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Blue Bear Rose, AZ
mini location map2021-10-09
48 by photographer avatarDixieFlyer
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Blue Bear Rose, AZ 
Blue Bear Rose, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2021
Hiking16.20 Miles 4,029 AEG
Hiking16.20 Miles
4,029 ft AEG
1st trip
I decided to go hike up to 2 fire lookouts south of Alpine: Bear Mountain 8560 and Rose Peak. Both peaks are in the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest; Bear Mountain 8560 is also in the Blue Range Primitive Area.

Bear Mountain 8560
Starting at the Blue Camp Trailhead, I did a CW lasso loop hike on these trails: Lamphier-Largo-WS Lake-Sawmill-Telephone Ridge-Largo-Lanphier

Lanphier Trail
I was only on the Lanphier Trail for about a half mile, and I don't have much to say about it. It was in decent shape and easy to follow.

There was a creek crossing near the start of the trail that was a bit too deep to keep my feet dry, so I went back to the truck to put some old shoes on to get across the creek. When I got back to the creek I couldn't remember if I had locked the truck, so I went back to see. This back and forth added almost 1/2 mile to the hike.

Largo Trail
After leaving the Lanphier Trail I took the Largo Trail. The first part of the trail goes up to a ridge between Lanphier and Largo Canyons, and then it descends into Largo Canyon. On the ridge there are nice views of the Blue. I enjoyed hiking through the canyon -- there are lots of hardwood trees which will likely have nice foliage later in the fall. Eventually I came to a junction with the Little Blue Trail, which goes to the east. At this point the Largo Trail heads SW for about 3/4 mile to the WS Lake Trail. The Largo Trail was in decent shape and was easy to follow all the way through Largo Canyon. However, the trail became faint once past the Little Blue Trail junction, and the Largo Trail essentially disappeared some distance before getting to the WS Lake Trail, and I was mostly bushwhacking through chest high ferns until getting to the WS Lake Trail.

WS Lake Trail
This trail goes to the summit of Bear Mountain. It is a steep ascent up the east side of Bear Mountain, but there are several long switchbacks which dampen the rate of ascent a bit. The trail is a bit rocky, but it is in decent shape and is easy to follow. It was a nice summit, although there are lots of trees around which limit views unless you decide to climb up to the lookout.

There were lots of deer in the summit area, including one that was standing almost beneath the lookout. At the lookout I saw one of the biggest bucks that I have ever seen.

Sawmill Trail
This trail mostly exists in name only -- in some places there is a faint trail, but for the most part there may as well not be a trail. In the upper part of the trail I was going through a nice pine forest, and the lack of a trail was not a hindrance, but I stopped to check my GPS fairly frequently to make sure that I was going in the right direction. As you descend Telephone Ridge on the Sawmill Trail, it gets to be a bit brushy.

Telephone Ridge Trail
This trail goes down from the Sawmill Trail to the Largo Trail. It is a steep descent, and the trail really doesn't exist at the upper part of the trail; just head down the best way that you can. About half-way to the Largo Trail I was able to pick up the trail for the rest of the descent. The trail was faint though, and I still checked my GPS fairly frequently.

Once back on the Largo Trail I went back to the TH the way that I came.

Going back on the Sawmill and Telephone Ridge Trails shortened the hike distance by about 1 mile as compared to going back from the Bear Mountain summit the way that I came. However, the going was slow and I doubt if I saved any time by doing the loop; in fact, it may have taken longer.

This is a nice scenic area to hike in, and if you like solitude you are almost guaranteed to find it. However, even thought the entire hike is on named trails, you'll be doing some bushwhacking and route finding.

Rose Peak
I went up and back to the summit on a service road that leads to the summit. There are nice views at the summit, and I enjoyed this hike. I did not get started until about 5:15, and it was twilight before I got back. I can't say that I enjoyed driving in the dark from the TH to Morenci -- that is some kind of road!

Distance and AEG for the 2 hikes are below. Stats above are the sum of the 2.
Bear Mountain: 13.5 miles with an AEG of 3,537 feet
Rose Peak: 2.7 miles with an AEG of 502 feet
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
A few leaves were starting to change on the Largo Trail, but there is not much to see at this time.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Dutch Oven Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
I could not tell how fast the spring was dripping, but the spring box was full
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
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