Aubineau Canyon

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Aubineau Canyon

Submitted By: Y.C. on May 12, 2011

Administrator: Y.C.

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Featured Descent

Colorado » Glenwood Springs / Carbondale

William’s Peak North Face Proper

From the summit, cut through the trees to return to the second headwall.  At the bottom of the first snowfield/meadow, pick your way through the trees staying left (most people take the gully and cut left) to another prominent meadow.  One more group of aspens, and the third meadow becomes apparent.  Just beyond the trees at the bottom of the third meadow is the road where you started.

Numerous variations exist into some rather tight trees, but this route is well-traveled enough that you can get pow turns in the meadows and follow tracks through the trees to the next mostly-unskied meadow.

If you are skiing early season, keep in mind there is a lot of deadfall and broken leg potential lurking under shallow snow, especially in the aspen trees.



This is one of the premier backcountry ski zones on the San Francisco Peaks. These ski lines are North East facing so they hold snow the longest and offer great long runs. The far right line Crossfire was the sight of the largest avalanche slide I have seen. During a record snow season and constant southwest winds crossfire slid breaking trees 30in diameter. The runs are about 1500 vertical feet and average a high 30 degree angle with crossfire being the most classic. A day spent here late winter/early spring can be long because of road closures but is also very rewarding.

How to Get There

When Forest Road (FR) 418 is closed:

You must take the Snowbowl area if the resort is open, either wait for lifts to open or hike up the ski area. Once at the top of the ski area work towards the saddle between Agassiz and Humphreys. From the saddle summit Humphreys Peak, ski the north ridge to which ski like and drop to the right.

If Forest Road 418 is open:

From Flagstaff go north on US Highway 180 for about 18 miles. Make a right on Forest Rd. 151 then continue 1.5 miles and turn left on FR418. Drive 3 miles to the signed turnoff for Aubineau Trail. Turn right and go to the trailhead.

You can also reach the trail via US Highway 89 north of Flagstaff by making a turn left across from Sunset Crater National Monument, head to a “T” and turn right. You will curve left then make a right turn on FR418. Then it is about 8 miles to the trailhead where you will turn left into.

From the trailhead hike the Aubineau Trail up through avalanche debris to a the main bowl. Hike the safest way up to the top of the lines you see in front of you, in the spring heading up the paths themselves is easy and can be safe.

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