Agassiz Peak

Agassiz Peak

Agassiz Peak viewed from Humphrey’s Trail | Cavan-Images

Agassiz Peak, located in the picturesque San Francisco Peaks of northern Arizona, is a stunning geological marvel that draws tourists and outdoor enthusiasts alike to its breathtaking landscape. The peak is named in honor of the prominent Swiss-American biologist and geologist, Louis Agassiz, who made significant contributions to the study of glaciers and the Ice Age. As the second highest peak in the state of Arizona, Agassiz Peak reaches an impressive elevation of 12,360 feet (3,767 meters), offering panoramic views and unparalleled adventure opportunities.

The region surrounding Agassiz Peak boasts a diverse ecosystem, ranging from lush Ponderosa Pine forests to alpine tundra, providing a sanctuary for an array of flora and fauna. The area is also home to the Arizona Snowbowl, a popular ski resort that offers year-round recreational activities including skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and hiking. Many trails lead up to Agassiz Peak from various points, with the most popular being the Humphreys Peak Trail. Those who summit Agassiz Peak are rewarded with awe-inspiring views of the surrounding landscape, including the nearby Humphreys Peak—Arizona’s highest point—and the Grand Canyon National Park.

In addition to its recreational appeal, Agassiz Peak also holds great cultural significance for Native American tribes in the region. The peak forms part of the wider San Francisco Peaks, which are considered sacred by several tribes such as the Navajo, Hopi, Havasupai, and Zuni. This has led to ongoing debates over land use and conservation policies in order to balance recreational activities with preserving the area’s cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Agassiz Peak is not only an impressive geological feature but also an important cultural and recreational destination. Its rich history, diverse ecosystem, and unparalleled beauty make it a must-visit destination for adventurers and nature lovers alike. Whether one is seeking to conquer its summit or simply explore its enchanting surroundings, Agassiz Peak offers an unforgettable experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Fast Facts

Country: United States

State/Province: Arizona

Mountain Range: San Francisco Peaks

Parents: San Francisco Peaks

Elevation: 12,360 feet / 3,767 meters

Prominence: 556 feet / 169 meters

Isolation: 1.16 miles / 1.87 kilometers

Nearest Higher Neighbor (NHN): Humphreys Peak

Flora and Fauna

Agassiz Peak is an awe-inspiring destination that boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna. The unique geographical features of this area, such as its high elevation and varied climates, provide a thriving habitat for an array of plant and animal species. The flora and fauna of Agassiz Peak are not only vital for maintaining the ecological balance of the region but also contribute to its unparalleled beauty.

The flora of Agassiz Peak includes several species of plants that have adapted to survive in the harsh conditions. The higher elevations are home to alpine meadows and forests of Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir. In these areas, one can find numerous wildflowers, including the rare San Francisco Peaks groundsel, which is endemic to the region. As the elevation decreases, the vegetation transitions into a mixed conifer forest, dominated by ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and aspen trees. These forests provide shelter and sustenance to many animal species.

Groundsel is a flowering plant from the Astrov family. | EmelyanovSV

The fauna of Agassiz Peak is equally diverse and fascinating. Mammals such as elk, mule deer, and black bears can be found roaming the dense forests. Smaller mammals like squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits are also common residents. Agassiz Peak is a haven for bird enthusiasts, as several species of birds including northern goshawks, red-tailed hawks, Steller’s jays, and mountain chickadees make their homes in this area. The endangered Mexican spotted owl finds refuge in the old-growth forests surrounding Agassiz Peak. Additionally, reptiles and amphibians such as the Arizona mountain kingsnake and the tiger salamander inhabit the lower elevations.

Agassiz Peak’s flora and fauna are an integral part of its allure. The rich biodiversity of plants and animals found here underscores the importance of preserving this unique ecosystem for future generations. Visitors to Agassiz Peak are sure to be captivated by the breathtaking beauty of its flora and fauna, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.


Agassiz Peak boasts various trails that cater to hikers and outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels. With its breathtaking views, diverse flora, and fauna, and challenging ascents, the Agassiz Peak trails offer an unforgettable experience for those who wish to explore the beauty of nature.

One of the most popular trails leading to Agassiz Peak is the Humphreys Trail, which begins at the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort. This well-maintained path winds through a picturesque forest before emerging above the tree line into alpine tundra. As hikers ascend the trail, they are rewarded with panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape, including the Grand Canyon and Painted Desert. The climb can be demanding, so it is essential to be adequately prepared with proper footwear, clothing, and supplies.

Another popular route is the Weatherford Trail, which offers a more moderate ascent to Agassiz Peak. The trail passes through lush meadows and dense forests before reaching a saddle between Humphreys and Agassiz Peaks. From here, hikers can enjoy unobstructed views of the stunning landscape below. The Weatherford Trail is also a popular choice for those looking to explore the area’s rich biodiversity and unique geological features.

Trail Sign to Agassiz Peak Arizona | Cavan-Images

For a more challenging adventure, experienced hikers may choose to tackle the Kachina Trail. This strenuous route traverses the eastern flank of Agassiz Peak and offers stunning views of the Inner Basin, Sunset Crater, and the distant San Francisco volcanic field. As this trail is relatively steep and rugged in parts, it is essential to be well-prepared and exercise caution when navigating the terrain.

The Agassiz Peak trails provide an array of options for hikers looking to explore one of Arizona’s most iconic landscapes. With trails catering to various skill levels and interests, Agassiz Peak is an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking unparalleled views, diverse ecosystems, and challenging climbs.

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