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Blue Lookout Trail #71 - 6 members in 11 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
11 triplogs
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May 15 2021
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 Routes 104
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 79

41 female
 Joined Oct 21 2016
 Tempe, AZ
Hannagan Meadow Grant/KP Creek LoopAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 15 2021
MAPTriplogs 79
Hiking13.66 Miles 3,441 AEG
Hiking13.66 Miles   9 Hrs   43 Mns   1.45 mph
3,441 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
I THINK this was a really pretty hike. My memory is a little clouded by all the thorns stuck in my body but that's another story. I remember thinking how beautiful KP Creek was. There were some areas with downed trees to navigate but the trail was in pretty good shape & never difficult to find. There were a couple springs flowing out of rock, cool caves with water flowing through, and tons of little waterfalls!

And then...Blue Cabin trail happened.

The connection from KP Creek & Blue Cabin trail is non-existent. I scrambled up where the map showed the trail starting but there was no sign of it from KP. The Blue Cabin trail is mostly not a trail anymore (until about 3/4 of the way up). Honestly, there were a few times where I just stopped & thought "I can't do this anymore. I'm just going to stay here. No way I can make it to the top." And this is coming from someone who is generally unfazed by barreling straight through thorn bushes. The thorn bushes were so thick, and the trail so non-existent, that I had to commit to whatever path I choose since the thorns really wouldn't allow me to turn back & look for another route. I'm grateful for the footsteps left ahead of me. They were pretty faint but at least they gave me some indication of a path to take. Sometimes that path was up high, side-stepping along steep loose dirt, just to come back down to the creek. It seemed like the footsteps I was following were trying to find the best route too. The hike up Blue Cabin trail is a constant choice between downed trees so thick & piled up that they are almost impossible to cross or a deep dive through thick thorn bushes. The view looking up towards Blue is incredibly beautiful though so that kept me going (also I was listening to the book Grandma Gatewood's walk driving up & kept telling myself if she could do it, so could I!). Lots of water along this canyon as well with beautiful cold little waterfalls to escape the thorns for a minute. The trail finally clears around 1.7 miles up. It was a heavenly feeling. If I were smart, I would have continued up Blue Cabin trail to meet up with McKittrick trail. But I didn't do that.

There is an unnamed side trail shown on maps that shoots off east from Blue Cabin trail & appears to be a shortcut to Blue Peak trail. I told myself before starting my hike that I wouldn't take it because it was probably too overgrown & I would stick with the main trail. Then I saw it as I was coming up Blue Cabin (and had just exited the thorny hell) and it looked so clear & nice & apparently my brain was foggy from thorns because I took it anyway. My advice: don't take this trail. Stick with Blue Cabin trail to McKittrick & put in the extra miles.

Finally made it to Blue Peak trail & sailed right up the clear lovely trail to the top. Cool lookout tower but the lower steps have been removed so no one can go up. The views go on forever. Signed the summit register at the top & found my friends' names on the 1st page! Very cool! Continuing along McKittrick the views continue to be fantastic. Trail eventually turned to road & I hiked the 3.5 miles of dirt road until the KP Campground was below. Went down towards the campground over a low sloping area that was surprisingly easy-going.

This area is so gorgeous but I'm bringing gardening clippers for Bear Wallow next month. The thorns are next level around here! Temps were low 70's but it felt hot. I drank about 3L and apparently needed more because I was super thirsty driving home. I had a couple bear bells connected to me & whistled tunes when I wasn't breathing too heavy and didn't see any bears. The bear bells weren't loud enough to scare away birds that I came upon & frightened a couple times though so idk how effective they are. Hopefully we are able to keep our distance from each other in Bear Wallow too!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Aug 29 2020
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 Guides 70
 Routes 651
 Photos 10,844
 Triplogs 706

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Blue Greenlee, AZ 
Blue Greenlee, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2020
DixieFlyerTriplogs 706
Hiking4.10 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking4.10 Miles
700 ft AEG
 
1st trip
I was on my way to Colorado, and on the way I decided to swing by Alpine and bag Blue Peak and the Greenlee County Highpoint.

Blue Peak was the only remaining peak for me of the 20 peaks in the Arizona 20-20 challenge. Greenlee County now gives me highpoints in 13 of Arizona's 15 counties.

I did Blue Peak first. The road in was a bit rough and rocky in places. 4WD wasn't needed, but a little clearance wouldn't hurt. You'd want to go slow over some of the rocky areas if you didn't have a decent off-road tire.

It looked like there had been some recent maintenance and deadfall removal on the McKittrick Trail, so it was an easy hike. The spur trail up to the summit was in fine shape also. The lower rung of stairs was missing on the stairs up to the lookout tower, which would make it a challenge to climb up; but you could probably get up there if you REALLY wanted to.

