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

North Fork KP Trail #93, AZ

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14 12 0
Guide 12 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Alpine S
Rated
2.6
2.6 of 5 by 5
 
4
Statistics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Distance One Way 2.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,727 feet
Elevation Gain -1,230 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 4.35
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
9  2017-07-01
KP Trail #70
nonot
71  2014-06-21
Blue Range Primitive Area
friendofThunderg
17  2012-04-11
Bear Wallow Trail #63
JuanJaimeiii
5  2011-10-08 RickVincent
5  2011-05-23 Lost
4  2009-08-23 keepmoving
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
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Preferred   Jul, Jun, Aug, Sep
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:05am - 6:16pm
Official Route
 
1 Alternative
 
Water

Likely In-Season!
There's more reasons to hike this cool woodland trail than just because it offers an alternate, slightly shorter access route to the KP Trail at the bottom of KP Canyon. For one thing, it leads to one of the most scenic areas in the Blue Primitive Area, the confluence of the north and south forks of KP Creek. This spot is marked by steep, rocky outcrops and a couple of ten foot waterfalls. You'll want to spend some time here, so remember to pack a picnic lunch along with your camera and bird book. Sheltered riparian areas with their diverse vegetation and accessible moisture attract a variety of colorful songbirds.


The route to this beautiful little hideout is scenic in its own right. The North Fork Trail quickly leaves the upland habitat of its origin for the more lush confines of a deepening canyon and its well established streamside community of plants and animals. As the trail dives down the steep slopes of the North Fork drainage, it is highlighted by the lush green of box elders, sawtooth maple and healthy stands of poison ivy that cluster near the streambed. Within a half mile of the confluence, the canyon of the South Fork comes into view and rocky outcrops give a hint of the canyon landscape that is up ahead. The North Fork Trail and the KP Trail join about ten yards upstream of the two waterfalls that mark the confluence in a beautiful spot that will have you looking for a place to sit down and enjoy the view, as you contemplate whether to continue downstream a bit before you decide which trail to take back to the high country.

Notes:
No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) permitted in Primitive area. A loop hike via the KP Trail is an option if you set up a shuttle in KP Cienega or hike the 3.3 miles between the two trailheads.

Trail Log:
0.0 Trailhead parking area which is shared with KP Rim Trailhead. Trail follows an old logging road for the first 0.7 miles
0.7 Trail leaves logging road
0.8 Trail switchbacks down to a creekside trail
1.5 Trail contours around a tributary coming in from the north
2.4 Junction with KP Trail #70. There is a water fall just downstream

USGS Maps: 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
    North Fork KP Trail #93
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    KP South Fork, KP North Fork, Ackre Lake, then trying to loop out.

    KP South and North Fork are clear of downed trees and the forest service continues to work on erosion control on these trails. In general these seemed to be in fairly good shape and I saw a trail crew when hiking, so the FS is continuing to try to improve the conditions.

    Water in both forks and flowing nicely near the confluence. It dries up quickly moving up North Fork.

    Ackre Lake is a lovely little pond, probably my favorite find of the trip. Trying to make a recommended loop out of Ackre lake proved a horrible decision, but I did make it back to the highway.
    North Fork KP Trail #93
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    Blue Range Primitive Area
    Made another pilgrimage east to the Apache-Sitgreaves, more specifically the Primitive Blue Range area, or as my map says the Blue Range Wilderness and Primitive Area. However, even the latter is a bit of a misnomer, as currently the Blue Range has not achieved wilderness status in the eyes of Congress and to this day remains the last "primitive" designated area in the United States. Not sure what any of that means, however, anyone who knows me, knows that I would have a natural attraction to any area with the word primitive in its title. Similarly, since my first visit about a year ago, this area has really intrigued me. It was in this are that Aldo Leopold (arguably the founding father in American conservationism and ecology) obtained his first position working under the federal forest service. Leopold saw much in his day, he spoke fondly of the "mountain" in fact, one of his most famous written works, "Thinking Like a Mountain" is based off of his expediences in and around Escudilla and the Escudilla Wilderness area. So the question for me: could I find what gravitated Leopold to this area and transformed him into perhaps America's first conservationists, but 100 years later and after the greatest forest fire the Southwest has seen in contemporary times? Spoiler alert the answer is a resounding yes!

