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Blue Range SE Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-05-01
15 by photographer avatarderpsquad
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Blue Range SE Loop, AZ 
Blue Range SE Loop, AZ
Backpack avatar May 01 2020
Backpack45.00 Miles
Backpack45.00 Miles3 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Made the long drive to Horse Canyon TH on Thursday arriving around 9pm. The last 3-4 miles of the road are rough. I would recommend high clearance 4wd or at least AT tires on 2wd high clearance. XXX ranch is super cool. You can stay in it you want but we opted for tents.

Day 1:
Went up the Blue River for 10.6 miles. Pretty incredible hike with tons of birds some narrows and a very intact ranch in the middle of nowhere. There is a trail up to Little Dutch Blue (which leads to Hannah hot springs) after that it deteriorates. It's pretty easy going regardless, no serious bushwhacking. Started the ascent up Cow Flat trail. The first mile or so up Ladrone Canyon is a really pretty riparian area with flowing water and wild flowers everywhere. After that it is completely exposed until Bear Valley. Very hot and tough climb to do in the late afternoon. Good views though. It is clear that a lot of people camp at Bear Valley. It is very pretty but the amount of trash around was a little off putting.

Day 2:
Head down Little Blue in the morning. The first 3 miles are in the canyon with flowing water and good shade. This area reminds me a lot of Gila. You climb out of the canyon to get onto Alma mesa which has incredible views of the Blues. Would be very hot up here midday. Met up with Alma TH then took off up Winter trail. I could find zero information on this trail so we were definitely hoping for the best. It was actually very well maintained in most parts. Only lost it once or twice. This is very exposed as well. Another hot day climbing in and out of very interesting sandstone drainages. BEWARE - when you get to Winter Cabin Spring DO NOT take the trail up out of Auguer Creek (as indicated on the map) to Little Dutch Blue Trail. It is not there anymore. We spent 2 hours bushwhacking up that mountain just to go down the other side. Stay in Auger creek and you will meet up with the Little Dutch Blue Trail at Auguer Creek Spring. After that ordeal, we headed into the Dutch Canyon Narrows which were the highlight of the trip for me. Rolled into camp around 6pm at the confluence of Little Dutch Blue and Hannah Creek. Set up shop and went up to Hannah Hot Springs for a well needed night time soak. Its so hot! You really need to jump in and out of the creek to be able to handle it for long.

Day 3:
Headed down Little Dutch Blue to the Blue River then back to the vehicle.
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