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

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Linked Area  • Blue Range Primitive Area, AZ
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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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azbackpackr
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by azbackpackr »

@hikeaz
The Springerville district is very neglectful. They built a 27 Mile Trail and then never touched it again. They sometimes send a fire crew to cut trees in South Fork. They take care of a few popular trails such as Mount Baldy. The Alpine District does a better job. And over by Show Low Pinetop Lakeside there is a very very active Trail building volunteer group called TRACKS who work with the forest service to build and maintain trails. Trouble with that area is that it's sort of boring for the most part. But they have built a great many trails and gotten people interested in hiking and mountain biking.
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hikeaz
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by hikeaz »

Yes... I have hiked some of the TRACKS' trails - Like you say.. very good shape but kind of benign as to the landscape/points of interest. My comments should have been directed district by district, I was remiss. Mostly I was referring to Alpine, as the trails in the Blue Range is where I generally spend my time when out that way. And also kudos to the WMA foresters, as they take exemplary care of their forest. No trails to speak of, but lots of wonderful woods and canyons to traipse.
"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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wildwesthikes
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by wildwesthikes »

@chumley
I'm actually pretty surprised anyone considers Rim Road 300 a difficult road in any conditions short of snow. They can let it get a lot worse than it currently is before a car couldn't drive it.

But that's half the reason I carry an InReach - covid screwed up my plans for buying a used jeep this year. Factory shutdowns led to supply shortages and jacked up used jeep prices to a degree that I'm just unwilling to pay, so I'm stuck with an old ass hatchback.

Hopefully when I finally do get stuck in the mud, it happens somewhere in SW Utah so that I can call Matt's Offroad Recovery and be in one of his videos titled, "You took your Hyundai WHERE???" :)
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00blackout
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by 00blackout »

hikeaz wrote:Steve,
Those are 'volunteers' at Peralta, not USFS.
Was just about to say that. Knowing someone who until just recently was a TNF employee fighting wildfires, every single thing TNF does is politically motivated. From what he tells me every decision that is made is not in the best interest of the forest but in the best interest of the people using TNF. Leadership could really give two pumpkins about the wilderness.
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chumley
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by chumley »

00blackout wrote:not in the best interest of the forest but in the best interest of the people using TNF
I would hope that there's some overlap here.
Championing breakfast since 1994.
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nonot
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by nonot »

As I understand it, the US national forest services were created to facilitate extraction of the most value (money) out of the land. In ye olde early days, the most value was believed to be obtained via permitting clear cutting, mining, etc. Until Teddy Roosevelt got involved and realized that to protect the best interests of the land you needed restrictions, and facilitated creation of wilderness and protected areas, nothing was safe. It wasn't until decades later that the NFS realized that the long term prospects of mining and clear cutting lead to getting less value out of the land over the long term, and the ideas of value extraction changed.

It seems many here believe the NFS has the intent to protect the forests. It doesn't. Protection is only formally in the charter for wilderness and protected areas, such as parts of Blue Ridge. Not ASNF/TNF/CNF/etc. To my knowledge their charter is still to facilitate extracting the most value out of the lands. Though now they do have to comply with more regulations regarding preservation and protection of endangered species and cultural sites. The endangered species act is probably responsible for most forest preservation, not any USFS mandate.
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hikeaz
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by hikeaz »

"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."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
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nonot
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by nonot »

Thank you for the link, I was not aware of the existence and consequences of the the Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act of 1960 (MUSYA), and my previous reply does not seem accurate in that regard.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
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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 »

nonot wrote:On almost every visit, I observe a pair of Tonto NF rangers at the Peralta trailhead ...
I met Snakemarks at that TH one day. The guy working with her that day gave a weird look when I asked if that's who she was.
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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 09 2020 6:08 pm Thank you for the link, I was not aware of the existence and consequences of the the Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act of 1960 (MUSYA), and my previous reply does not seem accurate in that regard.
You have more patience than me to read through that drivel to disseminate that tidbit. I was just poking around to try and learn what it is that the gum'ment STATES is their objective/responsibility with regards to forestry when I came across that link.
"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."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
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nonot
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by nonot »

I skimmed it, but came away with the impression that that is the key act that commissioned the USFS to not just pay attention to maximum extraction of money out of the land, but be able to weight less profitable public usage (recreation, etc) of the land against use of the land for sheer profit.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
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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

Agreed. Monetizing a commodity is the easy part... it gets tricky to do so when 'enjoyment', 'solitude', etc. need to have a $$ value assigned. And who PAYS?
Last edited by hikeaz on Sep 19 2020 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
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hiking_arizona
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by hiking_arizona »

friend just suggested we look into dayhiking Blue on Sunday but what's cleared and 12 to 15 miles with a good climb?

thank you.
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nonot
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Re: Blue Range Primitive Area - Linking Dutch Blue Creek with Bear Mtn

Post by nonot »

Lanphier Creek is very nice.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
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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 19 2020 12:46 pm Lanphier Creek is very nice.
Map attached - 15.7 mi.

Bear in mind >>>
Cow Canyon Temp Trail Closure Order
Date(s): Sep 8, 2020 - Nov 1, 2020
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREST SERVICE, APACHE-SITGREAVES NATIONAL FORESTS, ALPINE RANGER DISTRICT, TEMPORARY TRAIL CLOSURE DUE TO WILDLAND FIRE. Fire is now at 470 acres as of Sep 15.

The following trails are closed: Cow Flat Trail #55 beginning at the trail junction of Bonanza Bill Trail #23, following the #55 trail to the southwest until it meets the junction of WS Lake Trail # 54.
Lanphier Trail #52 at the trailhead at the junction of National Forest Service Road (NFSR) 281, following the trail to the southeast until it meets Cow Flat Trail #55.
South Canyon Trail #53 at the trailhead at its junction with NFSR 281, following the trail to the southeast until it meets Cow Flat Trail #55.
Attachments
Lamphier.png
"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."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
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