    A chance encounter with a game warden around 10:00 p.m. on Friday changed my plans slightly for the three days. He had personally just conducted a "shocking" and fish count of Grant Creek and gave me some pointers on where all the trout were congregated. However, if I were to hit these areas, I would have to modify my original route of Grant Creek Trail which stays high above the creek until crossing around the lower elevations where the Game Warden officer told me all the fish had been killed or can no longer exist due to warmer water temps caused by the destroying of their natural shade and the naturally warmer water at lower elevations. So from the intersection of trails #76 Foot Creek and #75 Grant Creek I took trail #306 down to Grant Creek and decided I would just fish and hike the whole stream length off-trail to its southern intersection with trail #75. If the fishing and beauty of Grant Creek were not as great as they were, this might have turned out to be a negative experience. Movement down stream was very slow at times, however, as I stated earlier the fishing was amazing and the creek beautiful so it negated the slow moving pace of boulder hoping, and down climbing water falls complete with three day pack and pole in hand, oh and along with keeping Blanco floating and upright through some of the deeper pools and obstacles. From there I made good time to the Blue River, passed through a little bit of civilization as I walked the forest road that connected my ambitious loop. I took the first opportunity to camp at a place marked the "box" on my map. This was one of first areas where there were not a dozen no trespassing signs or signs proclaiming the owner's willingness to shoot me if I stepped foot on their property. Day one turned out to be a little over 17 miles, camping was nice, but not spectacular, ate well, slept well.

    I thought day 2 would be a much easier day, however, that did not turn out to be necessarily true, thanks in part to some of my decision making. I hate to give a negative trail description, because with trails everyone has their own opinions, and I would not want to steer someone away from an area. However, Steeple Trail #73 is probably a trail one could leave off their to do list for the time being. The upper sections of the trail have really been damage by fire and the trip across KP Mesa is enough to make one yearn for a very quick change of scenery. However, that is simply not the case as you seem to hike forever to simply cross KP Mesa's fire damaged landscape where one can easily see areas that suffered 100 percent devastation from fire. From Steeple Trail #73 I took trail #70 into the KP Creek area. However, this trail got no better! In fact, I will give a fair warning, if you do not have a G.P.S route for this trail or sound topo reading skills, I would avoid this section of trail all together. One can safely say to some degree that this trail ceases to exist in several spots, littered with dead fall, washed out and very faint in the good spots. Nevertheless, we were doing just fine, traversing the several drainages leading to K.P. when I had the great decision to cut a mile or so off route and explore some off-trail sections of K.P. Creek. The whole situation reminded me of something my friend Jim always says when I am pondering short-cuts and more direct off trail routes. He always says, "if that way is shorter or easier, that would be the way." Well in this case that held to be 100% true. I could tell from cliffs along opposite side of creek that there was potential for not being able to cut down to creek and man did that hold true, cliffed out once, then took a side drainage only to come to an impassible pour-over so intimidating that I did not even snap a photo, Blanco and I finally broke through down about a 4-5 foot wide scree shoot, hit the creek where Blanco drank profusely and I silently chastised myself. One would think at this stage in the game I was done making those kind of mistakes, but something tells me that won't be the last time. We slowly made our way up the lower section of K.P Creek where the trail is a little tough to follow and made camp at a superb location.

