Malpais Loop

Flagstaff, Arizona (Coconino County)

Last Updated: 06/28/2020
4 / 5 ( 2 reviews )
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Highlight: Malpais Loop
Malpai Loop is a very popular forest road that winds its way to the famous Lava Cave. The stunning views of Flagstaff’s lesser peaks like Wing Mountain and Kendrick and abundant camping also make this route very popular. There are many hundreds of good forest campsites, most of which are suitable for large RV’s. The Lava Cave is a difficult but manageable one-mile hike down under the pine forests. It is cold in the cave so bring a jacket! This road is also your primary access to various hikes up Kendrick, Wild Bill, and Wing Mountains.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. FR245/171 Malpai Loop East End at US-180 (0 mi)
Turn left/west off US-180 at the FR245 sign near milepost 230. This is the north/east end of the route. There is excellent camping starting a quarter-mile​ in.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Flagstaff, Arizona

Take US-180 / Ft Valley Road northwest toward the Grand Canyon. A few miles past the edge of town you will see a sign for FR247 on the left/west side of US-180, followed shortly by FR245, near milepost 230. Turn left/west onto the dirt forest road.



Trail Reviews (5)

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Is this area open back up for dispersed camping yet?
–Clinton Miller (05/04/2020)
–Ben Ruddell (05/05/2020)

Writer Information

Ben Ruddell

Mapping Crew - Arizona

Ben is an Engineering PhD and Civil Engineer living in Flagstaff with a family of seven. He grew up car camping in Michigan, and later in Southern Illinois. By way of Utah, Southeast Alaska, Michigan, Illinois, and for eight years in Phoenix, He now lives in Flagstaff, AZ and spends summers in Durango, CO. His favorite weekends are spent exploring a new trail or route, usually with the intent of scoring a nice day hike or short overnight car camp with his kids. He frequently finds that his maps are out of date or that roads are impassable without specialized equipment, and wants to create better information for himself and other enthusiasts in his backyard, the 4 corners region of AZ, CO, NM, an UT.
For individual use only, not to be shared.