Short & Sweet Rose Peak
The hike up the Rose Peak Trail in the Blue Range Primitive Area in Eastern Arizona is short, and the views from the top are SWEET! Whether you are heading out for a longer hike in the Blue Range and want to get the "lay of the land" or you simply need to stretch your legs and slowly examine the incredible beauty through which you are riding/driving on the winding US-191 (Coronado Trail), a few minutes of your time hiking up the Rose Peak Trail will be well worth it.
The trail is a pleasant half mile long, consisting mostly of pine covered switchbacks. While it is a short hike, note that the Rose Peak Trail starts at an elevation of 8,426 feet and ascends 360 vertical feet. With its high elevation and decent rise over run, those with a sedentary lifestyle should not underestimate it. After you feel that fresh mountain air in you lungs and you have your blood pumping just a bit, you will quickly be atop the 8,786 ft peak where you'll find an approximately 30-foot tall fire lookout tower, a bathroom, a cistern, and a little cabin that you'll wish was yours.
While the tower is active, it was not manned at the time of this hike, and accordingly, the cabin, bathroom, and top platform of the tower were locked. Whether you climb the tower or not, you will enjoy endless vistas, including views north to the Mogollon Rim, east far into New Mexico, south to the Pinalenos, and west across the Chaparral covered San Carlos Apache Reservation. Be careful not to become entranced by the views lest time slips away and you forget that this was supposed to be a quickie! Come back the way you came and carry on your journey with renewed vigor.
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.