North of Forest Avenue, the Switzer Canyon Trail is located on an old road bed that was Cedar Avenue; when Forest Avenue was built over McMillan Mesa, this section of Cedar Avenue was abandoned and converted to a trail. Through this area the trail is aggregate-surfaced and climbs steadily about 120 feet to the top of the mesa, near the USGS campus and the entrance to Buffalo Park.
South of Forest Avenue the trail is concrete and follows the west side of Turquoise Drive. This part of the trail is partially hidden below the road in an open space band of Ponderosa trees, oak thickets, and rock outcroppings. Another section of trail, about a quarter-mile in length, has been built adjacent to the new YMCA south of Ponderosa Parkway.
Ponderosa Parkway to Buffalo Park
1.2 miles | 1.9 kilomters
Concrete: 42% of the trail (0.5 mile | 0.8 kilometer)
Aggregate: 58% of the trail (0.7 mile | 1.1 kilometers)
Easy grades: 65% of the trail has grades of less than 5%
Moderate grades: 33% of the trail has grades between 5 and 10% (2,050 feet | 625 meters)
Steep grades: 2% of the trail has grades between 10 and 15% (150 feet | 46 meters)
Very steep grades: None of the trail has grades of more than 15%
Completion of missing segments of the trail between Forest Avenue and Switzer Canyon Drive is scheduled for late summer 2010. Longer-term plans will extend the trail to the south and west to eventually connect to downtown Flagstaff.