
This area is popular, especially on weekends, and especially during leaf season (the area around Aspen Corner draws crowds). Be ready to share the trail.

This route is described as an out-and-back, starting from low on Snowbowl Road. For an easier alternative, the trail can be accessed from Aspen Corner, which is higher up Snowbowl Road. This alternative makes for a ride suitable for beginners, trims 4.8 miles off the route (each way), and eliminates most of the difficult climbing (and fun descending).
This ride starts on a recently completed section of the Arizona Trail that doesn't yet appear in most maps or guidebooks. It is inconspicuously marked by trail signs along Snowbowl Road, and parking is unmarked. The first 4.8 miles of the ride ascends nearly continuously on a well-engineered trail that manages to avoid ever being too steep or too rocky. As the trail gets higher it starts to get more difficult, or maybe its just the altitude. Regardless, the forest turns to aspen and mixed conifer, and its downright beautiful.

At 4.8 miles you'll cross the access trail for Aspen Corner. A quick detour to the left here will lead to a picturesque water tank that usually holds water and has great views of the San Francisco Peaks. A right turn leads up (steeply) to the Aspen Corner parking area.

Continuing straight on the Arizona Trail the grade eases considerably and the trail breaks out of the aspen to cross Hart Prairie. Outstanding views in all directions continue for miles as you alternate between meadows and aspen stands. When fall colors are blazing, the scenery is mind-blowing.

At 7.9 miles there is a signed turnoff to Bismark Lake, which is the turnaround for this ride. The lake itself is a bit underwhelming, but there is often wildlife around and the views of Humphreys Peak are great.

With the descent from Aspen Corner to look forward to, the trip back is a pleasure.
View in 3D
GT - Bikes Fury Alloy 2.0 Bike 2013
43% off
at Jenson USA
Easton - EC90 SLX Wheel - Tubular -
50% off
at Competitive Cyclist
Giordana - Trade Italia Scatto Jersey - Men's
30% off
at Competitive Cyclist
Mavic - Vision Arm Warmers 2013
50% off
at Jenson USA
Exposure - Diablo Mk5 Light
30% off
at Backcountry
Continental - Der Baron Mountain Tire
29% off
at Jenson USA
Fi'zi:K - Thar Saddle
20% off
at Competitive Cyclist
Motorex - Racing Fork Oil
30% off
at Competitive Cyclist
GT - Bikes GTR Series 3 Women20s Bike 2013
45% off
at Jenson USA
Vittoria - Diamante Pro-Radiale Tire - Cli...
12% off
at Backcountry
The North Face - Reflex Core Short - Women's
45% off
at Competitive Cyclist
Pivot - Mach 4 Mountain Bike Frame
25% off
at Competitive Cyclist
MTB Project scours dozens of stores to
bring you the best bike deals!
Forecasting the weather...
Recent Conditions
Add a Condition Report | View All »
5.0 (1)
A fabulous loop covering some of Arizona's finest high altitude scenery and s...
near Flagstaff, AZ
4.2 (5)
Awesome views of Walnut Canyon on this moderate out-and-back.
near Flagstaff, AZ
4.2 (5)
A fun loop that climbs gradually through pine forest and sweeps down along Sc...
near Flagstaff, AZ

Your To-Do List: Not on it   Add it! | Your Full List »
Your Check-Ins:
Add a New Check-In | View All »

Share This Page
Improve This Page
Add Photo or Map Symbol
Edit Description or GPS track

PHOTOS of High Country Tour to Bismark Lake
 4.0 from 3 votes
Humphreys Peak from Hart Prairie (Flagstaff, AZ)
 3.7 from 3 votes
MTBProject says no pictures of trail signs, but I say 'Viva La Revolucion!' (Flagstaff, AZ)
 3.3 from 3 votes
Been to Mexico, headin' to Utah (Flagstaff, AZ)
 3.3 from 3 votes
Burly aspen near Aspen Corner (Flagstaff, AZ)
 3.3 from 3 votes
One of many aspen groves. (Flagstaff, AZ)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Jeff Cruizing the AZ trail (Flagstaff, AZ)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Riding through the aspen (Flagstaff, AZ)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Big views, and lots of them. (Flagstaff, AZ)
 2.0 from 3 votes
Fun log obstacle. A bit bigger than the picture portrays. (Flagstaff, AZ)
 2.0 from 3 votes
More smooth singletrack than the terrain warrants. (Flagstaff, AZ)
© 2014 Adventure Projects, LLC | Terms | Privacy