. Flagstaff Biking Organization » Flagstaff Loop Trail

Flagstaff Loop Trail


Links to Loop Trail information, maps, and planning:

Construction of the Loop Trail is underway! Be a part of this legacy trail!

United States Forest Service - Coconino logo Coconino County Parks & Recreation logo

After what seems like years of waiting (because it was), the Forest Service has gotten NEPA compliance approval on its Loop Trail alignments August 29th, 2008. Construction began in the fall of 2008 on this epic 42 mile trail circumnavigating Flagstaff, hopefully to be completed within the next several years, depending on the success of recruiting and coordinating mostly voluntary trail crews.

Old timers in Flagstaff may remember FBO’s founder, Geoff Cross, and his earliest efforts for this project back to 2003. The Loop Trail MapWork on the Loop trail now shifts from the paper pushing phase to the dirt pushing phase for Flagstaff Biking Organization and their fellow founding partners and interested parties, including the Coconino National Forest, Coconino County, and the City of Flagstaff.  If you want to join this group, please contact the Loop Trail coordinator.

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2013 Goals: May the Circle be Unbroken

Our push for trail building this  season is to close the circuit of the Loop Trail. With luck, the help of many volunteers including you and yours, and the use of some interim routes, we want to be able to connect the existing trails sufficiently that “Ring around the Flagstaff” can be sung from Schultz Creek trail head, to Fatman’s Loop, Campbell Mesa, Skunk Canyon, Ft Tuthill, to Observatory Mesa and back to Schultz. While not outside the bounds of possibility, this will take a lot of committed work from our volunteers and our partners with the City, County and Forest Service. It won’t necessarily be easy, but it will be fun!

We will be building a section this year under I-40 to connect Campbell Mesa and the Arizona Trail Bypass sections thanks to funding from Supervisor Matt Ryan and the Friends of Coconino County Parks who have funded an ADOT required fence at this underpass!

We should also be completing the entire connection between JWP Boulevard and Campbell Mesa. This is a LONG continuous piece!

Sustainable Trail:

The goal of the Loop Trail partners: FBO, Forest Service, County and City; is to build high-quality sustainable trail. What does that mean? We follow the standards set out by I.M.B.A. (International Mountain Bicycling Assoc.) that include features that protect a trail long-term. It is designed to prevent erosion even while reducing the need for maintenance; it can even protect it’s users by managing blind spots. A good trail sheds water before it can erode the trail, its steepness suites the stability of the terrain, it incorporates the various needs of different users, and best of all, takes the user on a interesting journey through terrain.

This means trail is preferentially built on side-slopes rather than creek/wash bottoms, it is not excessively steep, never running straight up and down a slope, and is designed to drain, not collect, flowing water through undulation more than the use of large intrusive water-bars. Many trails in Flagstaff began as social trails or old road-beds with none of these features… and we can see the results… trails that become deeply rutted, rocky and not-so-much fun. Worse, they cause erosion and hurt the environment the users come to enjoy. A good trail can integrate with the environment and provide long-term enjoyment without requiring chronic maintenance.

2013 Trail Dates

  • May 11th, Flagstaff Loop Trail, Segments 26-28, near 301D Road/Campbell Mesa
  • June 29th Flagstaff Loop Trail, Segment 20, I-40 Underpass near Campbell Mesa
  • July 27th, Flagstaff Loop Trail, Segments 26-28, near 301D Road/Campbell Mesa

Trail building is fun, you meet great folks who share your love of Flagstaff Trails, and you become part of the legacy of the Loop Trail in this great town.

Please come with sturdy shoes, long pants, water, sunscreen, and a hat or bike helmet; and gloves if you have some. Dress in layers, with rain gear during monsoons– weather is change-some. We provide hard-hats, tools and equipment, guidance and training. Kids under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.


May 11th, Flagstaff Loop Trail, Segments 26-28, near 301D Road/Campbell Mesa

Please click HERE to see what you’ll need to bring and other important information.

Click for details on this event.

For more information on this trail day event, contact: looptrail@flagstaffbiking.org


June 29th, Flagstaff Loop Trail, Segment 20, I-40 Underpass near Campbell Mesa

Please click HERE to see what you’ll need to bring and other important information.

Click for details on this event.

For more information on this trail day event, contact: looptrail@flagstaffbiking.org



July 27th, Flagstaff Loop Trail, Segments 26-28, near 301D Road/Campbell Mesa

Please click HERE to see what you’ll need to bring and other important information.

