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Upper Grant Creek Trail #65 - Blue Range, AZ

no permit
70 10 0
Guide 10 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Alpine S
4 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Distance One Way 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,722 feet
Elevation Gain 1,600 feet
Avg Time One Way 2+ Hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.33
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
11  2016-06-18 friendofThunderg
15  2015-06-19 Thoreau
23  2015-05-23 friendofThunderg
12  2009-10-03
Steeple Trail #73 - Blue Range
4  2007-05-26 BelladonnaTook
5  2006-05-29 JGPohlman
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   Aug, Jun, Jul, Sep
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:05am - 6:16pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Wildflower Dotted Meadows
by HAZ_Hikebot

Likely In-Season!
This upland trail provides rugged access to a picture perfect land of wildflower dotted meadows and tall trees. One of it's most attractive features is that it opens up so many possibilities for loop hikes, most of which can be covered in a day. Other Forest trails accessible via Upper Grant Creek include Steeple Trail #73, Long Cienega #305, Grant Creek Trail #75, Paradise Trail #74 and Grant Cabin Shortcut #306. With a little creative pathfinding you can turn this network of trails into a number of varied and enjoyable day hikes.

Upper Grant Creek Trail is accessible via any one of the above trails, but the shortest route is via Steeple Creek Trail from the Hannagan Meadow Trailhead. A 1.4 mile stroll through stands of tall conifer, alternating with small hidden meadows, brings you to the Upper Grant Trailhead in the middle of one of the larger meadows or cienegas in the area. From this access point, the trail follows the course of Grant Creek as it drops into a steep, narrow canyon shaded by a canopy of Douglas-fir and aspen. The trail crisscrosses the tumbling brook that steadily increases in volume as it drops toward its confluence with the Blue. This section of the trail is not recommended for horses.

Hikers stand a very good chance of seeing wildlife in this area. In addition to elk and mule deer, black bears are regularly seen grubbing through the blow-downs. If you do happen to run across one of these big but shy creatures, the encounter will most likely be brief. Wild bears make a business of keeping a very low profile.

At 3.5 miles into the hike you'll come onto an old cabin and corral site. Recently, some copper moonshining equipment was recovered from this site.

No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) permitted in Primitive Area. Recommended ONLY for experienced mountain horses or pack trains.

Trail Log:
0.0 Trail terminus. Upper Grant Creek Trail leaves Steeple Trail in small cienega (wet meadow) about 1.3 miles from Hannagan Trailhead.
2.2 Tributary drainage from north crosses trail. Ranchers call it Slide Canyon as horse needs to slide down it in spots.
3.2 Another tributary drainage from the north. Ranchers call this one Scoot Canyon as horse needs to scoot down it.
3.5 Moonshiner's cabin and corral.
3.6 Junction with Grant Cabin Trail #306 which connects to Grant Creek Trail #75.
3.8 Junction with Long Cienega Trail #305 which connects to Steeple Trail #73.
4.0 Trail terminus. Junction with Paradise Trail #74.

USGS Maps: Hannagan Meadow, Strayhorse

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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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
    Upper Grant Creek Trail #65 - Blue Range
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I made my favorite five hour drive this weekend. The destination was none other than my beloved Primitive Blue Range. I planned a weekend of exploring new trails, a little fishing and gathering some much needed data on the area to share on HAZ and use for own personal planning. There is simply not a lot of beta floating around for the P.B.R and the several trails systems in the area.

    The first day was designed to be a light creek fishing day with the incorporation of two new trails for me: Upper Grant Creek Trail #74 and Long Cienega Trail #305. Both the Upper Grant Trail and Long Cienega fall under the forest service's primitive trail designation. The Upper Grant Trail was actually a very pleasant little trail, with signs of trail maintenance and a nice setting among the upper stretches of the perennial Grant Creek. I saw my first Apache Trout in a small pool at 7,700 feet from there on one can witness several shy trout darting in and out from the danger of the well lit water to the safety of the shadows and depths of their pools. The trout are actually ubiquitous to some small sections of the stream here, however, the nice trout are much further down stream and require a considerable amount of effort to reach.

    On our way down stream while trying my luck in a new hole and with Cup by my side attentively watching Blanco stirred up a bear that was probably not 20 yards from us. I think until Blanco stirred him up, the bear's strategy was probably to just wait us out. Blanco gave the bear a strong initial effort, however, nothing beats a bear scurrying up the side of a bank in heavy brush, could not even get a picture, but a real treat none the less and my first bear sighting in the B.R. Meanwhile, the fishing proved to be great once again.

    We ended up going off trail down stream much further than I had anticipated, imagine that I low-balled the miles total, that never happens to me. Anyways, making our way down and up stream off trail was some pretty nasty terrain for Cup, so I decided to forgo Long Cienega. I had finally looked at the trail closely on a map and I noticed its terminus was in a real nasty burned out area I had hie through the year before. The aforementioned coupled with the fact that the beginning of the trail did not look all that enticing, led me to opt for the known trails out and a much nicer exit for the dogs.

