Amy's birthday weekend so we all headed to Hannagan Meadow on Friday night. Car camped in Hannagan Meadow Campground that night before heading out for Lanphier Canyon TH to do the Bear Mountain Loop. The drive down to the TH is about 1 hour so we didn't get started until about 830.
First up Lanphier Canyon which is very lush and good flow in the first 3.5 miles of this canyon. Then it goes dry just before Cashier Spring but the spring did have a trickle. After that the trail leaves the main canyon and heads over to Franz Spring where we took a break and tanked up on water filtering several liters. Unfortunately this also where we realized a mistake. Originally we had planned on a 12 or 13 mile loop but we passed the turnoff at Largo Canyon and instead kept going straight up Lanphier. As much as the rest of the crew claims I did this on purpose to get more mileage I swear it was a mistake Regardless the Franz Spring area was cool to check out or as we were calling it Hanz and Franz Spring. The cabin onsite was in really good shape and the spring tub had plenty of good water to filter.
From there we headed up Cow Flat Trail towards Bear Mountain. This stretch was relatively flat so we made good time despite realizing we had an extra 6 miles to do. Finally made the switchbacks below Bear Mtn and were on top by around 2pm. Took another good break with summit beverage and checked out the cabin and tower.
Then we went down Telephone Ridge and the Sawmill Trail which was slightly different than the true Blue Mtn Loop. Sawmill was much rockier and steeper than all the other trails of the day and doesn't waste time dropping the 3000 AEG down to the Blue River. We met Kathy at Sawmill TH who had driven the vehicle from Lanphier that morning. We had hoped to see Kathy and Frank our dog on the trail but because of the extra mileage she finished before we could catch up. We all met at the Sawmill TH for a post hike beverage before heading back to Hannagan Meadow Campground.