The San Francisco Peaks are a volcanic mountain range located in north central Arizona, just north of Flagstaff and a remnant of the former San Francisco Mountain.
The highest summit in the range, Humphreys Peak, is the highest point in the state of Arizona at 12,633 feet (3,851 m) in elevation.
The Arizona Snowbowl ski area is located on the western slopes of Humphreys Peak, and has been the subject of major controversy involving several tribes and environmental groups.
The mountain provides a number of recreational opportunities, including wintertime snow skiing and hiking the rest of the year.
Hart Prairie is a popular hiking area and Nature Conservancy preserve located below the mountain's ski resort, Arizona Snowbowl.
Humphreys Peak (latitude 35°20'47" N) and Agassiz Peak (latitude 35°19'33" N) are the two farthest south-lying mountain peaks in the contiguous United States which rise to a height of more than 12,000 feet above sea level.
Prior to its collapse due to a lateral eruption to the northeast (around 200,000 years ago) and subsequent glacial erosion, the San Francisco Peaks fully matured elevation is interpreted to have been around 16,000 feet above sea level.
In 1629, one hundred and forty seven years before San Francisco, California, received that name, Spanish friars founded a mission at a Hopi Indian village in honor of St. 17th century Franciscans at Oraibi village gave the name San Francisco to the peaks to honor St. The mountain man Antoine Leroux visited the San Francisco Peaks in the mid-1850s, and guided several American expeditions exploring and surveying northern Arizona. The local reaction was hostile—citizens of Williams, Arizona, held a significant protest, and the Williams News editorialized that the reserve "virtually destroys Coconino County." In 1908, the San Francisco Mountain Forest Reserve became a part of the new Coconino National Forest.Leroux guided them to the only reliable spring, one on the western side of the Peaks, which was later named Leroux Springs. President William Mc Kinley established the San Francisco Mountain Forest Reserve, at the request of Gifford Pinchot, the head of the U. In 2002, Arizona Snowbowl, the ski resort on the peaks, proposed a plan to expand and begin snowmaking using reclaimed water made of treated sewage effluent.Around 1877, John Willard Young, a son of the Mormon leader Brigham Young, claimed the area around Leroux Springs, and he built Fort Moroni, a log stockade, to house railroad tie-cutters for the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad, which was then being built across northern Arizona. A coalition of Indian tribes and environmental groups sued the Coconino National Forest, which leases the land to the ski resort, in an attempt to stop this proposed expansion, citing serious impacts to cultural practitioners, public health risks, and environmental concerns.In 2011, construction began on a wastewater pipeline to the Peaks.In response, there has been an ongoing series of protest actions including demonstrations and lockdowns in which protesters have locked themselves to construction equipment.The biologist Clinton Hart Merriam studied these mountains and surrounding areas in 1889, describing a set of six life zones found from the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the summit of the mountains, based on the factors of elevation, latitude, and average precipitation.