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Foote Creek Trail #76 - 4 members in 23 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Aug 21 2021
ShatteredArm
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 Guides 5
 Routes 130
 Photos 575
 Triplogs 148

38 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Paradise Park loop, AZ 
Paradise Park loop, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar Aug 21 2021
ShatteredArm
Run/Jog18.29 Miles 3,014 AEG
Run/Jog18.29 Miles   6 Hrs   6 Mns   3.39 mph
3,014 ft AEG      42 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Was going to go down to the Pinalenos, but had to make a last minute change of plans, so headed up to Hannagan Meadow. I'd been meaning to check out the Blue Range area for awhile, but the last couple of trips out there, fire deterred me. Started out on Foote Creek trail, and took that to P Bar Lake. Saw what I thought was a bear running across the trail ahead of me at one point.

Turned south on Grant Creek Trail, and followed it down to Paradise trail. Paradise trail was slightly harder to follow, but still nice. Got down to Grant Creek, where there was decent flow and a nice campsite. Continued on Paradise Trail and ran up on a bear that was probably napping. Nothing to worry about there either, all I saw was his backside.

After Moonshine Park, started hitting the burn area, and the trail got more overgrown. A couple of harder to follow spots on the Steeple Creek side. Steeple was all moonscape. Heard a wolf howling when I got to the creek, but didn't get a visual. The climb up Steeple trail seemed like it was like 10 miles long, but at least it has been cleaned, and had minimal deadfall and not too much locust. In the higher elevation raspberries started appearing, and I probably ate a couple pounds of them along the way.

The connector trail through the upper Grant Creek basins was all moonscape, but despite the tread being nonexistent in places, it was pretty easy to find the way. Burn got a little less severe after crossing the main arm of Grant Creek.

Good day overall, and a decent first Blue Range outing.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Grant Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Good flow at Paradise and Steeple trail crossings

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 P Bar Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
A little flow into the lake

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Steeple Creek Light flow Light flow
Flow part of the way up along Steeple trail
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Jul 25 2021
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
 Routes 313
 Photos 9,086
 Triplogs 865

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
P-Bar Lake Trail #326Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2021
friendofThundergod
Hiking2.80 Miles 405 AEG
Hiking2.80 Miles
405 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
The trail has been cleared recently and was in great shape. The area continues to show signs of recovery. The fog this morning added to the scenic forest views. We turned around at P-Bar “Lake” which was just a large mud puddle.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max P Bar Lake 1-25% full 1-25% full
Good for fido and stock, but I’d prob pass on drinking personally.
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Sep 05 2020
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
 Routes 313
 Photos 9,086
 Triplogs 865

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Grant Creek Overnight Backpack, AZ 
Grant Creek Overnight Backpack, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Sep 05 2020
friendofThundergod
Backpack12.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Backpack12.00 Miles
2,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
I ended my summer in the same area my summer began, the Primitive Blue Range. Katie myself, John and our pack of four completed a nice little overnight trip to Grant Cabin along Grant Creek.

Day 1:

The first mile or so along Steeple was pleasant as usual. Upper Grant Creek Trail is trying its hardest to return to its primitive nature, despite being cleared a year ago, but the trail is still generally in good shape. It just tends to drag a little towards the end and the going always seems to be a little slower than expected. After setting up camp at the cabin, we headed off for a side trip to Moonshine Park. We left to the beginnings of some light rain. Moonshine Park will not blow you away, but its a pleasant area and worth the side trip. As we left Moonshine, the rain picked up in its intensity as did the thunder and lightning. We nixed a plan to explore Paradise went straight to camp, getting pretty drenched along the way. We then had to retreat to the tents for an hour or so. After the rain ended, it was the usual camp chores, a fire and trying to stay up past 8:30.

