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Largo Trail #51, AZ

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Guide 12 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Alpine S
3.2 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Distance One Way 4.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,818 feet
Elevation Gain 2,037 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,042 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 11.5
Backpack Possible & Connecting
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
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
15  2016-05-27
Bear Mtn Loop - Blue Range
35  2014-07-17
Primitive Blue Range East
22  2012-04-05
Bear Mtn Loop - Blue Range
30  2010-06-11
Lanphier-Largo Canyons Loop
Page 1,  2
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:04am - 6:15pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!
The Largo Trail serves as a primary access route into the eastern reaches of the Blue Primitive Area. In addition to serving as a route into scenic Largo Canyon, it offers access to a number of other trails which form a connected network in the extremely remote part of the primitive area east of the river (see backcountry access).

Largo Trail starts 0.5 miles from the trailhead in Lanphier Canyon. At a point where Lanphier Trail continues along the canyon floor, Largo Trail climbs out of the canyon toward the south, through stands of pinyon, juniper, and scrub oak, to a ridge that separates Largo and Lanphier Canyons. Along the ridge you'll find good views of the north and eastern reaches of the Blue. From this exposed saddle, where semi-arid country plants such as mountain mahogany and ceanothus find the climate to their liking, the trail drops into Largo Canyon for the rest of its journey to the canyon rim. This major side canyon of the Blue is dry most of the year but still supports a healthy riparian community made up mostly of mature ponderosa and assorted hardwoods including bigtooth maple and Arizona alder.

Just after Largo Trail passes Dutch Oven Spring and Maple Springs, Telephone Ridge Trail branches off toward Sawmill Canyon and onto the ridge for which it is named. This trail provides a steep and short route to Bear Mountain Lookout. Largo Trail continues up canyon, crisscrossing the streambed until it begins a steep ascent up the canyon's south slope. At the top of a series of switchbacks, in a stand of old growth ponderosa, the trail splits. Largo Trail follows the west (right) fork and climbs gradually about three-quarters of a mile to a junction with WS Trail at the foot of the switchbacks leading to Bear Mountain Lookout. The east (left) fork marks the beginning of Little Blue Trail #41 which proceeds up the drainage about the same distance to another junction with the WS Lake Trail and continues on into Bear Valley.

No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) permitted in Primitive Area. Flowing water can be found at Blue River and Dutch Oven Spring.

Trail Log:
0.0 Trail branches off Lanphier Trail #52, about 0.5 miles up Lanphier Trail from Blue River
1.0 Trail crosses Largo Creek.
2.0 Dutch Oven Spring; rock masonry to left of trail near creek. Trail is boggy at this point.
2.3 Maple Spring. Water in creek here.
2.4 Junction with Telephone Ridge Shortcut.
4.3 Fork in trail. Largo veers right and begins ascent to Bear Mountain.
4.9 Trail ends at junction with WS Trail #54. Bear Mountain is 1.2 miles up the WS Lake Trail.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Largo Trail #51
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    I made my first appearance of the year in the Primitive Blue Range with Jackie and the pups this past weekend. We completed a 33 mile backpack utilizing the Blue River Trail, Cow Flat Trail, the Little Blue, Largo and Lamphier Trails. Originally, I had planned for a more mild out and back to Ladron Spring on Cow Flats Trail, with a day of exploring, but high and fast moving water on the Blue had us planning an impromptu backpacking loop, with a long connecting road walk.

