register help
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Blue Cabin Ruins Trail #321, AZ

no permit
0 2 0
Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Alpine S
2.5 of 5 by 2
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance One Way 0.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,885 feet
Elevation Gain -532 feet
Accumulated Gain 7 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 0.72
Backpack Possible & Connecting
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
35  2014-08-02
Primitive Blue Range
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
Expand Map
Preferred   Sep, Aug, Jun, May
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:01am - 6:23pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

Likely In-Season!
This short trail provides access to one of the Blue Range's better known wild west landmarks. It leads to the burned out remains of an old cabin that was once used to house personnel to man the lookout tower at the top of Blue Peak. It was also once used as a hideout by a fellow who allegedly held up a bank in McNary in 1921. The man was a German immigrant who reportedly was desperate to secure money to bring his mother to the US from Germany. When the bank refused to grant him the loan, he re-proposed the deal in terms the bank couldn't refuse. He took refuge in the ranger's cabin. Neither his altruistic intentions nor the fact that he was about to give himself up was enough to avert the tragic course of events the robbery set in motion. One member of the posse that came to apprehend the unfortunate soul shot him down as he stepped out of the cabin with his hands up. If you're ever on Forest Road 249 at the west end of Williams Valley, you might notice his crude grave marker. The posse buried him there on the trip back to town. Today, all that remains of the old cabin are some of the metal fixtures which withstood the fire that destroyed it in 1980.

Once you've visited the ashes of the old cabin and meditated on whatever history happens to linger there, you may consider not returning by the way you came, but taking a detour to one of the best views in the Blue Range. If this sounds appealing to you, and you don't mind a few extra steps, you can climb up the Blue Lookout Trail #71 and the McKittrick Trail #72 all the way to the summit of Blue Peak. The view here is no less than sublime, stretching well into New Mexico and encompassing much of southeastern Arizona. After seeing how many features in the panorama you can name, you can head back down the McKittrick Trail to the trailhead for a loop hike of 3.7 miles.

Notes: No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) permitted in Primitive Area.

Trail Log:
0.0 Trailhead at end of primitive road.
0.6 Junction with Blue Lookout Trail #71 (The ruins of Blue Cabin are just downhill of this junction.

USGS Maps: Strayhorse

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

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
    Blue Cabin Ruins Trail #321
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Primitive Blue Range
    This was intended to be a nice and easy over-night hike with hopefully some good fishing and a nice camp site along the creek.

    The fishing turned out to be a dud, nothing like Grant Creek. I just don't see how any of the sections I fished could sustain Apache Trout. The conservation officer's grim outlook for KP Creek still supporting Apache Trout seems to have been warranted. He felt the fire had probably simply got too hot along large stretches of KP Creek and damaged to much of the valuable canopy needed to shade and keep the water cool. The lack of fish was not the end of the world to me, in fact, it was somewhat expected yet, it did change my plans slightly as I really was not ready to just set up camp at 11 in the morning, one can only do so much reading. I decided to just keep progressing on loop and maybe find a nice campsite in the higher elevations.

    I never found a nice campsite in the higher elevations and some real nasty storm clouds had me considering skipping Blue Peak for the moment and pushing for the car. I could car camp somewhere that night and hit a whole new trail the next day. I was happy I went for the car! Although, it did not take much distant thunder and light rain to expedite this decision. My scientific method of looking at the water in the dog's dishes leads me to believe the dogs and I got about 2.5 or more inches of rain dumped on us from Saturday evening until our Sunday morning retreat.

    Trail Run-Down.

    KP South Fork-Pretty good shape for Primitive Blue Range, easy to follow, ends at two beautiful waterfalls. I was a day light on really seeing them push some water.

    Blue Lookout Trail-I give this trail two emphatic :pk: :pk: based on my new unofficial Primitive Blue Range Trail rating system. The pumpkins represent a fraction of poor language used to navigate this overgrown, non-existent, and slightly steep trail.

    Blue Cabin Ruins Trail- See above trail rating guide. Missed the cabin ruins, missed a few of upper switchbacks and can't really say for sure how much of this very short trail I actually covered.

    I ended up staying at the TH for Blue Lookout Tower and Indian Peak also the beginnings of the Blue Cabin Ruins Trail and the Mckittrick Trail. However, I woke up to torrential rain and about 25 meters of visibility. At that point it was hard to justify the effort it would take to navigate the very rough looking McKittrick Trail for the 50 meter panoramic views from atop the largest peak in the Primitive Blue Range. I cancelled that mission, regrouped and headed for the first trail without rain.

    Side Notes:

    I am going to do some route manager work on my last two Blue Range trips, as there are some desperately needed official routes in there that could fill voids on some description pages for that area. The area in general is so deficient on reliable current information all the standard forest service excerpts on the description pages are pre-fire and only worth so much. However, I kind of like that aspect of making the long trek out there it certainly makes it interesting. I will have to say there are probably not too many wilderness areas in AZ rivaling the Blue Range in terms of ruggedness and challenge. Some of those trails have simply been lost to time and lack of use. Most have already given way to nature's advance or are regressing rapidly. However, I am here to tell you there are still some areas worth visiting out there, rumors of the areas demise are perhaps a little over-stated.
    Blue Cabin Ruins Trail #321
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hiked up this short but steep trail as the last leg of a 4 trail loop hike incorporating the McKittrick Trail #72, KP Trail #70 and Blue Lookout Trail #71. We accessed this trail at the lower end of it were it meets the Blue Lookout Trail #71. Although it's short (3/4 mile) it does gain about 450' in elevation on a good trail. The entire trail is wooded but there is a major amount of downfall off the trail. The name of this trail is misleading since the ruins are not on it, it's a shortcut trail to them. We didn't know this and missed seeing the ruins :cry: The ruins are located somewhere between where we turned off the Blue Lookout Trail #71 and the junction of the McKittrick Trail #72 at the upper end of the Blue Lookout Trail #71 (1/2 mile hike). The trailhead for the Blue Cabin Ruins Trail #321 and McKittrick Trail #72 is located at the end of remote FR 84 in a small clearing. This road is in good shape and suitable for cars in dry weather, it's a 4.5 mile drive off of US 191. In this clearing there's a blank TH board with all the info that was on it stuffed into the registry box. The start of the Blue Cabin Ruins Trail #321 is unmarked but is just left of the TH board thru a gap in the trees. It is possible to do a short loop of 2 to 2.5 miles by utilizing the McKittrick Trail #72 which starts to the right of the TH board and is marked. You'll go .8 mile then have to descend on the Blue Lookout Trail #71 and come back up on the Blue Cabin Ruins Trail #321 or vice versa. These trails get very little use going by the lack of entries on the registry, no cars at the TH, far from any town and not seeing a person all day but are wonderful to hike. This IS BEAR COUNTRY so keep that in mind. I've posted detailed trip logs on this site about the 4 trails we hiked to complete this loop, it was about 10.5 miles. Happy Trails...

    Permit $$
    no fees or permits reported

    if incorrect tell us about it

    Map Drive

    To hike
    Drive south from Alpine 29 miles on US 191 to Forest Road 84, the Blue Lookout Road. This is the first left after the road to the Salt House Trail and it is signed "Dead End." Drive east on this primitive road about 6.5 miles to an open flat where the road is closed and there is a dirt parking lot. From this point the Blue Cabin Ruins Trail heads northeast down a steadily deepening drainage toward KP Canyon.

    Backcountry Access: Blue Cabin Ruins Trail is also accessible via the Blue Lookout Trail #71.
    $17 3L Hydration Bladder
    help comment issue

    end of page marker