Day 2:

We took our time the morning of day two and left camp a little after nine. From camp you pretty much start climbing and you don't really end until a little over two miles and an elevation of approximately 8,900 feet. Luckily, the trails were in great shape and the grade was thoughtful, so the climb did not really prove to be that bad. A little warm at times, but manageable. From P-Bar Lake it was a very pleasant hike through some nice stands of surviving forest along great trail all the way to our beginning trailhead and the completion of our loop. Another fulfilling trip to the Blue.
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1 archive
Sep 05 2020
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,294
 Triplogs 1,639

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Grant Creek - Primitive Blue Range, AZ 
Grant Creek - Primitive Blue Range, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Sep 05 2020
John9L
Backpack14.75 Miles 2,700 AEG
Backpack14.75 Miles2 Days         
2,700 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
As the holiday weekend approached, I contacted Lee to see what he was up to. He said he's going back into The Blue for an easy backpack with Katie & the dogs. He invited me & I'm glad I joined.

We would car camp on Friday night and then headed over to the trailhead and started in. Steeple was in great shape and we connected onto Grant Creek Trail which was slow & overgrown. We took our time as we descended the canyon. The sun was out and it was hot. We kept at it and worked our way over and around dead fall and we were able to follow the trail whenever it existed. We finally hit the cabin and decide to set up camp.

After camp was set up we decided to go for a day hike as dark clouds moved in. We headed for Moonshine Park as a light rain started to fall. We followed a good trail that was cleared recently. It was easy going and we enjoyed the park. We walked around the area and took a variety of pics and then the skies opened up. Thunder roared and the rain grew heavy. We started our return and put our heads down and cruised back. Once we were back at camp we climbed into our tents and waited an hour for the storm to pass. As soon as it cleared, Lee & Katie built the fire and evening set in. We dried our gear & ate dinner.

We woke on day two and took our time packing up & headed out around 9am. Our return climbed almost 2,000ft but went well. It's a respectable climb but the trail is in good condition. Once things leveled off, we took a short break and then headed the last few miles back to the trailhead. There were a handful of downed trees to climb over. Once back to the car we talked about our options and decided to get some food in Hannagan Meadows and then return to Phoenix.

This was a nice hike and I'm glad I drove out. I wish we spent another night so we could have explored more. Its a good reason to return another time.
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1 archive
Jun 25 2018
nonot
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 Guides 98
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,067
 Triplogs 493

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Blue Crossing CampgroundAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 25 2018
nonot
Hiking35.17 Miles 7,090 AEG
Hiking35.17 Miles
7,090 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
It was far too hot to be enjoyable, but I was looking to do some heat training hikes so this fit the bill. I would not recommend this time of year to visit the Blue, it was 90 degrees by 9:30 AM and stayed at least that hot until 7 PM each day.

It is quite the drought, and the Blue River itself dries up before reaching Sawmill trailhead.

Highlight was seeing a bear on day 3. Saw dozens of elk and deer, because of the dry conditions I think they are all getting driven down into the Blue River valley in search of water.

Day 1: Up S Canyon, along Cow Flat, down Lanphier
Day 2: Tutt Creek and a bit of Foote Creek
Day 3: Up Largo, to WS Lake to get tot the top of Bear Mtn, down Sawmill

The forest service appears to take trail maintenance seriously, though there are some newish fallen trees. The worst is the middle part of Sawmill trail, where it is heavily eroded before reaching telephone ridge, and the trail is also getting eaten by brush.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
A few prickly poppies

dry A Spring Dry Dry
Dry in the area

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cashier Spring Dripping Dripping
Muddy ground here, but it was wet


dry Cow Flat Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Dutch Oven Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
The spring catchment was full, though it was muddy.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Foote Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Middle Foote Creek was dry at Tutt Creek Trail intersection, but was trickles and pools the next mile upstream

dry Franz Spring Dry Dry

dry Indian Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Lanphier Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
The lower 2 miles of Lanphier had good flow, the upper part of the canyon was dry

dry Largo Creek Dry Dry

dry Maple Spring Dry Dry


dry S Canyon Dry Dry

dry Tutt Creek Dry Dry

dry Whoa Canyon Dry Dry
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
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2 archives
Jul 03 2017
nonot
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 Guides 98
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,067
 Triplogs 493

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Foote Creek Trail #76Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 03 2017
nonot
Hiking8.00 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
800 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
76 north to P-bar, then back on 24. 24 is not on HAZ yet so I'll have to find time to add it. In general, 76 and 326 have way too many downed trees. However, 24 is very nice, even though most of it is a dirt road, it winds through a meadow and doesn't suffer from much in terms of treefall to spoil it.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Clell Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Stream was running slowly in area, didn't look for actual spring.