    Less than a 3000 foot climb out, but a tad strenuous in spots. The climb out was pretty uneventful, however, the trails were generally pleasant.
    Upper Grant Creek Trail #65 - Blue Range
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    During my 10 day camping/hiking trip to the Hannagan Meadow area, this LOOP HIKE, starting out on the Steeple Trail#73 turned-out to be the one I most enjoyed of the five day hikes I was able to complete during my stay(5/30-6/8/07) at the Hannagan Campground.

    Hiking Route: From the Steeple Tr#73 / Foote Creek Tr#76 Trailhead(off Hwy#191 near MM231.5), begin on Steeple Tr#73 for 1.3mls down to intersection with Upper Grant Creek Tr#65; hike #65 down 4mls to intersection with Paradise Tr#74; hike #74 up 1.9mls to intersection with Grant Creek Tr#75; hike #75 up 2.6mls to intersection with Foote Creek Tr#76; hike #76 for 3.6mls ~level terrain back to the beginning TH and parking area; This wonderful and manageable 13.4ml LOOP HIKE has a total accumulated elevation of: 3838ft;

    Prior to doing this hike, I spent almost half a day on 6/5 having fun looking at maps and planning this above LOOP HIKE. Prior to leaving home for the trip, I discovered this "inner trail" called the Paradise Trail#74, so I already knew that one hiking day that I HAD TO MAKE IT TO THIS TRAIL..regardless!...I figured that any trail named PARADISE had to be worth whatever effort it took to get there :) ! It turned-out that I was correct...the scenic views and old forest growth on this trail section were great! This Paradise Tr is 4.2mls long, but on this planned loop, I was only able to include the upper 1.9mls of it for this trip, but I will be back one day to do the 2.3ml balance of the South/SW trail portion. Also, this loop included a most pleasant surprise with my inclusion of the 4 mile Upper Grant Creek Tr#65 which is "not" passable during the rainy seasons(usually not a problem in June). This trail desends a beautiful steep & deep, narrow canyon with huge old growth forest, beautiful & unusual dense (almost "rain forest like"..) vegetation along a very active, running creek. This primitive trail is somewhat difficult to follow at times, crossing over the creek numerous time, and would be almost impossible to follow when the creek water is HIGH. A lucky seven of us encounted much Bear scat and Elk signs while hiking this beautiful 4 mile trail to its end at the Paradise Trail#74 intersection.

    Also, this loop hike was the same day that 81MPH WINDS were clocked on the top of the Forest Service FIRE TOWER on ESCUDILLA PEAK! (see my Escudilla Tr trip log..dtd-6/7/07). For our afternoon 3.6ml hike on the Foote Creek Tr#76 back to the TH, we were actually having to "dodge and run over/under" falling trees due to these major high winds in the forest was actually pretty scary at times, but we did all get back safely.
    Upper Grant Creek Trail #65 - Blue Range
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This 16 mile trail goes deep into the Blue Range Primitive Area & Wilderness from Rim Top(at 9200')to Canyon Bottom (at 5520'). I joined my AOTC group this day to do a nice, manageable "in and out" day hike to the OLD GRANT LOG CABIN and back.

    Trail Route: At the Steeple Creek Tr#73 / Foote Creek Tr#76 TH- Start on trail#76 and continue ~mostly level for 3.6mls to the intersection of the Grant Creek Tr#75 at P-Bar Lake(more like a small pond now); Continue Right and downhill on #75 for 1.5mls to the intersection (at gate) with Grant Cabin Shortcut Tr#306; Continue downhill on Tr#306 for .5ml to intersection with Upper Grant Creek Tr#65; Turn Right on Tr#65 and continue ~level for not more than .1ml to a nice lunch spot next to active Upper Grant Creek and the Upper Grant Creek Trail OLD LOG CABIN. This nice "in and out" hike is 11.5mls and +/-1800ft;

    This is a great hike to get acquainted with some of the hiking areas East of Hannagan Meadow in the Blue Range Primitive Area and Wilderness. The first 3.6mls is a nice level walk (+/-200ft) in the woods, in an old growth forest/canopy of large aspen, fir, pine, and spruce trees. You will start the downhill trek (-1600ft) after turning right at P-Bar Lake on to the Grant Creek Tr#75. Lunch at the Upper Grant Creek Tr OLD LOG CABIN is a great photo op area next to active Upper Grant Creek. It was at this lunch spot that I got the idea to plan a hike (for 6/6..see Steeple Trail trip log) to do the entire 4ml Upper Grant Creek Tr#65. While the others were having lunch and doing photo ops, I hiked about 10 minutes further UP this primitive Tr#65 and I was convienced that it would be a wonderful hike to do!

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    Map Drive

    To hike
    Upper Grant Creek Trail is accessible only via other backcountry trails. Steeple Trail leads to its upper trailhead. Paradise Trail leads to its lower trailhead. For the most convenient access, drive south on US 191 to the south end Hannagan Meadow and turn left (east) to the Steeple Trailhead. Hike this trail about 1 mile to Upper Grant Creek Trail.
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