FOTG offered up 3 day backpacking in the Primitive Blue Range for Memorial Day Weekend so naturally I was ready to see the Blue again. I've been to this area before but always up for more as this area has always been one of my favorites.
Day 1 was the most difficult with the majority of elevation in the first 6 miles with heavy packs. We started from Lanphier TH, then up Largo Canyon to Telephone Ridge and dropped our packs 1/4 mile from Bear Mountain and then hit the summit. The summit is scenic with cabin and tower however the tower does not have great views which is blocked by trees. Guessing the trees have just grown over time and blocked the view. We enjoyed the summit and then headed back down to our packs and eventually into Bear Valley where we found a cool camp spot. Arriving camp fairly early we had time to day hike about 2.5 miles down Little Blue Creek. As mentioned in the others triplogs it's lush, with intermittent flowing creek and cool rocky spires. It was out and back so we had time to really check out the canyon before returning to camp.
Day 2 we decided to hike over to Franz Spring/Cabin and setup camp. We got to Franz early hoping to be the first and we were. Setup camp near the cabin and then packed up for a 15 mile day hike. The day hike was lasso loop over to Hinkle Spring, then Tigre Rim and loop back to Bonanza Bill trail to Franz Cabin. The loop was a bit hot and dry with only water at Hinkle Spring in 15 miles. Blanco was definitely glad for the day hike to be over. Back at camp we settled in but had to share the camp with a somewhat noisy group of 10+ that had rolled in while we were on our day hike.
Day 3 we just had a short mostly downhill 6 miles out to the TH at Lanphier so light work for this group. Very surprised to see several large groups either camping or on their way into the Blue. FOTG did some research and found that backpacker magazine had published a recent article for this exact area and also Arizona Highways had one around the same time. Having been to the Blue many times in the past 15 years I've never seen so many people at such a remote TH as Lanphier so I can only assume this was the reason. Regardless we had a great 3 days in the Blue!!