dry Spruce Tank Dry Dry
I couldn't find a tank per se here

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Triple Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Where you first cross the highway a stream was flowing nicely.
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
1 archive
Jun 17 2017
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
 Routes 313
 Photos 9,086
 Triplogs 865

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
P-Bar Lake Trail #326Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 17 2017
friendofThundergod
Hiking3.93 Miles 470 AEG
Hiking3.93 Miles
470 ft AEG
 
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I started at P Bar to do some further exploring of Foot Creek Trail past P-Bar Lake and its intersection with the Grant Creek Trail. I did not go far down Foot Creek, but it seems to be the same story, destruction and deadfall.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max P Bar Lake 1-25% full 1-25% full
A muddy pit, so muddy the dogs could not even reach the water.
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3 archives
Jun 16 2017
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
 Routes 313
 Photos 9,086
 Triplogs 865

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Steeple Trail #73 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 16 2017
friendofThundergod
Hiking4.75 Miles 843 AEG
Hiking4.75 Miles   2 Hrs   22 Mns   2.24 mph
843 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
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We did two smaller hikes a day in the Blue Range to preserve the pups in the unseasonably warm temperatures. This was the evening hike we did on day two. The goal was to visit Willow Spring and maybe locate the Long Cienega Trail.

I had remembered Willow Spring being a relatively pleasant area in an otherwise very fire damaged area when I had backpacked through there a few years ago and was interested in seeing the area again. The trail had its fair share of deadfall, but it was not horrible. Willow Spring is still a nice little area, but it was dry. In fact, it was very dry out there in general, with no real standing water to be found, not even at the Upper Grant Creek crossing/intersection. I had hoped to look around a little for traces of the Long Cienega Trail, but with no water out there and a still warm sun, we decided to head back. This area really needs some water and a little trail TLC.

dry Willow Spring Dry Dry
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Sep 05 2016
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
 Routes 313
 Photos 9,086
 Triplogs 865

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Tutt Creek Trail #105Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 05 2016
friendofThundergod
Hiking7.63 Miles 1,577 AEG
Hiking7.63 Miles   3 Hrs   33 Mns   2.31 mph
1,577 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This one was only on the radar because someone may be chasing some silly completion list thing on HAZ. My expectations were very tempered going into the hike and I warned Jackie that it could end up being a little dull. However, much to my satisfaction the hike proved to be rather pleasant with a nice ending point and destination along the perennial Foot Creek.

We got a rather early start to beat the sun and enjoyed a nice chilly start to the day. The trail was in pretty good condition overall and there were several areas of nice forest on the way to Foote Creek. There is a pretty good climb during the middle miles to clear the ridgeline that divides the Foote Creek drainage, but its not too overwhelming and goes pretty quick. The tread is a little thin and the grade is steep, as you descend into Foote Creek, but there are no real route finding issues. Judging from the minnows, Foote Creek is perennial where Tutt Creek Trail ends and the area is pretty nice in general at the area where the creek's other main fork joins the main body of Foote. Wanting to beat the sun on the way out, we only went a few hundred feet up Foote Creek Trail and then enjoyed a quick break along the creek. It did get a little warm on the way out, but there was enough shade to break up the sun and just enough water to keep the dogs happy.

This trail exceeded my expectations and piqued my interests for that area a little. I bet this trail has a lot of potential during the earlier Spring months and even later in the year than Sept. Only two trails left to cover in the Blue Range.
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2 archives
Sep 03 2016
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
 Routes 313
 Photos 9,086
 Triplogs 865

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Grant Creek Trail #75 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 03 2016
friendofThundergod
Backpack15.18 Miles 2,846 AEG
Backpack15.18 Miles2 Days         
2,846 ft AEG
 
1st trip
I made another pilgrimage to the Blue Range this holiday weekend, but with company for a change. I took Jackie and the pack down to the cabin site on Grant Creek for a day of fishing and checking Moonshine Park off the to do list. The fishing was great and Moonshine Park proved to be a worthy side trip.

