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Abstract

San Francisco Mountain, about 6 mi (10 km) north of Flagstaff, Arizona (Fig. 1), is a composite volcano in the San Francisco volcanic field of northern Arizona; the volcano is situated on the southern Colorado Plateau about 31 mi (50 km) north of the escarpment that forms its topographic edge. Flagstaff, the major city in the volcanic field, is at the junction of 1-40, U.S. 180, and U.S. 89, the latter two highways passing San Francisco Mountain on its west and east sides, respectively. Access to the mountain is by unpaved U.S. Forest Service roads, most of which are passable by low-clearance vehicles; a few primitive roads require 4-wheel-drive vehicles.

A ski resort on the west side of the mountain normally operates its chairlift during the summer months, providing easy access to the 11,600 ft (3,512 m) level on Agassiz Peak. Hiking restrictions are in effect on Agassiz and Humphreys Peaks, and the designation of the upper part of San Francisco Mountain as the Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area imposes wilderness area restrictions. The Inner Basin is reached by foot or with a vehicle permit from the U.S. Forest Service. The Elden Ranger District office in Flagstaff should be consulted in planning a back-country trip.

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