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KP South Fork #70, AZPrint Full | Basic
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Description 23 Triplogs 1 Topic
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 
Mine
0
Friends
0
 Alpine - South
Statistics
Difficulty 2    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,960 feet
Elevation Gain -1,080 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 - 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.4
Interest Perennial Creek
Rodney
Descriptions 2
Routes 0
Photos 249
Trips 2 map ( 0 miles )
Age 61
Location Indian-a
Photos
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
35  2014-08-02
 Primitive Blue Range
 friendofThunderg
71  2014-06-21
 Blue Range Primitive Area
 friendofThunderg
12  2014-05-29 azfamilyhike
7  2011-05-21 LittleKnee
13  2010-09-19 SkyIslander14
5  2009-10-10 hhwolf14
5  2009-08-07 Crzy4AZ
35  2008-10-03 bkunowski
15  2007-09-02 roadtripn
5  2006-06-18 zephyr
23  2006-05-29 AZHikr4444
5  2002-09-20 Slimkim
Page 1,  2
Large Profile
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Radar
Map - Apache-Sitgreaves NF Map
Forest Apache - Sitgreaves
Wilderness Blue Range Primitive Area
Backpack - Yes
Seasons - Late Spring to Early Autumn
Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.2  KP Cienaga Campground
1.3  Greenlee County High Point 9441
2.4  McKittrick Trail #72
2.5  North Fork KP Trail
2.5  Blue Cabin Ruins Trail
2.7  Chitty Trail 37
[ View More! ]
Fauna
     Atlantis Fritillary Butterfly
Space
Flora
     False Hellebore (Corn Lily)
     Gambel Oak*
     Quaking Aspen*
     Red Cinquefoil
     Red Osier Dogwood*
     Richardsons Geranium
     Rocky Mountain Iris
     Rocky Mountain Maple*
     Wild Geranium*
 Willow - Arizona*
Space

Waterfalls in forest of pine
by Rodney

Mobile Version
The hike begins in a sub-alpine meadow with black and white butterflies clinging to Grayhead Coneflowers next to a rivulet. The forest then begins to draw you in with beautiful pine trees saluting the sky. The path, softened by a carpet of pine needles, follows the rim for about a half mile before descending to rejoin the water which has now grown to a small stream. Wildflowers of all kinds, including Queen Anne's Lace, Indian Paintbrush, Showy Daisy, Star Thistle, and a surprising variety of mushrooms abound. There is also quite a bit of moss and lichen and some maidenhair fern. The forest of green is punctuated with small stands of majestic Aspen and Douglas firs to add dazzling white and red to the color palette. We were surprised at the amount of trail maintenance that had recently occurred. A lot of deadfall had been cleared from the path by chainsaw and axe. At one point, though, a fallen tree was so large (about 3 1/2 feet in diameter) that the trail had been made to detour around the roots. Other deadfall was left in place as a means to cross the stream or to keep the forest floor as natural as possible.

As you proceed along the path there are numerous stream crossings but at this time of year (unless the monsoon hits which it did as this photo taken at 2:00 in the afternoon shows!) you needn't get soaked. Here and there are waterfalls which get progressively larger the deeper in you get until you finally meet the KP North Fork (#93) trail (this is right after 3 descending switchbacks) where the confluence of two streams creates beautiful 10+ foot waterfalls. If you proceed a little farther along the KP #70 trail, toward Blue River, you will see below you, next to a series of small waterfalls, a very special spot with a fire ring that should make for great camping! There is also a small fire pit nearby beneath an overhanging rock. The music from the falls should lull you to sleep. (NOTE: As always, consider the weather and possible flooding when choosing a campsite!)

After having encountered two gentle showers on the way in, we headed back up the trail as the roar of the thunder indicated to us that the monsoons were upon us. We were very soaked as we made our way back to the campground from the trailhead and very excited to jump in the car, add some heat, and dry out. Our fingers had gone numb and the GPS went on strike (shut itself down) due to the weather.

We finally broke camp when the rain let up somewhat and decided to head back home to Phoenix via US 191 south in the hopes that we could outrun the storm. This however became a real adventure in and of itself. The speed limit went from 30 mph to 25 mph and then to our amazement 15 mph. After about 20 miles, the speed limit became 10 mph for 30 miles or so. No guardrails here, thank you very much. We did finally outrun the storm, but it took 3 hours to drive the first 60 miles toward home. Lesson here: If you're heading back to Globe, do NOT take the southern route!