We hiked in the recently cleared P-Bar Lake Trail to Foot Creek and then down Grant to the cabin site. After about 15 minutes at the site, Jackie said, "Blanco smells something," I said, "I know probably a squirrel." Then moments later a bear went shooting out of the creek bed up the steep slopes of the canyon. Jackie's main goal was to see a bear over the weekend and we checked that off the list after a mere 15 minutes at camp! Although, Jackie was a little confused about the cinnamon color, having only seen a couple black bears in PA and may have double checked google on the way home to make sure it was not a grizzly that we saw. The fishing was great and I may have caught one of the largest Apache Trout most will ever see, but did release in good health. Moonshine Park is in great shape and is a gem of a little spot out there, but the trail is in need of some work. Great over night temps a lazy start the next day, a detour to Paradise Park and trail on the way back. We did not see anyone on the trails the entire time.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Grant Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max P Bar Lake 1-25% full 1-25% full
closer to 1-5% full...muddy
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4 archives
Jul 16 2016
hikeaz
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 Guides 6
 Photos 341
 Triplogs 219

65 male
 Joined May 13 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Upper Grant Creek Trail #65 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 16 2016
hikeaz
Hiking4.00 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   1.45 mph
1,600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Not having been on this 'trail' since before the Wallow burn I was overdue. Well..maybe it should be re-named the 'Boot-camp Trail'. Although ruggedly beautiful, it was a full-body workout climbing up, over and around all of the dead-fall - especially with an overnight backpack. The upside of this rough travel (keeping fisherman impact to a minimum) is that the fish are abundant.
We started down the Steeple Trail 73 toward Grant Creek, originally planning to form a loop using the 65 trail downstream to the 305 trail to return. But after the blistering average down Upper Grant 65(< 2mph) and expecting the same on the 305 we decided to head out the 306, 75 and 76 trails.
306 is well-constructed and mostly undamaged by fire - beautiful. Once on the 75 it was still undamaged at the lower end but the upper reaches were fire-damaged with some dead-fall - although by Trail(?) 65 standards it was clear-sailing. The 76 trail to the west is about 80% fire-damaged but there ARE areas where you can see remnants of its former glory. Workarounds for dead-fall are straightforward.
We were visited by a 20 minute hail-storm and deluge at the end of the hike, offering a welcome coolness to the air.

NOTES: Although labeled here on HAZ as Trail 74, on maps and signage Grant Creek Trail is labeled as 75 - Important as most maps of the Blue list just the trail number, not the name.

One in our group short-cutted down Trail 326 and reported that it was pretty clear sailing and a pretty hike.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
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13 archives
Jun 19 2015
Thoreau
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 Routes 10
 Photos 466
 Triplogs 679

male
 Joined Mar 10 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Blue Range loop, AZ 
Blue Range loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 19 2015
Thoreau
Backpack11.69 Miles
Backpack11.69 Miles3 Days         
 
1st trip
Well this trip took the cake for pushing the limits...

We started off with a few ideas (VERY lofty ones as we quickly learned) about how much mileage we could put behind us in this area. In the end it took everything just to make it through the sub-12-mile route we ended up taking.

Things started off well heading down Upper Grant Creek trail, but a few miles in it got pretty nasty. The amount of deadfall was painfully excessive, and trail maintenance seems to be a thing of the past in this area. A lot of blockages could be hopped right over, but a few required scaling the steep/loose walls bush-whack style in order to try to get back to an already faint trail in many areas. One detour in particular had us crawling all over the north side of the canyon to meet back up with what the USGS maps show as the trail. Suffice it to say it was never found and it took a LOT of route finding and effort to get back to another leg of the trail.

This drained us physically and mentally which made the rest of the day pretty craptastic. Eventually we ran out of light on our way to Moonshine Park and were lucky enough to make it to the corral. We would've taken ANY flat ground for the night, but this was a beautiful campsite with fire ring, log seating, close water, and just the right mix of shade and open spots free of widowmakers.

Day 2 was fun as we started off and had decided to just head straight north to meet up with the Foote Creek trail. Missing the turn which must've been just on the edge of the corral campsite, we had to make a short backtrack and bushwhack to get onto the switchbacks.

Following the shortcut trail we quickly met up with the Grant Creek trail and the ascent was on. Views were pretty epic.