    We camped at the Blue Crossing Campground Friday night, but still started our hike pretty late in the morning. The road crossings were fine heading to the trailhead, however, it was immediately noticeable that the Blue was flowing strong, as we embarked. The crossings were a little fierce, but we managed through them just fine to start. As with the other end of the Blue River Trail, its really more of just a route, with some occasional nice sections of trail along the bench and several crossings. Most crossings went pretty well, however, the Blue narrows a few times during the route and this created some sections of narrow, deep, fast moving water that were pretty tough to get across. Our luck with the crossings ran out about four miles in when Jackie lost her footing in some deep stuff that I was trying to help her get across. She only went about 15 feet down stream before standing up very shocked and a little wet. Unfortunately, her boots and hiking poles were about 100 feet down stream of us and moving fast. I jumped to the shore, ditched my gear and ran after the boots along the bank and in the water, after a couple of chest deep floaters, some fast water, a little rapids and a few broken toes, I caught the shoes and one hiking pole. Despite being wet and a little humbled, we decided to push on and just be more careful. By luck Jackie spotted her corked hiking pole handle floating up down stream and we were able to reunite the pair of lost poles, with the soaked boots. A real disaster nearly struck shortly after. During a pretty routine crossing, we lost track of Cup briefly. In our horror, when we spotted her, she was down stream completely submerged and trapped under a large log that was sticking out into the water, I sprinted to her and popped her out, but it was brief as she went right back into the tangled branches, below the log. I then pulled her out and up for good. Suprisingly, she swam right to the shore despite's spending a solid 15-20 seconds completely under water. I can't remember the last time I was that scared and amped up and Jackie said it was about the worse thing she ever had to watch, but Cup came away with only a few sneezes and was ready to go after a brief look over.

    I had had enough at that point and said we would just push to Cow Flat Trail and skip returning via the Blue. My final crossings involved me going to one side with gear, then dropping gear, coming back to grab Jackie and then walking back over to carry Cup. It was slow going, but safe and surprisingly by the third carry Cup was back to swimming them on her own. All the turmoil of the day seemed to pass pretty quickly when we hit Cow Flat Trail. First we enjoyed the falls created by the robust Ladron spring and then marveled at the .6 miles of perennial cascades and general paradise created by the spring. We enjoyed an amazing spot above the source of the spring, enjoyed a great campfire and perfect overnight temperatures.

    Day two was a bit of a grind, but we loved the little cross range trek from the lowest elevations of the Blue Range to just below Bear Mountain. Cow Flat Trail was rugged, warm and dry. We liked the scenery and appreciated its ruggedness, however, we both agree it was terrain only a mother could love. Bear Valley was nice and we spent an extended amount of time there at a nice set of cascades along the Little Blue River Trail. The climb out of Bear Valley was tough and a little warm near the top, but we all hung tough. From there, we coasted down the Little Blue and Largo Trails to Dutch Oven Spring where we camped. That section of trail from the Little Blue down Largo is really nice, especially, with flowing water and we ranked it as some of the best trail we traveled all weekend.

    We had a very short hike out Monday morning and then began a very long road walk of about 8.5 miles. One really never wants to have to complete an eight mile plus road walk to finish a hike, but we both agreed that it was a better alternative than trudging back up the Blue River from Cow Flat Trail after our luck on that river the day before. The backpack ended up being superb anyways and we enjoyed it enough to justify the road walk, besides we made it really easy by leaving our heavy packs at the finishing trailhead, before starting off for the Xterra.
    Largo Trail #51
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    FOTG has spoken glowingly about the Primitive Blue Range and pics of the area looked intriguing. I jumped at the chance to go when he mentioned it a couple weeks ago and said he would drive. Chumley & Karl joined us and we made a loose hiking itinerary and headed out.

    Our group of four, plus Blanco, left Phoenix on Thursday after work and made the long drive to the Primitive Blue Range. We car camped off Red Hill Rd at roughly 8,000ft elevation. I had a hard time sleeping that night. We woke early on Friday and drove to our trailhead and started the hike in. I wasn’t feeling too well from the lack of sleep and was partially dehydrated. Plus I was carrying a heavy pack so that didn’t make things easy.

    We started off with the Largo Canyon trail and hiked in several miles and took a break by Dutch Oven Spring. From there we connected onto the Telephone Ridge Trail and headed for Bear Mountain at 8,550 elevation. The climb to the summit took its toll on me and I was glad to finally reach it. We took a break there and then headed southeast for Bear Valley where we set up camp. The others then went for a short hike while I stayed in camp to filter water, prep the fire ring & relax. I was finally feeling better when the others returned and we settled in for dinner and a nice campfire.

    We woke on day two and packed up camp and headed northeast for Franz Spring & the cabin. We wanted to get there early hoping to beat other groups to the prime camping spot next to the cabin. We made good time as we climbed the trail to Campbell Flat and then continued on to Franz Spring where we arrived to a vacant camp around 9:30am. We spent the next hour setting up camp and filtering water and then headed northeast for the Tige Rim for a hardy day hike.