There were some nice views to be had on this short hike, and I'd like to get out there and explore the area some more (this was my first trip to the Blue Primitive area).

On the way back I stopped at a paved parking pullout next to FR8839. All the hard work and training that I have been doing over the last few months paid off and I was able to make the grueling ascent of the Greenlee Highpoint on my very first try! Actually I am only kidding as this short hike is something most anybody can do if they don't mind an off-trail walk.

I started off on the old roadbed, which was pretty clear for a ways, but after short time I got out of the roadbed and headed up to the highpoint. There are a few fallen trees to contend with, as well as some vegetation -- mostly ferns. Views aren't much there, but it was nice to join the Greenlee Highpoint Club!

The stats above are the sum of the two hikes, which are:

Blue Peak: 3.0 miles with an AEG of 569 feet
Greenlee Hi-Pt: 1.1 miles with an AEG of 131 feet
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Blue Fire Lookout Blue Peak
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
1 archive
Aug 29 2015
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 Guides 6
 Routes 13
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

38 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Blue Lookout Trail #71Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2015
sbkelleyTriplogs 184
Hiking5.23 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking5.23 Miles   2 Hrs   20 Mns   2.24 mph
1,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Peak #3 for the day was far more adventurous than the first two (Pole Knoll and Rose). We drove in 3/4 on the way to the Blue LO Trail, finding a very nice campsite perched on the edge of the rim. We threw up the tent, put Tanya inside so she could nap and enjoy the cool weather while I set off with Rincon for Blue Peak at 2 p.m. I walked the final mile of road to the TH and the fun began.

Now, I knew Lee's triplog and others indicated that the trail was in rough shape. I've also taken some flack over the years from certain HAZ members about always wearing long pants. This will show them. Thinking that I could evade downed logs and a faint trail with shorts on was all that was on my mind. Short version of the story: trail isn't hard to follow if you pay attention. Do not wear shorts. Doing so was a hilarious mistake. If you like raspberries, this trail is for you!

The bushes aren't that bad at first, in fact the first half mile is just a little scratchy, but not bad. Easy going. Then you contour on the north side of the ridge before starting the final climb, the trail making its way through the first of an endless sea of raspberry patches to the top. By the time I felt the sting in the legs, I'd already gone down a couple thousand skin cells and a few rivulets of blood were already showing. The lookout was also tantalizingly close. If I turned around now, I'd still be scratched up and itchy. Further, Rincon was just able to duck under the tall bushes with ease: he was watching me curse and thrash with confusion since nothing was blocking his way. I threw my chips on the table: all in. Of course, the bushes just grew taller and thicker as we went up, culminating in a jungle right before the summit that seemed almost impenetrable.

The best part? I could snack as I cursed and thrashed! I must have eaten 500 raspberries, and kept feeding them to Rincon, who had to have been inwardly laughing at the spectacle. Found the register: Lee was the last one to have signed in with Cup and Blanco. Put Rincon and I's names up there too and thrashed, cursed, and snacked on raspberries back down, weirdly enjoying it.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Blue Peak
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Aug 02 2014
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 Guides 29
 Routes 329
 Photos 9,686
 Triplogs 920

40 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Primitive Blue Range, AZ 
Primitive Blue Range, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 02 2014
FOTGTriplogs 920
Hiking13.03 Miles 4,062 AEG
Hiking13.03 Miles
4,062 ft AEG
 
This was intended to be a nice and easy over-night hike with hopefully some good fishing and a nice camp site along the creek.

The fishing turned out to be a dud, nothing like Grant Creek. I just don't see how any of the sections I fished could sustain Apache Trout. The conservation officer's grim outlook for KP Creek still supporting Apache Trout seems to have been warranted. He felt the fire had probably simply got too hot along large stretches of KP Creek and damaged to much of the valuable canopy needed to shade and keep the water cool. The lack of fish was not the end of the world to me, in fact, it was somewhat expected yet, it did change my plans slightly as I really was not ready to just set up camp at 11 in the morning, one can only do so much reading. I decided to just keep progressing on loop and maybe find a nice campsite in the higher elevations.

I never found a nice campsite in the higher elevations and some real nasty storm clouds had me considering skipping Blue Peak for the moment and pushing for the car. I could car camp somewhere that night and hit a whole new trail the next day. I was happy I went for the car! Although, it did not take much distant thunder and light rain to expedite this decision. My scientific method of looking at the water in the dog's dishes leads me to believe the dogs and I got about 2.5 or more inches of rain dumped on us from Saturday evening until our Sunday morning retreat.

Trail Run-Down.