Shortly after connecting to Grant Creek trail, we hit the little valley/u-turn with the spring-fed water which was flowing well enough to top off. Another quick look at the map and we decided that we need to load up on water as there might not be any accessible water the rest of the trip. this turned out to be a good choice as the only water we saw from here on out was p-bar 'lake'. Suffice it to say that there was no way we were going to filter that mess.

Eventually we made it to p-bar and the connection to Foote Creek trail. We went west for a short bit and picked the first spot just off trail that we could find with any flat ground. Not a lotta good options for camping along this area, and in hindsight I think we should've camped just prior to the Foote Creek trail connection, but there is no way we were gonna burn more time/energy backtracking at this point. More exposure due to lack of canopy, steep grades, and 6 liters of water each had beaten us well.

Day 3 was a trudge back to the Hannagan Meadow trailhead that we THOUGHT would be a pleasant change of pace. The terrain wasn't too bad, but the deadfall continued to hamper progress, and there were more large swaths of burn area that kept us roasting in the sun. Some time later, and a few trail signs, we saw the wooden gate frame at the trailhead and the ice cold water stored in the vehicle had NEVER tasted so good.
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4 archives
May 23 2015
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
 Routes 313
 Photos 9,086
 Triplogs 865

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Upper Grant Creek Trail #65 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 23 2015
friendofThundergod
Hiking14.50 Miles 2,897 AEG
Hiking14.50 Miles
2,897 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
I made my favorite five hour drive this weekend. The destination was none other than my beloved Primitive Blue Range. I planned a weekend of exploring new trails, a little fishing and gathering some much needed data on the area to share on HAZ and use for own personal planning. There is simply not a lot of beta floating around for the P.B.R and the several trails systems in the area.

The first day was designed to be a light creek fishing day with the incorporation of two new trails for me: Upper Grant Creek Trail #74 and Long Cienega Trail #305. Both the Upper Grant Trail and Long Cienega fall under the forest service's primitive trail designation. The Upper Grant Trail was actually a very pleasant little trail, with signs of trail maintenance and a nice setting among the upper stretches of the perennial Grant Creek. I saw my first Apache Trout in a small pool at 7,700 feet from there on one can witness several shy trout darting in and out from the danger of the well lit water to the safety of the shadows and depths of their pools. The trout are actually ubiquitous to some small sections of the stream here, however, the nice trout are much further down stream and require a considerable amount of effort to reach.

On our way down stream while trying my luck in a new hole and with Cup by my side attentively watching Blanco stirred up a bear that was probably not 20 yards from us. I think until Blanco stirred him up, the bear's strategy was probably to just wait us out. Blanco gave the bear a strong initial effort, however, nothing beats a bear scurrying up the side of a bank in heavy brush, could not even get a picture, but a real treat none the less and my first bear sighting in the B.R. Meanwhile, the fishing proved to be great once again.

We ended up going off trail down stream much further than I had anticipated, imagine that I low-balled the miles total, that never happens to me. Anyways, making our way down and up stream off trail was some pretty nasty terrain for Cup, so I decided to forgo Long Cienega. I had finally looked at the trail closely on a map and I noticed its terminus was in a real nasty burned out area I had hie through the year before. The aforementioned coupled with the fact that the beginning of the trail did not look all that enticing, led me to opt for the known trails out and a much nicer exit for the dogs.

Less than a 3000 foot climb out, but a tad strenuous in spots. The climb out was pretty uneventful, however, the trails were generally pleasant.
Fauna
Fauna
Apache Trout
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4 archives
Jul 17 2014
friendofThundergod
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 313
 Photos 9,086
 Triplogs 865

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Primitive Blue Range East, AZ 
Primitive Blue Range East, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jul 17 2014
friendofThundergod
Backpack40.76 Miles 11,153 AEG
Backpack40.76 Miles3 Days         
11,153 ft AEG
 
I made another semi ambitious trek into the Primitive Blue Range. More specifically, I made my first significant indents into the more remote eastern portions. I say "semi ambitious" because I took along Cup and had to scale back some of my ambitions. However, Cup ended up doing just fine, Blanco loved carrying her food and we only had to alter our day two plans slightly in her consideration.

