Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

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wildwesthikes
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Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by wildwesthikes »

Hello.

This coming May I am planning a multi-day trip in the Blue Range Primitive Area and wanted to see if I could get people with experience of the eastern side of the area to weigh in on my link-up idea.

I am seeing on various maps a trail simply called Trail #541. This route branches off from the Blue River and follows Little Blue Creek allowing access to Hannah Creek Hot Spring & Dutch Blue Creek Narrows near the Whiterocks Cabin. All trip reports from HAZ that I could find have most people doing a base camping type adventure where they setup near the cabin and then explore the Dutch Blue narrows; there is clearly an overland bypass they have mentioned that links for a short lasso loop.

That looks really cool, but I am trying to figure out a way to link that route as part of a much longer 7-9 day trip that uses KP Creek as an entry to the Blue River, following that downstream south, then turn northeast and follow the Little Blue Creek, eventually meeting back up with the Blue River and returning on Grant Creek - passing through the extreme east end of the Blue Range on the far part of the loop.

On various maps, this Trail #541 appears to leave the Dutch Blue drainage and climb into the foothills of the Bear Mountain / Whiterocks Mountain complex just west of the NM border. Normally what I do is pixel peep satellite photos (google earth), to try and determine how bad the route finding might be. I can see no discernable trail once you go north of Dutch Blue Creek. It appears to be an overland route-finding type of thing.

I am totally fine doing that type of hiking. But I'd just like to know if anyone here has attempted to link the upper part of Dutch Blue Canyon with the areas just north of there (Winter Cabin Spring and Corral). And please share your experience if you've done so.

Hopefully this post is detailed enough to figure out what I'm asking... Here is kind of the area I'm talking about. Notice the only posted recorded GPX route on HAZ stops at the Dutch Blue narrows and loops back.
[ custom map :: map ]

EDIT: To elaborate - I think this Trail #541 is also known as Little Dutch Blue Trail. I am most concerned with where it goes north of Ash Creek. It looks like the foothills are some kind of white slick-rock (think Escalante/Boulder Utah) or similar. I think that's why I see no trail in the sat photos. So... that's kind of the area. Again any experience over there linking up with the trail network just north of there is much appreciated!

Thanks!
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friendofThundergod
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by friendofThundergod »

Continuing with Blue updates for anyone interested. Grant Creek Trail is cleared and in great shape from Foot Creek to turn off for cabin. Grant Cabin Shortcut Trail has also been cleared and is in great shape. I can confirm that Paradise Trail is in great shape from Paradise Park to Moonshine Park. Finally, Footcreek Trail is cleared to P-Bar Lake. I believe the trail is being decommissioned past the lake, which is in alignment with the map the FS shared with me in the spring that marked the trail impassable after P-Bar. They have removed the sign at this intersection and appear to have rolled some logs in front of the trail. Oh well gives the animals a spot to hide.

*edit since the thread has been long hijacked from the original OP question, maybe we could make this a running Blue Range Trail conditions thread ;)
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joebartels
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by joebartels »

or drop the forum
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Jim_H
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by Jim_H »

Dropping the forum all together would be a mistake, as we would no longer have any ability to share our pure wholesome love we have for one another. The spirit of togetherness, shared comradery, and general good feelings we have for one another, might sudden vanish overnight. It pains me to even conjure such a word in my mind, let alone to consider it becoming a reality.
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big_load
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by big_load »

Maybe it's time for another try at the Blue Range.
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wildwesthikes
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by wildwesthikes »

@Jim_H
You forgot to mention our shared love of conspiracy theories about aliens visiting taco bell late at night after placing strange solar butterfly lights into saguaros to freak out drivers along the 87.
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wildwesthikes
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by wildwesthikes »

@friendofThundergod
You have provided a wealth of information here. Since most of my long trips are solo, it would have been a mistake to go into that area early on in say 2018 or 2019. It just would have sucked to do all that bushwhacking. Injuries prevented me from making the trip out there this summer but it's possible early autumn is in the cards. It's really nice to see the FS reinvigorating an area with so much history and so much to see, for a change.
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hikeaz
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by hikeaz »

wildwesthikes wrote: Sep 08 2020 9:55 am @friendofThundergod
.............. It's really nice to see the FS reinvigorating an area with so much history and so much to see, for a change.
For my money, A-S does more meaningful trail work with (by far) the least resources of any Az. N.F..
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chumley
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by chumley »

@hikeaz I think it’s largely a factor of population proximity. Tonto has to spend all their resources on picking up trash and preventing people from driving all over the place and crowd control along the salt river corridor whereas there are not 5 million people within an hour’s drive of the Apache Forest so their budget can go a lot farther for classic forest projects.

Don’t worry though, it’ll happen there too soon enough.
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hikeaz
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by hikeaz »

chumley wrote: Sep 08 2020 1:15 pm @hikeaz I think it’s largely a factor of population proximity. Tonto has to spend all their resources on picking up trash and preventing people from driving all over the place and crowd control along the salt river corridor whereas there are not 5 million people within an hour’s drive of the Apache Forest so their budget can go a lot farther for classic forest projects.

