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Lanphier Trail #52, AZ

Guide 21 Triplogs  2 Topics
  3.6 of 5 
no permit
311 21 2
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 5.65 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,665 feet
Elevation Gain 1,854 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,954 feet
Avg Time One Way 8-10 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.16
Backpack Possible & Connecting
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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23  2020-09-04
Intro to Blue
34  2020-05-22
Return to the Blue
16  2020-05-22
Return to the Blue
9  2020-04-25 friendofThunderg
24  2017-03-18
Blue River Trail #101
28  2016-05-27
Bear Mtn Loop - Blue Range
51  2016-05-27
Bear Mtn Loop - Blue Range
27  2016-05-27
Bear Mtn Loop - Blue Range
Page 1,  2,  3
Author desertgirl
author avatar Guides 20
Routes 5
Photos 3,098
Trips 440 map ( 3,112 miles )
Age Female Gender
Location Chandler, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep → Early
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:28am - 7:17pm
Official Route
7 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Cow Canyon Fire34.4k
🔥 2011 Wallow Fire29.45
🔥 2008 Bear Mountain Fire9.3 mi*
🔥 2007 Lamphere Fire7.6 mi*
🔥 2003 Largo Fire8.5 mi*
🔥 1994 S Canyon Fire11.1 mi*
🔥 1979 Horse Fire24.6 mi*
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

by desertgirl

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Lanphier Trail has it all - a beautiful setting, trout pools, interesting names along its length, history, geology, and incredible vistas from the mountain tops in the Blue Range Primitive Area. As the trail winds in out of the Lanphier canyon, you are treated to scenic vistas of Bear Mountain, Lanphier Peak, and views into Lanphier Canyon as you hit the high points and verdant riparian areas as the trail descends to the streambeds, providing a scenic access to the northeastern sections of the Blue range Primitive area.

The trail starts at a corral on the Largo Canyon Trail. Lanphier Canyon has a rich collection of trees that makes this area an excellent Autumn Color hike - Boxelder, Gambel Oak, Arizona Walnut, and Velvet Ash cloak this area in a golden glow as the trail climbs up half a mile to the top of the ridge and drops into the Lanphier Creek following it for the next 2.6 miles. About 0.6 miles from the trailhead is the junction with the Largo Trail #51 that follows the Largo Creek. Stay to the left and follow the Lanphier Trail, and at 1.5 miles, you will encounter "Red Rock Pillars" - rock conglomerate walls that look purplish. How did it ever get named "Red Rock Pillars"? Moister microclimates in this area benefit the Bigtooth Maple that grows here. Arizona Grape and Virginia Creeper are also abound in this area. Watch for Poison Ivy along the trail too. From here on, the trail crisscrosses the creek many times until it reaches Indian Creek - a major tributary. This is an exceptionally rich riparian area, and the pools of water are rich in trout, making it an excellent spot to take a break.

A quick climb-out to leads to panoramic views of Bear Mountain, Lamphere Peak (More of the quirks: mis-spelling of Lanphier), and the canyon below. On the right side, you see "Whoa Canyon" - named after riders "whoa & ing" their mounts as they came down the steep canyon walls. The trail continues up the north side of the canyon meandering through side canyons and a good spectrum of Blue vegetation of ponderosa pine and white fir in the cooler upper reaches; pinyon, juniper, and scrub oak on the harsher southern slopes and dropping back into the canyon and its rich riparian cover. You arrive at the lush Cashier Spring, 5.0 miles from the trailhead. The steep hill just above Cashier Spring is Banker's Hill. Again, there is lore to these names & thanks to early cattle ranchers who raised cattle in this area. (Cash Cow? - raise cattle in the mountains and take them up the trail to make money)

The trail climbs up from Cashier Spring for 0.6 miles, where it meets up with Cow Flat Trail #55. The last part of the trail heads through ponderosa pines and is relatively uneventful. Cashier Spring is a good turnaround point unless you absolutely have to follow the trail to its very end. You can also use the Cow Flat Trail #55 as a connecter trail to the S Canyon Trail #53 for a 12.4 miles loop trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2002-11-07 desertgirl

    Apache - Sitgreaves FS Details
    Lanphier Canyon provides a scenic access route into the northeastern section of the Blue Primitive Area. The trail follows Lanphier Canyon for most of its 5 mile course winding in and out of that shallow gorge providing scenic views as it reaches high ground and offering the pleasant surroundings of rich green riparian vegetation as it descends back to the streambed. At its high points, views of Bear Mountain, Lanphier Peak, and overlooks of Lanphier Canyon are the reward for the climb. About 2.7 miles from the trailhead a major tributary called Indian Creek shelters an exceptionally lush riparian area which you may want to stop and enjoy.

    Beyond Indian Creek Canyon the trail slants up the canyon slopes to offer even broader panoramas to the south and west. About one half mile beyond the confluence of Lanphier and Indian Creeks, the trail climbs the north slope of the canyon and meanders through a series of secluded basins before dropping back into the canyon. Vegetation varies as the trail gains and looses altitude and the area through which it passes becomes more or less exposed. Trailside trees vary through the entire range found in the Blue with ponderosa pine and white fir holding the high ground and cool sheltered areas, while pinyon, juniper and scrub oak claim the hotter, dryer south slopes. Maples, walnuts, alders and box elders thrive in the streamside oases.

    As the trail nears its end, it crosses the creek one last time at a pleasant spot marked by pools of water bordered by moss covered rocks. From that point the trail heads up slope to its junction with the Cow Flat Trail.

    Notes: No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) permitted in Primitive Area. Reliable water can be found at Blue River and in Lanphier Creek downstream of Indian Creek.

    Trail Log:
    0.0 Trailhead at Blue River.
    0.6 Junction with Largo Trail.
    1.5 Red rock pillars.
    3.2 Junction with Indian Canyon
    5.0 Cashier Spring.
    5.6 Junction Cow Flat Trail #55.

    USGS Maps: Bear Mountain, Blue

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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.

    Permit $$
    no fees or permits reported

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    Map Drive

    To Largo Canyon Trailhead
    From Alpine head east towards New Mexico on highway 180 to FR 281 (Blue River road). Turnoff is across from Luna lake. Head approximately 23 miles to the Blue Administrative site and that's were the TH starts. On drive down Blue River road you will pass numerous awesome car camping sites. You'll have to ford the Blue river in your vehicle to get to the TH. I've been to the TH between 5-10 times and the Administrative site has always been vacant and locked. No services in Blue.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 278 mi, 6 hours 42 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 260 mi, 5 hours 44 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 232 mi, 5 hours 14 mins
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
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