Day 1: I stayed at the Foot Creek Trail head and decided to just make the quick 2-3 mile drive up 191 in the morning to the trail head for P-Bar Lake Trail. Foot Creek TH is further off road has basic restroom facilities and forest service does not mind. The P-Bar Lake Trail is literally just a pull-off on side of road, not conducive to car camping with dogs. Day one miles seemed to go by and pile up fast. Grant Creek Trail is a really solid trail with minimal areas of complete fire devastation. The Paradise Park area is certainly in recovery phase, but looking very promising, with some stubborn ponderosa still alive and healthy guarding the meadows edges and several young 3-5 feet pine starting over among a mixture of fast growing aspen. Grant Creek Trail is a tad bittersweet though, as one can't help but think that eventually 9000 feet will have to be reached again after hitting a trip low of about 5,100 feet above sea level on the first day. Made camp at the intersections of Lanphier and Largo Canyon, great spot, probably pushed cup a little hard, (16.5 miles)threatened several times to storm but no significant rain.

Day 2I wanted to go the Bear Mountain look out, but Cup was a little beat after a tough day one, so I decided to skip Bear Mountain and return to the Blue River via Telephone Ridge Trail and Sawmill Trail. Was nice to finally get some data for this area of Primitive Blue Range. It will come in handy when I make my next trek there, hopefully to finally include a little dual state action and a quick cross over into New Mexico. Something I think Blanco and I could have knocked out with about a 55 to 60 mile trip, oh and maybe another day. Day two camp superb, had Cup off trail very early in afternoon, read some, prepped camp, cooled off in creek.

Day 3: A pretty standard hike out, however, did make a slight detour back down to Grant Creek via Paradise Trail #74. I am just trying to accumulate as much info for this area as I can, and I had not did that trail yet. In terms of miles, small detour, however, certainly added some more AEG to hike that I probably did not need and Cup almost certainly did not want. But the trail proved to be great! A real slice of "paradise" in spots, a tad tough to pick up near creek, some dead fall and erosion have really taken their toll on this trail's once much deeper cuts along the steep hillside leading down into Grant Creek. For a good laugh see my GPS Track where I turned around to go get my nice 16 dollar map, then stopped just under two tenths of a mile to return to pack where I was now sure I put it. Nope not in pack went back for map again, found about 100-200 feet further up trail from when I turned around first time. I had set map down to move a log in trail, never picked back up, but certainly not to proud to turn around twice in an attempt to recoup a $16.95 map.

Final Notes: AEG is probably a tad inflated, however, hard to hide from AEG in Primitive Blue Range easy to rack up out there and while it may look high, it is probably not as off as some might think.

Had to do more road walking then what I generaly like, but spirits were brightened by seeing a random white van with no windows driving around remote back roads with a personalized plate reading AMBRLRT, my thoughts exactly! At least he comes about it honestly.

Product Review I brought out my new Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum. Two thumbs up, was initially worried about durability with dogs, however, had both in tent by second night, no issues. So light and compact, found myself stopping to make sure I packed tent! I was not able to field test it in a good storm, but nice results for steady lighter drizzles.
Flora
Flora
Red Raspberry
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2 archives
Jun 21 2014
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
 Routes 313
 Photos 9,086
 Triplogs 865

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Blue Range Primitive Area, AZ 
Blue Range Primitive Area, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 21 2014
friendofThundergod
Backpack41.79 Miles 9,841 AEG
Backpack41.79 Miles3 Days         
9,841 ft AEG
 
Made another pilgrimage east to the Apache-Sitgreaves, more specifically the Primitive Blue Range area, or as my map says the Blue Range Wilderness and Primitive Area. However, even the latter is a bit of a misnomer, as currently the Blue Range has not achieved wilderness status in the eyes of Congress and to this day remains the last "primitive" designated area in the United States. Not sure what any of that means, however, anyone who knows me, knows that I would have a natural attraction to any area with the word primitive in its title. Similarly, since my first visit about a year ago, this area has really intrigued me. It was in this are that Aldo Leopold (arguably the founding father in American conservationism and ecology) obtained his first position working under the federal forest service. Leopold saw much in his day, he spoke fondly of the "mountain" in fact, one of his most famous written works, "Thinking Like a Mountain" is based off of his expediences in and around Escudilla and the Escudilla Wilderness area. So the question for me: could I find what gravitated Leopold to this area and transformed him into perhaps America's first conservationists, but 100 years later and after the greatest forest fire the Southwest has seen in contemporary times? Spoiler alert the answer is a resounding yes!

