Lockett Meadow is a high altitude meadow on the east side of the San Francisco Peaks that is surrounded by Spruce, Fir and Aspen. It exists because of the eruption of the original 19,000 foot volcano that blew out to the northeast just like Mt. Saint Helen did leaving the present day five peaks around the edges of the original volcano. The road into the meadow enters through the gap blown out by the eruption. The meadow today is one of the most beautiful spots in Arizona with a campground, pond and trails leading to the Inner Basin(the middle of the old volcano) and along the North and South Pipeline Trails that go around the mountains. The pipeline that gives Flagstaff half its water is actually under the trail.
The elevation of the meadow is around 8500 feet and thus we will be looking for high altitude birds that usually are here during the summer. Over the years I have led hiking and birding trips many times here and I’ve seen all the following birds but not on the same trip. Clark’s Nutcracker, Steller’s, Pinyon and Gray Jay, Northern Pygmy Owl, Mountain Chickadee, Nuthatches(all three), Townsend’s Solitaire, Hermit Thrush, Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Plumbeus Vireo, Graces, Black-throated Gray, Yellow-rumped, Yellow Warbler, Red Crossbill, Red-naped Sapsucker, Hairy and Three-toed Woodpecker. I’m sure there are other more common forest birds that I saw that I haven’t mentioned. There have been some trips where I didn’t see any of the above, like when the wind was blowing 50 to 60 miles per hour. You just never know whether you’re going to get skunked or hit the jackpot!
We will be walking around the meadow for about one mile and then up the Inner Basin Trail for about a half mile. You can always stop and wait ( and bird watch) until the group returns. I would rate this trips difficulty to be a 3 ( on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being most difficult ) because of the 2 mile total distance and the high altitude. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots. This time of year it’s a good idea to have a rain poncho along. Also bring a sweatshirt and a windbreaker just in case a cold wind occurs. Please bring a lunch since we plan on eating lunch there.
The road into Lockett Meadow requires an SUV or high clearance vehicle since it is a gravel/dirt road that changes condition all the time. If you have such a vehicle and can drive please let me know. This trip is limited to 12 people in three cars. We will plan on leaving Lockett Meadow around 2 to 3pm and arrive back in Phoenix by 5:30pm at the latest.
Meeting place and time: 6:30am at Frys Electronics, 31st Ave and Thunderbird, NE corner of Parking lot near trees. 2nd Spot 7:00am at McDonalds, Carefree Hwy and I17 ( NE corner).
Contact Dan Bohlmann at 602 938-8244 or firstname.lastname@example.org