Don’t worry though, it’ll happen there too soon enough.
Ha-Ha..You sound like the TNF publicity department, Chums. You may just be the one to get New Hance paved! ha.
Have you seen the buildings TNF has? How about all of the $60k pickup trucks? BTW.. have you recently even seen a TNF employee OUTSIDE his/her truck?
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chumley
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by chumley »

@hikeaz
I saw a Tonto ranger in a truck in the Sierra once. He was collecting trash from one of the camping areas with a dumpster. He told me he had to go to Haigler next and he was the only ranger on duty in that district. Coco seems to have a similar management view as Tonto. It's all about Sedona though. I did see an actual Coco employee in the field a couple of weeks ago. He was researching though, not in uniform.

In large part, I think the FS is responsive rather than active. When people complain about things they have to show signs of doing something about it. A lot more people complain about not getting to park at the lake than about overgrown hiking trails (*my speculation. I don't have access to FS complaint records).
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CannondaleKid
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by CannondaleKid »

hikeaz wrote:have you recently even seen a TNF employee OUTSIDE his/her truck?
I do relatively frequently.
While I understand it depends a lot where you might expect to see a TNF employee, personally I see one checking one or more of Granite Reef, Phon D Sutton, Coon Bluff and/or Blue Point Rec sites at least a few times a month. When Butcher Jones was open I saw one almost every time I was hiking there.
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friendofThundergod
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by friendofThundergod »

@hikeaz
Hey take that Tonto bashing to the proper forum, :lol:

[ Tonto NF and Land Managment ]
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nonot
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by nonot »

On almost every visit, I observe a pair of Tonto NF rangers at the Peralta trailhead basically begging people to not litter, bring enough water, and not get lost on weekends; directing traffic to the overflow lot and preventing people from parking in areas where they would block the road (that are already signed as no parking), and cleaning up the restroom/trash at the trailhead (which are already signed to not litter).

I can't blame them for wanting to hide in their offices when the alternative is to have to go out and deal with the idiocy of the average citizens that can't read the signs, can't behave like civilized adults, show blatant disrepect for everyone and everything else, and have no common sense.

Like Chums says, ASNF also has to deal with idiots, but because of the lower visitation, there are less idiots, allowing more time spent doing meaningful things.
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outdoor_lover
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by outdoor_lover »

chumley wrote: Sep 08 2020 1:15 pm @hikeaz I think it’s largely a factor of population proximity. Tonto has to spend all their resources on picking up trash and preventing people from driving all over the place and crowd control along the salt river corridor whereas there are not 5 million people within an hour’s drive of the Apache Forest so their budget can go a lot farther for classic forest projects.

Don’t worry though, it’ll happen there too soon enough.
News Flash, already happening. You could open 3 RV Dealerships with the amount of RV's I saw 2 weeks ago. I talked to a Rancher and some of those "RV Towns" have been there all summer. Plus one of those "towns" even has a Porta John set up. I only saw 2 tents the whole time I was there, everything else was RV's and they were literally everywhere. Any pullout, any road they were there, it was insane. It took me over an hour to find a campsite in the Greens Peak area and I had to settle for what I could even find. Late on a Monday afternoon. The place where I bought my camper shell said that their RV Dealership was the busiest it's been in years and they have trailers on backorder. In about a year, there will be a glut of used RV's on the market when all these first time buyers change their minds. It's already starting with that too. People that bought in March are already selling. :lol:
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chumley
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by chumley »

@outdoor_lover
There are a significant number of RV "squatters" in that area too. Folks who park their RV in the same place to "reserve" a spot to visit on the weekend.

I have, in the past, set up camp right next to one that was unoccupied. And I will again.

And that's why I'm ok with letting FR300 go to shit. It's paved to Woods Canyon Lake. That's perfect.
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hikeaz
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by hikeaz »

nonot wrote: Sep 08 2020 3:43 pm On almost every visit, I observe a pair of Tonto NF rangers at the Peralta trailhead basically begging people to not litter, bring enough water, and not get lost on weekends; directing traffic to the overflow lot and preventing people from parking in areas where they would block the road (that are already signed as no parking), and cleaning up the restroom/trash at the trailhead (which are already signed to not litter).

I can't blame them for wanting to hide in their offices when the alternative is to have to go out and deal with the idiocy of the average citizens that can't read the signs, can't behave like civilized adults, show blatant disrepect for everyone and everything else, and have no common sense.

Like Chums says, ASNF also has to deal with idiots, but because of the lower visitation, there are less idiots, allowing more time spent doing meaningful things.
Steve,
Those are 'volunteers' at Peralta, not USFS.

As far as usefullness to hikers/backpackers ASNF gets my vote.
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
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hikeaz
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by hikeaz »

friendofThundergod wrote: Sep 08 2020 2:52 pm @hikeaz
Hey take that Tonto bashing to the proper forum, :lol:

[ Tonto NF and Land Managment ]
i would if it was spelled 'management. :)

Maybe TNF should call Vanna?
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
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joebartels
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by joebartels »

ElizaKurt, I fixed the subject spelling :)
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hikeaz
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by hikeaz »

joebartels wrote: Sep 08 2020 9:46 pm ElizaKurt, I fixed the subject spelling :)
I blame the nuns that taught me spelling in grade school ...also my Mom was a NYT crossword puzzler - so I was doomed to recognize even slight misspellings.. even mine.
Kind of like some of the censors that patrol this forum... they cannot help themselves.
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
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