Weather: 48°, sun, snow on ground
About this hike: We covered the entire Lava Trail (one of the longest, ranked one of the most difficult) at Flagstaff Nordic Center. This was accomplished on snow shoes. While the snowy conditions were deteriorating due to warmer temps and sunshine, there was still ample snow on most of the trail. Jackets were soon shed for t-shirts and only shorts were on under our snow pants.
The Lava Trail gains some elevation and near the top the snow pack was quite a bit better. Towering ponderosa pines gave a sweet smell of sap while aspens stood alongside. The views of the snow-capped San Francisco Peaks and Humphrey's Peak were breathtaking in places.
Around a 4-5 hour hike on snow shoes, this one is an all dayer. I would love to experience this in a moderate snowfall while the branches of the ponderosas slowly gather a coating of white.
For my first experience snow shoeing I have to say I was not disappointed. I plan to be back.