KP South Fork-Pretty good shape for Primitive Blue Range, easy to follow, ends at two beautiful waterfalls. I was a day light on really seeing them push some water.

Blue Lookout Trail-I give this trail two emphatic :pk: :pk: based on my new unofficial Primitive Blue Range Trail rating system. The pumpkins represent a fraction of poor language used to navigate this overgrown, non-existent, and slightly steep trail.

Blue Cabin Ruins Trail- See above trail rating guide. Missed the cabin ruins, missed a few of upper switchbacks and can't really say for sure how much of this very short trail I actually covered.

I ended up staying at the TH for Blue Lookout Tower and Indian Peak also the beginnings of the Blue Cabin Ruins Trail and the Mckittrick Trail. However, I woke up to torrential rain and about 25 meters of visibility. At that point it was hard to justify the effort it would take to navigate the very rough looking McKittrick Trail for the 50 meter panoramic views from atop the largest peak in the Primitive Blue Range. I cancelled that mission, regrouped and headed for the first trail without rain.

Side Notes:

I am going to do some route manager work on my last two Blue Range trips, as there are some desperately needed official routes in there that could fill voids on some description pages for that area. The area in general is so deficient on reliable current information all the standard forest service excerpts on the description pages are pre-fire and only worth so much. However, I kind of like that aspect of making the long trek out there it certainly makes it interesting. I will have to say there are probably not too many wilderness areas in AZ rivaling the Blue Range in terms of ruggedness and challenge. Some of those trails have simply been lost to time and lack of use. Most have already given way to nature's advance or are regressing rapidly. However, I am here to tell you there are still some areas worth visiting out there, rumors of the areas demise are perhaps a little over-stated.
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Camp-fire
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Lightning
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3 archives
May 25 2013
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 Guides 4
 Routes 396
 Photos 9,095
 Triplogs 1,070

52 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Blue Lookout Trail #71Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 25 2013
BiFrostTriplogs 1,070
Hiking4.60 Miles 1,226 AEG
Hiking4.60 Miles
1,226 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
slowandsteady
Decided to combine a road trip with some day hikes over the holiday weekend. We drove up US 191 between Clifton and Hannagan Meadow to the Blue Peak area. It’s a great road with awesome views but has a lot of crazy hairpin turns for a paved road. Once up on the rim at about 9200 we reached the dirt road turn off for Blue Peak.

It’s a short hike with excellent views on the McKittrick Trail but the area has experienced significant fire damage so lots of downfall to negotiate. The lookout tower is abandoned and still standing but I was a little nervous hoping the wooden planks would hold my weight.

After checking out the tower we headed down the backside of Blue Peak to try and make Indian Peak only to find the trail pretty much gone from all the fire damage. We explored some off trail but eventually headed back to the trail and Blue Peak TH. Then we finished the day with a great car camp spot in the unburned part of the forest :D
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Blue Fire Lookout
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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May 25 2013
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 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

48 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Blue Lookout Trail #71Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 25 2013
slowandsteadyTriplogs 694
Hiking4.60 Miles 1,226 AEG
Hiking4.60 Miles
1,226 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
BiFrost
My stomach and head were still flip flopping after the drive up US 191, it would be beautiful scenery if you can keep your eyes open.

I attempted to enjoy a little hike after the drive.

We went up to the lookout tower on Blue Peak. Karl climbed up the tower. (Who needs stairs?) I occupied myself by reading the registry, mostly hunters not hikers were signed in.
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Sep 26 2009
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 Photos 832
 Triplogs 173

44 female
 Joined Oct 13 2007
 Loveland, CO
Blue Lookout Trail #71Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 26 2009
hhwolf14Triplogs 173
Hiking2.90 Miles 2,546 AEG
Hiking2.90 Miles
2,546 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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1 archive
Aug 03 2008
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 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

43 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Blue Lookout Trail #71Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 03 2008
VapormanTriplogs 931
Hiking7.00 Miles 2,546 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   6 Hrs      1.17 mph
2,546 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I did this trail as part of a KP Cienega-Blue Lookout-KP Creek-KP Cienega Loop. I 'hopped' over the ridge from the KP Cienega TH to FR84 and hiked it to the real TH. From there I climbed up to the peak/tower to enjoy the breathtaking views up on top of the world and then descended down to KP creek below before hiking back out to my vehicle. On this section, I saw lush meadows, a couple deer, mushrooms, and many flowers 50-100ft pines, firs, & aspen, :)
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
Aug 07 2005
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 Triplogs 1

male
 Joined Mar 08 2003
 Gilbert, AZ
Blue Lookout Trail #71Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 07 2005
mmatkinTriplogs 1
Hiking2.90 Miles 2,546 AEG
Hiking2.90 Miles
2,546 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great hike! However I would suggest that you go around May. We went in August and it rained the whole time.
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Jul 18 2005
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 Guides 10
 Triplogs 432

