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Blue Ridge Trail, AZ
mini location map2018-11-21
9 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Blue Ridge Trail, AZ 
Blue Ridge Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 21 2018
markthurman53
Hiking13.80 Miles 1,251 AEG
Hiking13.80 Miles   5 Hrs   33 Mns   2.91 mph
1,251 ft AEG      48 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
For Thanksgiving my family decided to head up to Pinetop Lakeside area for a couple of days. Before everyone arrived I decided to try out some of the trails in the area since I have never really hiked in the White Mountains area. I opted for the Blue Ridge Trail and the upper portion of the Ice Cave Trail. This hike was kind of a sleeper, just a long walk through Ponderosa Juniper forest. There was an elevation gain of about 1300 feet but spread out over about a 4 mile section of the almost 14 mile loop. The views are very limited because of the trees. With my time limited and the trail in good condition I was able to keep a 3 MPH pace. The weather was perfect about 22 degrees at 0700 and in the upper 40’s around noon with full sunshine and no breeze to speak of. There is logging in the area cutting down selectively, mainly on the eastern portion of the trail. Most of the ponderosa here are 90 to 100 years old growing since the last large logging operations in the early 1900’s. Ice cave is an old volcanic vent that vents out a constant 52 degree air (I didn’t feel it, it would have been warmer than the outside air). There was a chain link fence around it so I only got within 20 feet of it, but I read afterword that there was a gate that allows access.
I would not drop everything to hike the trails in the Pinetop Lakeside area but if you are in the area and feel the urge for a hike or just need to walk off a Thanksgiving dinner the trails in this area are worth it. The trail system up here is really good, well maintained and marked.
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535 Photosets

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