As a result of burn scars from the 2022 Pipeline fire and resulting flooding, the city needed to use this area to create three retention basins to slow the flood waters into the Rio de Flag and capture debris coming down the mountain. This will greatly reduce damage to neighborhoods from the Schultz Creek area all the way to downtown Flagstaff. Once the work on these retention basins is complete, rebuilding access to the trails will commence.
The Schultz Creek Natural Area is a 20-acre parcel of land located next to the privately held "Y" parking area. The property has a rich historical past and was the location of the City of Flagstaff's first water reservoir.
The reservoir was evidence of an 1898 City of Flagstaff and Santa Fe Pacific Railroad contract agreement to construct the first water collection facility and distribution system. The Schultz Creek Natural Area provides access to Schultz Creek Trail and the Rocky Ridge Trail.
Schultz Creek Natural Area History
- 1857 to 1883: The Historic Beale Wagon Road, an established trading route spanning from Arkansas to California, passed through this location
- 1898: City of Flagstaff's first water reservoir was built on the property
- 1925 to 1970's: Home to the Flagstaff Country Club, clubhouse and nine-hole course for over fifty years.
- 1982: Avery's Kowboy Kountry Club, a popular restaurant and nightclub located nearby, was destroyed in a fire
- 2014 to 2017: The property was annexed from the County to the City, a historic overlay ordinance was passed, and the parcel was rezoned from Rural Residential to Public Open Space
Schultz Creek Natural Area is a non-motorized area. Currently, the privately held "Y" parking area, located at the intersection of Schultz Pass Road and West Mount Elden Lookout Road, which was used as informal access point to the property, is closed. The official access point for the area is the National Forest's Schultz Pass Trailhead.
Schultz Pass Trailhead
From downtown Flagstaff, travel north on North Humphreys Street then turn left on West Columbus Avenue. Continue onto U.S. -180 West / North Fort Valley Road for 2.6 miles. Turn right on North Schultz Pass Road and drive for 0.5 miles, veering left at the Y, travel another 0.5 miles mile to a gate and cattle guard. Turn right at the trailhead down over the hill toward Schultz Creek and park.
Taking the Bus
Start at the Mountain Line Downtown Connection Center and take the orange line to the Fort Valley / Valley Crest bus stop near the Museum of Northern Arizona.
From the Fort Valley / Valley Crest bus stop, follow the paved FUTS Trail northwest and turn right on to North Schultz Pass Road. Follow the North Schultz Pass Road until arriving at the Schultz Creek Natural Area, east of the junction of Schultz Pass Road and East Mount Elden Lookout Road, and east of the privately held "Y".
More Mountain Line routes and times can be found online.
Hunting, collecting, camping, new trail development, and motorized vehicles are all prohibited.
|Trail name||Distance||Important Information|
|Schultz Creek Trail||8 miles||Heavily trafficked, out and back trail located near the San Francisco Peaks. Used by mountain bikers.|
|Rocky Ridge Trail||5.6 miles||Out and back trail with some elevation gain, good for wildlife watching.|