A chance encounter with a game warden around 10:00 p.m. on Friday changed my plans slightly for the three days. He had personally just conducted a "shocking" and fish count of Grant Creek and gave me some pointers on where all the trout were congregated. However, if I were to hit these areas, I would have to modify my original route of Grant Creek Trail which stays high above the creek until crossing around the lower elevations where the Game Warden officer told me all the fish had been killed or can no longer exist due to warmer water temps caused by the destroying of their natural shade and the naturally warmer water at lower elevations. So from the intersection of trails #76 Foot Creek and #75 Grant Creek I took trail #306 down to Grant Creek and decided I would just fish and hike the whole stream length off-trail to its southern intersection with trail #75. If the fishing and beauty of Grant Creek were not as great as they were, this might have turned out to be a negative experience. Movement down stream was very slow at times, however, as I stated earlier the fishing was amazing and the creek beautiful so it negated the slow moving pace of boulder hoping, and down climbing water falls complete with three day pack and pole in hand, oh and along with keeping Blanco floating and upright through some of the deeper pools and obstacles. From there I made good time to the Blue River, passed through a little bit of civilization as I walked the forest road that connected my ambitious loop. I took the first opportunity to camp at a place marked the "box" on my map. This was one of first areas where there were not a dozen no trespassing signs or signs proclaiming the owner's willingness to shoot me if I stepped foot on their property. Day one turned out to be a little over 17 miles, camping was nice, but not spectacular, ate well, slept well.

I thought day 2 would be a much easier day, however, that did not turn out to be necessarily true, thanks in part to some of my decision making. I hate to give a negative trail description, because with trails everyone has their own opinions, and I would not want to steer someone away from an area. However, Steeple Trail #73 is probably a trail one could leave off their to do list for the time being. The upper sections of the trail have really been damage by fire and the trip across KP Mesa is enough to make one yearn for a very quick change of scenery. However, that is simply not the case as you seem to hike forever to simply cross KP Mesa's fire damaged landscape where one can easily see areas that suffered 100 percent devastation from fire. From Steeple Trail #73 I took trail #70 into the KP Creek area. However, this trail got no better! In fact, I will give a fair warning, if you do not have a G.P.S route for this trail or sound topo reading skills, I would avoid this section of trail all together. One can safely say to some degree that this trail ceases to exist in several spots, littered with dead fall, washed out and very faint in the good spots. Nevertheless, we were doing just fine, traversing the several drainages leading to K.P. when I had the great decision to cut a mile or so off route and explore some off-trail sections of K.P. Creek. The whole situation reminded me of something my friend Jim always says when I am pondering short-cuts and more direct off trail routes. He always says, "if that way is shorter or easier, that would be the way." Well in this case that held to be 100% true. I could tell from cliffs along opposite side of creek that there was potential for not being able to cut down to creek and man did that hold true, cliffed out once, then took a side drainage only to come to an impassible pour-over so intimidating that I did not even snap a photo, Blanco and I finally broke through down about a 4-5 foot wide scree shoot, hit the creek where Blanco drank profusely and I silently chastised myself. One would think at this stage in the game I was done making those kind of mistakes, but something tells me that won't be the last time. We slowly made our way up the lower section of K.P Creek where the trail is a little tough to follow and made camp at a superb location.