    The lasso loop around Tige Rim was long, dry & relatively slow going. Most of this section was okay and there were some nice views on a ridge around the halfway point. The heat took its toll on us and Blanco seemed to be having a hard time as he rested in shade every chance he got. Chumley, Karl & I shared our water with him while FOTG looked on with indifference saying he’s been through worse. We continued our lass loop and finally topped out on the high point and it was relatively easy going back to camp as we headed downhill.

    We arrived back to Franz Spring to find a large meetup group camped close by. They had a fire going and were very noisy and generally crappy neighbors. One of them walked through our campsite several times to use the outhouse rather than going in the woods. It was annoying but didn’t ruin the weekend for us.

    All of us were up early on our third day and packed up camp and hit the trail. We headed down Lanphier Canyon and passed several groups making their way in. The Blue was busy this weekend! We arrived back to the trailhead late morning and packed up our gear. Our backpacking portion of the trip was over and we had plans to day hike & car camp that night.

    The Bear Mountain loop is fantastic with great views and the trails are in good condition. I expected more solitude but wasn’t totally surprised considering it was a holiday weekend. I would definitely like to explore more of this area another time.
    Largo Trail #51
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    Lee took the lead on planning this one and it turned out to be a great introduction to the PBR. I was a little surprised to find that this area is much more like the rim country near Payson than the White Mountains as I was expecting. The Blue River valley is only 5500 feet, and while our route took us up to higher elevations, the landscape overall reminded me of the same Mogollon Rim 120 miles farther west.

    The upper portion of Sawmill along Telephone Ridge was the highlight of day 1, with big views and a pleasant climb after the steep connector that climbs up from Largo. Bear Mountain is obscured by trees, and the old lookout tower isn't tall enough to see over them. Maybe that's why it's been decommissioned!

    Bear Valley is a great spot. I could set up a base camp here and explore. The trip down Little Blue was a great suprise with running water and amazing geology. Huge spires loom above the canyon. I climbed up the ridge adjacent to the canyon to get a better view, but the afternoon sun made it tough to capture any photos. I tried to find trail 341 on the way back to Bear Valley, but I couldn't find even the slightest sign of old tread amongst the fire deadfall and new growth.

    Saturday we made the quick trip over to Franz spring and set up camp near the old cabin before heading off to check out the Tige Rim. I had been excited to see this area, but found the reward not to be worth the rest of the hike. It's just a long, hot, dry slog to get to a couple of great view points. In retrospect, I'd skip the loop and just hike the south part of the loop to the views and head back from there.

    We returned to camp to find a huge group of people camped right next to us. I'm guessing it was a meetup kind of thing. Apparently they don't backpack into the wilderness looking for peaceful solitude because it didn't occur to them to find a spot to camp that might be just out of view or earshot of others. I've encountered this before, and it is something I will never understand. Might as well have headed for Woods Canyon Lake! :-({|=

    In the morning we headed down Lanphier back toward the trailhead. We passed numerous groups along the way. It was actually quite surprising even on a holiday weekend in the Blue. We figured that articles last year in Backpacker (Nov 15) and possibly AZH (July 15) contributed to the 21 cars :o in the parking lot. (We were the only car when we started).

    While Lanphier is a pleasant canyon with shade and a stream, I'm not sure I'd like to use it for the ascent. It is steep in places and I could see it really taking it's toll on somebody carrying a heavy pack.

    Thanks to Lee for the intro to the PBR. Sorry we didn't make it down to Ladrone. Next time!
    Largo Trail #51
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    I headed back to the Blue Range for Memorial Weekend and for the first time, I brought company. We had a loose plan to cover some pretty good ground with a relatively ambitious loop that involved some must-see side trips in my opinion. The plan was enough for myself and Karl, but Chumley and John were not at ease without having everything perfectly laid out. But I assured them it was a little flexible and we had a few plan Bs and Cs worked in there and they were pretty cool with the rough plan I laid out to them.

    We drove up Thursday night and despite being pulled over twice on the way (both warnings), we made great time. In fact, we were there in time to enjoy a fire and relax a little. We woke up to frozen water on the rim, but our day got noticeably warmer as we made the last part of the drive down Red Hills road to the trailhead.