Click for details on this event.

For more information on this trail day event, contact: looptrail@flagstaffbiking.org


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Status of the 42 mile Flagstaff Loop Trail:

The proposed non-motorized 42-mile Flagstaff Loop Trail will include many existing trails, including portions of the Arizona Trail, some social trails, and some 2-track road converted to trail. The trail will be varied in character, from easy to more difficult trails. Currently the trail is disconnected and there are about 20 miles completed. Of the 21+ miles to be completed, FBO and our volunteers will be responsible for about 13 of those miles, as well as for posting signs on the length of the trail. We encourage ALL user groups: hikers, cyclists, dog-walkers and horseback riders to get involved with this effort to build a trail all of Flagstaff will enjoy for years to come.

  • The Flagstaff Loop Trail will have 30 miles of singletrack (72%). Currrently, almost 18 of those miles exist, but 11 miles are yet to be built. Many of those miles will be constructed by volunteers (that’s you!) with coordination by FBO and our partners in the Forest Service, County and City.
  • Of those 17 existing miles of singletrack, some will require some first aid to be first class trail.
  • Over 7 miles of the trail will be unpaved FUTS, 4.5 miles which are yet to be constructed by the city.
  • About 4 miles of the trail will be paved FUTS, 3.6 miles which are yet to be constructed by the city.
  • There is about a half mile of paved connector road included in the trail.
    Work ahead on Forest Service land:
  • Approximately 9.3 miles of new trail construction, and designating social trails into the Loop Trail system.
  • Adding Loop Trail designation to existing system trails and performing deferred maintenance on approximately 11.5 miles.
  • Conversion of approximately 2.7 miles of existing system and non-system roads to non-motorized trails as part of the Loop Trail System.
  • Go to the Coconino Forest Service Loop Decision
  • Go to the Coconino Forest Service Loop trail Proposed Action
  • See AZ Daily Sun stories of Sept 11th. To read the USFS Decision and other USFS Loop trail documents, go Here.

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    The Overall Goal and Description of the Flagstaff Loop Trail

    The goal of the Loop Trail is to provide an exceptional multiuse, non-motorized recreational experience close to the urban fringe. The trail will offer improved connectivity within our community while providing a safe and inviting transportation alternative.

    What – When completed the 42 mile trail will circumnavigate Flagstaff, providing access from all areas of the city. The concept is that of an outer wheel surrounding Flagstaff, with the linking trails acting as spokes entering the city (the Flagstaff Urban Trail System). The wheel will then link to the communities outside the city limits and to the network of Forest Service trails. The Loop Trail will utilize a variety of Forest Service trails, abandoned roads, the Flagstaff Urban Trail System, State Land department trail easements and the Arizona Trail.

    The Loop Trail is divided into 8 passages which are based on geographical areas and opportunities. A passage will have a main trailhead and will be not be more than 15 miles in length, making it possible to complete a passage on foot in one day. Smaller segments are based on land management areas, existing trails and roads.

    Who – This project is being coordinated by the Flagstaff Biking Organization-a local non-profit group. Flagstaff Biking has been working with a committee that includes: Coconino National Forest Service, City of Flagstaff, Coconino County Parks and Recreation and many wonderful volunteers from the Flagstaff community.

    Why – The FLT Project represents a unique opportunity to plan and create a remarkable corridor close to Flagstaff’s boundaries. The project is focused on respecting our forest environments by proactively managing recreation of high-volume urban interface areas to minimize negative impacts. This will preserve a green corridor surrounding the community before development overruns its boundaries.

    Where are we now? – NEPA (National Environmental Protection Agency) compliance work was completed in August 2008; $36,000 was dispersed to complete the work required before the remaining Forest Service trail sections can be built. Our partners with the county are working toward acquiring trail easements on State Trust Land and we are also working on creating agreements for the sections located on City of Flagstaff property. Construction in the fall of 2008 included two work days that created about a half mile of new trail, converted another quarter mile from double track, and obliterated and restored about a quarter mile of old rutted trail.

    More Information – Here’s a link to a Loop Trail Map. (pdf, ~4.6 Mb) which will show you map boundaries, completed sections and the links from the Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS).

    Get Involved! – We will need all the help we can get to work on signing, obliteration of old trails, and the building and upgrading of the Flagstaff Loop Trail for 2013. Contact the Loop Trail Coordinator.

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