61 male
 Joined Feb 25 2002
 Scottsdale
Blue Lookout Trail #71Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2005
TimTriplogs 432
Hiking2.90 Miles 2,546 AEG
Hiking2.90 Miles   1 Hour   15 Mns   2.32 mph
2,546 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was a quick little jaunt as part of a "beat the heat" weekend in Alpine. First off, I found the Forest Service Road, (#84), to be closer to 4.4 miles to the trailhead and not the 6.5 miles advertised. While this road is not nicely graded like most of the other Forest Service roads in the area, any passenger vehicle could manage it. Clearly, this road served as the fire break during the KP Fire in May of 2004 as evidenced by all of the burn out on your left as you drive in. The trees on the right are virtually untouched. The trail heads east from the parking lot and has a lot of trees fallen across it. At about the 1.1 mile mark, (the trail is literally due north of the lookout tower at this point),the trail comes across several fallen trees and appears to end. 10 yards back is a sharp switchback that heads back due south up the slope to the tower. Just before the the summit is the junction with McKittrick Trail which turn off to the the left at a 90 degree angle. As one approaches the summit, there are fallen trees all across the trail and no easy or correct way to get around them. I bush whacked to the left on the way up and bush whacked to the left, (that would be the other way), on the way down and found them both to be equally as bad. The tower itself is in pretty poor shape and the stairs are somewhat suspect, but the views are very good.
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Jul 11 2003
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 62

52 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Blue Lookout Trail #71Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2003
whereveriroamTriplogs 62
Hiking2.90 Miles 2,546 AEG
Hiking2.90 Miles   2 Hrs      1.45 mph
2,546 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We ascended most of this trail as part of a loop hike involving the McKittrick Trail #72, KP Trail #70 and Blue Cabin Trail #321. It was a great loop hike and I've posted detailed trip logs for all 3 of these trails on this site. The start of this trail at the bottom of KP Canyon can be hard to locate so you may want to bring a topo of the area. Basically you'll be looking for a feeder drainage into KP Creek coming in from the south. It's located 2.7 miles down canyon from the intersection of the North Fork of KP Trail #93 and KP Trail #70. I didn't come this way but looking at my topo it should be the second good sized feeder drainage coming in from the south. There's an old trail sign on the north side of KP Creek which indicates the turnoff if in question but you may have to look for it. We didn't notice it at first but we were coming from the other direction. That brings us to the up canyon side of this intersection. It's a .9 of a mile hike from the intersection of the McKittrick Trail #72 and KP Trail #70. Look for the first south feeder drainage you encounter and that'll be it. The start of the Blue L.O. trail is hard to spot probably from the occasional floods that redecorate the area but once you ascend 20' of the trail it is real easy to follow. Note 1; Interestingly all the info I read said this trail is 2.9 miles long but the above mentioned trail sign stated 4 miles. We were somewhat surprised to find that this feeder drainage which you will follow all the way to at least the Blue Cabin Trail #321 turnoff had flowing water in it in mid July. The entire trail is nicely forested with about 10 minor creek crossings to negotiate. It is all a moderate uphill climb with an elevation gain of approximately 2400', I would tend to think that the 4 miles that was posted on the sign IS the actual distance. My legs sure felt it. Note 2; We saw a large deer who stopped to watch us on this trail and noticed quite a few overturned rocks which for those of you who don't know; Bears like to flip them over on their hunt for food. After about 2 hours hiking up this trail we came to the intersection of the Blue Cabin Trail #321. There's a sign that says Blue Lookout Tower 1 mile and Trailhead 3/4 mile up the Blue Cabin Trail #321. Since we had already visited the Lookout earlier in the day at the start of our loop we unfortunately went up the Blue Cabin Trail in hopes to find the remains of it. It's not on that trail, it's located off this trail! If you continue up this trail to go to the lookout you'll encounter some switchbacks that are supposedly steep, the cabin ruins and the end of this trail. You'll meet the McKittrick Trail #72 here, go left at this intersection and hike another 1/2 mile and your there. It's worth the trip. If you go right at the intersection it will take you .8 miles to the TH parking lot at the end of FR 84 for the McKittrick Trail #72 and Blue Cabin Trail #321. One last thing when we passed the intersection of the McKittrick #72 and the Blue Lookout #71 trails earlier in the day the upper part of the Blue Lookout #71 that we could see was in great shape although there is major amounts of downfall off the trails around here. Happy Trails...
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average hiking speed 1.73 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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