    We made good time up Largo, but it was a tad dry and warm to appreciate. Telephone Ridge was a bit of a big boy climb with full packs, but we all had enough energy to drop our packs for a quick trip up Bear Mountain. After Bear Mountain, we decided Bear Valley was starting to look like an ideal first night's camp. This was further confirmed when we arrived at the quaint meadow, rich with prime campsites and a trickling creek. After setting up, myself, Karl, Chumley and Blanco hiked further down the Little Blue Trail. This turned out to be an excellent hike, as the trail was in great shape, there were stretches of flowing water and it took a path through some very cool narrows before opening up to a nice section dominated by giant rock spires and monuments. After seeing what seemed to be about the best 2.5 mile section of that trail, we headed back to camp.

    On day two we opted for a short trip with our big packs and then a rather large loop into New Mexico via the Tige Rim Trail. We chose Franz Spring and cabin area to camp. After setting up, we all took off for a 15 mile day hike. The Tige Rim loop was hot and dry. The views from the rim were nice and there were a few cool stretches, but the warmer temps and lack of water took away from some of the loop's normal appeal. We we got back to Franz, the worst possible scenario had played out. A group of no likely less than ten people had popped a squat next to us. I knew there was a chance we might bump into some backpackers, but I could have never imagined running into that many people out there. They ended up not being the worst neighbors and our dogs got along, but they were definitely louder than our small group and they insisted on using the outhouse for some reason. To each their own, but it was probably not designed for large backcountry groups with its three feet deep hole, no maintenance and no chemicals. Nevertheless, it was business as usual at camp and we still enjoyed the great spot and did get a chance to chat with a few from the large group. No sour grapes about sharing one of the nicer areas in the Blue Range, I was just not ready to share it with ten people and it ended up not being the nice serene spot I had described. So a small damper on the backpacking trip in my eyes.

    A lot of hikers on the trail on the way out, but a quick hike with pretty good trail and very scenic along the flowing sections of Lamphier. A small disappointment on day two, but I enjoyed my three days in the the Blue. I would have liked to cover some more new ground, but it was nice to revisit some spots that I had been intrigued by before and the section of Little Blue we covered on the first day will instantly go on my list of favorites for the area. But overall great times as usual with these guys and I hope the newbies to the area were happy with the change of scenery.

    Largo Trail #51
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    Primitive Blue Range East
    I made another semi ambitious trek into the Primitive Blue Range. More specifically, I made my first significant indents into the more remote eastern portions. I say "semi ambitious" because I took along Cup and had to scale back some of my ambitions. However, Cup ended up doing just fine, Blanco loved carrying her food and we only had to alter our day two plans slightly in her consideration.

    Day 1: I stayed at the Foot Creek Trail head and decided to just make the quick 2-3 mile drive up 191 in the morning to the trail head for P-Bar Lake Trail. Foot Creek TH is further off road has basic restroom facilities and forest service does not mind. The P-Bar Lake Trail is literally just a pull-off on side of road, not conducive to car camping with dogs. Day one miles seemed to go by and pile up fast. Grant Creek Trail is a really solid trail with minimal areas of complete fire devastation. The Paradise Park area is certainly in recovery phase, but looking very promising, with some stubborn ponderosa still alive and healthy guarding the meadows edges and several young 3-5 feet pine starting over among a mixture of fast growing aspen. Grant Creek Trail is a tad bittersweet though, as one can't help but think that eventually 9000 feet will have to be reached again after hitting a trip low of about 5,100 feet above sea level on the first day. Made camp at the intersections of Lanphier and Largo Canyon, great spot, probably pushed cup a little hard, (16.5 miles)threatened several times to storm but no significant rain.

    Day 2I wanted to go the Bear Mountain look out, but Cup was a little beat after a tough day one, so I decided to skip Bear Mountain and return to the Blue River via Telephone Ridge Trail and Sawmill Trail. Was nice to finally get some data for this area of Primitive Blue Range. It will come in handy when I make my next trek there, hopefully to finally include a little dual state action and a quick cross over into New Mexico. Something I think Blanco and I could have knocked out with about a 55 to 60 mile trip, oh and maybe another day. Day two camp superb, had Cup off trail very early in afternoon, read some, prepped camp, cooled off in creek.

