“Nice rolling trail along the south slopes of Mount Elden.”
— Almonzo Wilder
Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife
The Forces of Nature Trail is a more aesthetic alternative to the nearby Pipeline Trail
along the base of Mount Elden. The trail has nice views of Mount Elden and the town of Flagstaff, and also some pleasant shady forested sections. It also passes the site of the Elden Homestead, with some interesting signs relating the history of the area.
The trail winds through the Mount Elden Environmental Study Area, in which the Coconino National Forest has designated a number of nature trails. The result is a somewhat confusing web of trails (both official and social trails), that are occasionally marked with somewhat confusing signage. The route shown here follows an enjoyable continuous trail, but runners shouldn't be too concerned if they end up on a parallel track above or below (between the Pipeline Trail
below and Mount Elden above). Numerous unsigned connector trails join the Forces of Nature trail with the Pipeline Trail
Near the signed Elden Homestead look for Elden Spring in a nearby gulch. This perennial trickle is an especially peaceful spot that regularly attracts wildlife and birds.