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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.

Strayhorse Canyon Trail #20, AZ

no permit
16 2 0
Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Alpine S
3 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 12 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,244 feet
Elevation Gain -3,292 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 28.46
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
16  2016-06-16 friendofThunderg
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Jun, Aug, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:59am - 6:27pm
0 Alternative

Likely In-Season!
A popular route to the Blue River, Strayhorse Canyon Trail #20 starts near Rose Peak Lookout. The trial starts in mixed conifer and ponderosa pine forest. The vegetation changes to pinyon and juniper forest as you go down in elevation, towards Blue River.

About 0.5 miles down the trail you pass an abandoned cabin, this was the home for early fire lookouts at Rose Peak some 50 years ago. The cabin was located here to be close to water, large old pumps were left behind when the cabin was abandoned. Just off the trail to the east of the junction with Lengthy Trail #89 you will see the remains of another old cabin known as Strayhorse Cabin.

Exploratory mining took place near the bottom of the trail. These drill holes were not capped and you can hear water running in them if you listen carefully.

The trail enters the Blue Range Primitive Area just after you leave the information Kiosk. Therefore no bicycles or motorized use are allowed past this point.

* Bring drinking water. Treat any water you find before drinking.
* Shares a trailhead with Red Mountain Trail #25. Connects to Hagan Trail #31 and Lengthy Trail #89, and Blue River Trail #101.

Trail Log:
* 1.4 Distance from US Highway 191 to Strayhorse Spring
* 5.6 Distance from Strayhorse Spring to junction at Hagan Trail # 31
HAZ is working on understanding after this point...
* 1.0 Distance from junction at Hagan Trail # 31 to the junction at Lengthy Trail # 89
* 1.4 Distance from junction at Lengthy Trail # 89 to end of trail at Blue River

Check out the Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
    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 Review
    Strayhorse Canyon Trail #20
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    This was suppose to be the first of two overnight trips I had planned for my four days in the Primitive Blue Range. I knew it was going to be hot at the Blue River, so I made sure to be ready to leave by pretty early in the morning. However, I completely negated that plan by deciding to visit Rose Peak first thing in the morning. My start time ended up being just past 7 in the morning, but I was already way behind the mental calculations I had did in my head for getting myself and Blanco to camp, before the warm temperatures reached their might at the Blue.

    Despite the late start, the hike immediately began to pay dividends as I heard a crash through the woods and looked up in time to see a big brown bear running down the canyon. However, oddly enough the bear only ran about 25 meters or so and then stopped, enabling Blanco and I to catch up to her again. We shared eye contact for a few minutes and I tried to snap some pictures with the Iphone, but with no great shots I pulled Blanco down the trail about 20 feet and the bear just went back to her routine. At this moment I noticed she also had a cub with her, so I did not press for a good shot and from a safe distance I got as many horrible Iphone pics as I could and then left. But it was by far and away my most rewarding/complete bear encounter. We watched her go about a routine of itching herself on a tree and foraging on various leaves and ferns for what seemed like at least five minutes, before basically leaving out of boredom, as nothing overly exciting was happening, the bear had no intentions of leaving and I was not willing to get any closer for a better shot with her cub near.

    Although it will start to sound like a fish story from here, Blanco and I ran into two more bears at the old cabin ruins, probably less than a mile up the trail. This time the sow was not in the mood for a photo shoot, but she did seem very annoyed by the fact that her cub ran left and she ran right, somewhat putting Blanco and I between the two of them. I literally attempted one picture and then just headed down the trail, trying to convey indifference to the big sow, in hopes of not agitating her. We left the old cabin area and the real hiking seemed to begin. The trail was in generally good shape and there was ample amounts of water in Strayhorse Creek. However, I began to realize that I was already a little warm and so was Blanco. I checked my G.P.S and it still showed a solid 4 miles to the Blue, plus another 3.5 down the Blue and another one to camp. At this moment, I decided that I was not willing to death march Blanco and myself across some pretty rugged terrain in the mid 90s. As much as it annoyed me to know that I was now signing up for an 18 mile day hike with a full pack, I headed back to the TH. The upper elevations were simply too nice and there was now opportunities to maximize my time in the Blue Range, by adding in some day hikes for Friday.

    One more boring bear sighting on the way back and a lot of digging in deep to make the nearly 3000 feet climb back to the TH. Still annoyed about carrying my heavy pack all day, I found some silver linings, cool bear sightings, good training for the Colorado Trail, Cavs v. Warriors on XM radio and chances to cover more new ground with a slack pack the next day.

    Final Notes

    The trail was generally in pretty good shape, but as you near the Blue the route can become more faint and easy to lose at times. Some stretches are cairned or blazed well and the creek crossing may take a second look or two in order to locate the trail.

    I ran into the fire watch after my hike and he said the reason I saw so many bears may be attributed to the fact that they dump problem bears from parks up north at that very trailhead. I have no idea if what he said was true, but could be something there, who knows? It might explain why the first sow did not seem to mind our presence.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Access: Take US Highway 191 North of Clifton for 49 miles. The trailhead is on the eastside
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