    Day 3: A pretty standard hike out, however, did make a slight detour back down to Grant Creek via Paradise Trail #74. I am just trying to accumulate as much info for this area as I can, and I had not did that trail yet. In terms of miles, small detour, however, certainly added some more AEG to hike that I probably did not need and Cup almost certainly did not want. But the trail proved to be great! A real slice of "paradise" in spots, a tad tough to pick up near creek, some dead fall and erosion have really taken their toll on this trail's once much deeper cuts along the steep hillside leading down into Grant Creek. For a good laugh see my GPS Track where I turned around to go get my nice 16 dollar map, then stopped just under two tenths of a mile to return to pack where I was now sure I put it. Nope not in pack went back for map again, found about 100-200 feet further up trail from when I turned around first time. I had set map down to move a log in trail, never picked back up, but certainly not to proud to turn around twice in an attempt to recoup a $16.95 map.

    Final Notes: AEG is probably a tad inflated, however, hard to hide from AEG in Primitive Blue Range easy to rack up out there and while it may look high, it is probably not as off as some might think.

    Had to do more road walking then what I generaly like, but spirits were brightened by seeing a random white van with no windows driving around remote back roads with a personalized plate reading AMBRLRT, my thoughts exactly! At least he comes about it honestly.

    Product Review I brought out my new Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum. Two thumbs up, was initially worried about durability with dogs, however, had both in tent by second night, no issues. So light and compact, found myself stopping to make sure I packed tent! I was not able to field test it in a good storm, but nice results for steady lighter drizzles.
    Largo Trail #51
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    Arrived at Lanphier trailhead about 9 AM and found parking lot full of trucks and horse trailers: hunters. Walked down FR 281 (Blue River Road) nearly 2 miles to Sawmill trailhead and began ascent of Bear Mountain about 10 AM. Encountered 2 hunters - opening day of mule deer season, they said. Near top of Telephone Ridge we heard 3 shots, not far away, in span of a few minutes. That was the only gunfire we heard all day. Shortly thereafter a large group of white tail deer crossed the trail ahead of us. Arrived at lookout tower shortly after 1 PM and rested awhile enjoying solitude. Down WS Lake trail to Largo trail. Maples around Maple Spring must have been brillant a week or so ago, now most leaves are on the ground. Still, would have enjoyed hanging out there a bit to do some photos, but a hunter had the spring staked out and was acting territorial. On to Lanphier trail then back to trailhead after 4 PM. An absolutely gorgeous day, and except for the three hunters we saw no other people.
    Largo Trail #51
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    Beginning at Lanphier trailhead (elevation 5,600 feet), we proceeded 0.6 miles up the creek to the Largo trail. Then 2.4 miles along it, we turned west onto the Telephone Ridge trail and ascended it 0.9 miles to the junction with Sawmill trail. 2.0 miles on the Sawmill trail brought us to the WS Lake trail, and we followed it 0.3 miles up to the cabin and lookout on Bear Mountain summit (elevation 8,550 feet). We descended the WS Lake trail 1.2 miles to the Largo trail and walked its entire 5.6 miles down to Lanphier creek, then the remaining 0.6 mile back to the trailhead. Rain the preceding day and night rendered the trails slick and sticky in places, but otherwise all were in good condition - even Telephone Ridge which obviously carries very little traffic. Four years ago we found the southern end of Largo buried beneath fallen snags where it traverses an old burn. The Forest Service has cleaned that mess up nicely. Maples, more shrublike than trees, proliferate in Largo canyon, and although most had shed their leaves already, the forest floor was certainly colorful.

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    Map Drive

    To hike
    Drive 3 miles east of Alpine on Us 180 to Forest Road 281 (Blue River Road). Turn south and follow this scenic back road 23 miles to the Blue Administration Site and a trailhead marked Lanphier, Foote Creek and S Canyon Trailhead. From the trailhead, head to the right through two gates to the Blue River. About 100 yards downstream on the other side of the river is a corral that marks the mouth of Lanphier Canyon. The Largo Trail begins about 0.5 mile up the Lanphier Trail #52.

    Backcountry Access: Largo Trail is accessible via Lanphier Trail #52, Telephone Ridge Trail #42 and WS Lake Trail #54.
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