Earlier this year, Flagstaff community members provided feedback on how they would prefer the Schultz Creek public open space to be managed and developed for community access. With this feedback, Open Space staff developed a selection of options for consideration. On Tuesday, November 5th, staff shared these options with City Council. Council determined the best course of action at this time is to conserve the property. This decision includes no development of parking on the open space parcel, nor consideration of an additional property purchase for parking purposes until other access issues arise. Moving forward, the Open Space Program will continue to work with the Forest Service to monitor public use.
The Schultz Creek Natural Area is a 20-acre parcel of land located next to the privately held “Y” parking area. The property has a rich historical past and is the location of the City of Flagstaff’s first water reservoir. The reservoir is evidence of an 1898 City of Flagstaff and Santa Fe Pacific Railroad contract agreement to construct the first water collection facility and distribution system. The Schultz Creek Natural Area provides access to Schultz Creek Trail and the Rocky Ridge Trail.
Schultz Creek Natural Area History
- 1857-1883: The Historic Beale Wagon Road, an established trading route spanning from Arkansas to California, passed through this location
- 1898: City of Flagstaff’s first water reservoir was built on the property
- 1982: Avery’s Kowboy Kountry Club, a popular restaurant and nightclub located nearby, was destroyed in a fire
- 2014-2017: The property was annexed from the County to the City, a historic overlay ordinance was passed, and the parcel was rezoned from Rural Residential to Public Open Space
Schultz Creek Natural Area is a non-motorized area. Currently, the privately held "Y" parking area, located at the intersection of Schultz Pass Road and West Mount Elden Lookout Road, is being used by visitors as an informal access point to the property. Conversely, the official access point for the area is the National Forest’s Schultz Pass Trailhead.
Schultz Pass Trailhead
From downtown Flagstaff, travel north on North Humphreys Street then turn left on West Columbus Avenue. Continue onto US-180 West/ North Fort Valley Road for 2.6 miles. Turn right on North Schultz Pass Road and drive for 0.5 miles, veering left at the Y, travel another 0.5 miles mile to a gate and cattle guard. Turn right at the trailhead down over the hill toward Schultz Creek and park.
Taking the Bus
Start at the Mountain Line Downtown Connection Center and take the orange line to the For Valley/ Valley Crest bus stop near the Museum of Northern Arizona. From the Fort Valley/ Valley Crest bus stop, follow the paved FUTS Trail northwest and turn right on to North Schultz Pass Road. Follow the North Schultz Pass Road until arriving at the Schultz Creek Natural Area, east of the junction of Schultz Pass Road and East Mount Elden Lookout Road, and east of the privately held "Y".
More Mountain Line routes and times can be found here.
Hunting, collecting, camping, new trail development, and motorized vehicles are all prohibited.
|Trail name||Distance||Important Information|
|Schultz Creek Trail||8 miles||Heavily trafficked, out and back trail located near the San Francisco Peaks. Used by mountain bikers.|
|Rocky Ridge Trail||5.6 miles||Out and back trail with some elevation gain, good for wildlife watching.|