    The final day was just an easy hike up K.P. Creek to K.P. Rim Trail, back to the upper section of Steeple Trail and back to the TH. Everything on this hike went well except finding my short connector trail to complete my K.P. Rim loop. Similar to the hike description, the turn-off for the trail is very hard to find and the forest fire certainly did not make it any easier. In fact, the author wrote had we not had the route downloaded we would have never found the turn-off. Unfortunately, the author failed to post "said" route to description, I guess his way of adding a little excitement for the next guy, we found it but you are on your own I guess. After accepting defeat I was reserved to back-track and make the less than 2 mile trek down 191 to my TH. However, this whole thought was leaving a bitter taste in my mouth, almost like a surrender, or a walk of shame in my mind. First a small voice contemplated just going off-trail the whole way until I found something to walk on. However, this voice was quickly drowned out by about 1000 sane other voices in my head who still had yesterday's folly fresh in their minds and they quickly and probably for the better got that thought out of my head. I then looked down and could clearly see the meadow I needed to get to, but no trail to get there. I said to myself I will go exactly .25 miles to meadow look for Steeple Trail #73, if I don't find, I turn right around. As luck would have it, after about 100 feet off trail I ran into my long lost connector trail.

    The trail now ran in a complete opposite direction of the trail featured on my G.P.S! Oh well no time to curse and dwell, I was happy to be on trails and heading back to car, went through some pretty bad burnt out sections, but oddly enough found some beauty in them. Whether it was the stubborn trees that refused to burn or the half million or so 5 to 15 feet tall Aspen blowing fiercely in the wind and the numerous reinvigorated meadows and cienegas, I found beauty in it all.

    Even with the adventure in finding my connector trail, Blanco and I still hit TH by 11:30 in morning.

    Final Notes:

    HAZ Appreciation I used a hike description from Arizonaed written in 2004 and it turned out to be pretty much spot on. Which is something to say, as he obviously wrote pre-Bear Wallow Fire. Route might need some small adjustments, but overall great hike description!
    North Fork KP Trail #93
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    Anna and I drove 35 miles south down the Coronado Trail hoping to get beyond the Wallow Fire burn area for a hike. Although there are still a few patches of beauty, most of the trip was through burnt wilderness. Thought maybe the KP area might have been spared since it is East of the highway. My conclusion: This area is not fit for human consumption. Blackened trees both downed and still standing are everywhere. The trail is overgrown with catclaw. The creek beds look ripped up due to excess flooding. We hiked in about 1.5 miles hoping the situation would get better as we traveled east. No such luck. The skies started to gray and then it started to snow. Anna had a hard fall on a rough part of the trail. She cut up her knee pretty good, but nothing serious. I decided not to continue to the confluence and waterfalls. Returned the way we came. The snow had stopped, but started to fall again as we reached the truck back at the trailhead. Best to avoid this place for awhile. Shame that a couple of careless idiots caused this whole mess.
    North Fork KP Trail #93
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    Started down the trail about 9:30. Didn't see another person the entire hike. Weather was windy, but otherwise clear and comfortable. Being down in the canyon for nearly all of the hike, the wind really isn't that bad on the ground. What you do notice is the countless downed trees along the trail. It's not that bad going downhill, but a pain when you're coming back. I heard four or five trees creaking in the wind like they were ready to fall, so watch where you camp. The trail was somewhat faint, but still easy to follow. The two waterfalls were very nice, and there are good places to have lunch at the base of each one. Definitely a beautiful place i'll come back to, but i'll probably try the south trail next time.
    North Fork KP Trail #93
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    After 2 days in camp at Hannagan Meadow Campground, now having reviewed maps and scouted around the area the day before to find my way to local TH's and trail starts, it was time to go hiking! It was already 11am when I decided to check-out this local North Fork KP Trail#93 which was only a couple of miles South from my campsite, off Hwy#191.

    This short 2.4ml "one way" (-1600') trail serves as a connector trail to the more popular KP Trail#70 , connecting at the bottom of KP Canyon. Both these trails leads to one of the more scenic areas in the Blue Primitive Area, the confluence of the North and South Forks of KP Creek where a nice lunch spot resides to enjoy the views while relaxing by two ~10ft waterfalls. This trail#93 exhibits a good example of active vegetation restoration after previous fire(s) pretty much devistated this area. There are some down & burnt trees on the trail that one must cross over, under, and around, but seeing the lush-green regrowth of this forest area is worth it!

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    Directions
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    To hike
    From Alpine, drive south on US 191 about 25 miles to the North Fork KP/KP Rim Trailhead. This trailhead is generally plowed for winter use. The North Fork KP Trail is also accessible via the KP Trail #70
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