For those that might be interested in the Wolf Recovery Program, the Cienega area is the third largest area where wolves have been tracked since their release 3 years ago. Unfortunately, we didn't spot any on this trip. - Rodney & Annette

NOTE: Our original intention (which we ruled out due to the weather) was to proceed from the junction of KP #70 and KP #93 onward along KP #70 to the junction with #71 Blue Lookout trail, hike trail #71 south (with an intermediate hike up to the Blue Lookout via #321 Blue Cabin trail) to an unidentified trail which winds back and forth across FR 84 which leads west and close to the Cienega campsite. Be sure to check your topo maps on this one!

-

Apache - Sitgreaves FS Reports Listed as 9.4 miles (One Way)

In the lush alpine meadow that serves as the setting for KP Trailhead, there is little indication you could possibly start here and, in a reasonably short time, find yourself deep in a desert canyon. But that's exactly what happens. From KP Cienega, with its stately spruces and emerald grasses, this 9 mile long trail traces the wandering course of the South Fork of KP Creek as it drops toward the Blue. As the trail switchbacks from meadow to stream, upland vegetation gives way to riparian community of Douglas fir and moisture loving hardwoods. About 3 miles into the trip, the trail drops sharply into a picturesque canyonscape where the South Fork and the North Fork join to form KP Creek. Each tributary celebrates this get-together with its own ten foot waterfall.

Below the confluence, the canyon deepens as steep cliffs rise from the floor of the gorge. Stream and trail descend together here, between red and gray rock walls, as clear pools alternate with shallow riffles. Crossings become too many to count. At a few points, the trail climbs out of the inner gorge to avoid difficult going, and in the process offers access to broad views and a number of prospective campsites.

For its last three miles, the KP Trail climbs out of the canyon to offer more great views. Riparian vegetation is replaced by high desert plants including prickly pear, cholla, yucca and scrub oak as the trail leaves behind the sheltered environment of the canyon for dryer, more exposed surroundings. Higher ground also brings broader views of Sawed-Off Mountain as well as of KP Canyon The vista widens to include Bear Mountain and the surrounding ridges of the Blue Range as the trail tops the ridge that separates KP and Steeple Creek Canyons. Views stretching into New Mexico form a panorama as KP Trail ends at its junction with Steeple Creek Trail atop the red, stony mesa.

Notes:
No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) permitted in Primitive Area. There are trout big enough to fish for in the pools downstream of the confluence.

Trail Log:
0.0 KP Cienega Trailhead. Trail crosses meadow into the timber.
0.9 Trail crosses creek after two switchback descent.
2.7 Trail climbs out of canyon on north side.
2.9 Junction with North Fork of KP Trail #93. Two waterfalls are directly downstream.
5.6 Junction with Blue Lookout Trail #71.
6.5 Junction with McKittrick Trail #72.
6.6 Trail crosses creek for the last time as it contours out of drainage bottom to the north.
9.4 Junction with Steeple Trail #73 at a gate. Mud Springs Corral is 1/8 mile away in Steeple Canyon.

USGS Maps: Strayhorse, Bear Mountain.

    Directions Preferred Months May Jun Sep Oct
    Water / Source:Creek
    Preferred StartAny Cell Phone Signal??? Sunrise5:43am Sunset6:58pm
    Road / VehicleFR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay
    Fees / Permit
    None

    Directions
    Print Version
    To hike
    Take US 60 east from Globe, then US 180 south from Springerville to Alpine. From Alpine, continue on US 191 south for 27 miles and then look for the KP Cienega Campground sign on the east side of the road and follow the signs to the trailhead.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Drive south from Alpine 28 miles on US 191 to the 1.3 mile road leading to KP Cienega Campground and the trailhead marked by a parking area and a posterboard.

    The KP Trail is accessible via a number of trails, including the North Fork Trail #93, the Blue Lookout Trail #71, and the McKittrick Trail #72, all of which provide additional access from US 191. The Steeple Trail offers access from either US 191 or the Blue River Road, Forest Road 281. The first three trails combine with KP Trail to provide strenuous but manageable day hikes. A Steeple Creek/KP hike in one day would be long for most hikers at 17.2 miles.
    Login for Mapped Driving Directions
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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