The final day was just an easy hike up K.P. Creek to K.P. Rim Trail, back to the upper section of Steeple Trail and back to the TH. Everything on this hike went well except finding my short connector trail to complete my K.P. Rim loop. Similar to the hike description, the turn-off for the trail is very hard to find and the forest fire certainly did not make it any easier. In fact, the author wrote had we not had the route downloaded we would have never found the turn-off. Unfortunately, the author failed to post "said" route to description, I guess his way of adding a little excitement for the next guy, we found it but you are on your own I guess. After accepting defeat I was reserved to back-track and make the less than 2 mile trek down 191 to my TH. However, this whole thought was leaving a bitter taste in my mouth, almost like a surrender, or a walk of shame in my mind. First a small voice contemplated just going off-trail the whole way until I found something to walk on. However, this voice was quickly drowned out by about 1000 sane other voices in my head who still had yesterday's folly fresh in their minds and they quickly and probably for the better got that thought out of my head. I then looked down and could clearly see the meadow I needed to get to, but no trail to get there. I said to myself I will go exactly .25 miles to meadow look for Steeple Trail #73, if I don't find, I turn right around. As luck would have it, after about 100 feet off trail I ran into my long lost connector trail.

The trail now ran in a complete opposite direction of the trail featured on my G.P.S! Oh well no time to curse and dwell, I was happy to be on trails and heading back to car, went through some pretty bad burnt out sections, but oddly enough found some beauty in them. Whether it was the stubborn trees that refused to burn or the half million or so 5 to 15 feet tall Aspen blowing fiercely in the wind and the numerous reinvigorated meadows and cienegas, I found beauty in it all.

Even with the adventure in finding my connector trail, Blanco and I still hit TH by 11:30 in morning.

Final Notes:

HAZ Appreciation I used a hike description from Arizonaed written in 2004 and it turned out to be pretty much spot on. Which is something to say, as he obviously wrote pre-Bear Wallow Fire. Route might need some small adjustments, but overall great hike description!
Geology
Geology
Mud
Named place
Named place
Aker Lake
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2 archives
Apr 12 2012
JuanJaimeiii
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 Routes 570
 Photos 8,239
 Triplogs 1,811

54 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Moonshine Park - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 12 2012
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking11.30 Miles 2,743 AEG
Hiking11.30 Miles   4 Hrs   1 Min   2.81 mph
2,743 ft AEG
 
Hiked this one a week ago but the last part of it was in the dark. I also didn't have time last week to make it out to "Moonshine Park". I figured given the name of the hike and all I had better go back and complete the mission. I also wanted to see where I got off track last week on the return. From the Grant Cabin going North on the Grant Cabin Shortcut Trail I got off course a little. I figured it happened because it was dark and that today it wouldn't happen again. Well guess what, it did. Once back on track I decided to go the opposite direction (counter clockwise) in the area where I got off track and try and connect the dots. Ah ha! I figured out the problem. The trail isn't there anymore! There is a short section (maybe a tenth of a mile) that got washed out in a large rock slide. Well at least I know now. Either way you can't really get lost here because you are following a drainage up.

Also worth noting is that there isn't an actual trail for the last couple hundred yards to Moonshine Park. Scott Warren mentions this in his book as well. Once at the end of the trail just turn right and head for the base of the tall mountain in the distance. It is a big open meadow.

Almost all the snow had melted in the last week and I only saw one deer. No other wildlife this trip.
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Apr 04 2012
JuanJaimeiii
avatar

 Routes 570
 Photos 8,239
 Triplogs 1,811

54 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Moonshine Park - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 04 2012
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking10.30 Miles 2,187 AEG
Hiking10.30 Miles   4 Hrs   29 Mns   2.30 mph
2,187 ft AEG
 
Took the long but scenic route from Phoenix to Hannagan Meadow area. I went through Safford and then went up 191. Normally I come in from the North and go South on 191. This added about an hour to my trip but wow what an amazing drive! From Clifton/Morenci to Hannagan Meadow is just beautiful. The mines at Clifton and Morenci were HUGE! I'm guessing there are several great hikes in this area.

As for the hike itself it was a bit tricky. Starting late, the area being burned in several spots, and signs down or missing all together, the map in the book not being accurate, all made for an interesting hike. Don't get me wrong I got 'er done and really enjoyed it. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I plan on doing it again sometime before the end of the month so I can see the whole thing in the daylight.

There were ducks swimming on P Bar Lake and the frogs could be heard for half a mile. Down in the area of Paradise Park I saw about 20 deer grazing off in the distance. The Grant Cabin remains are pretty cool and I would like to spend a little more time in that area on the next trip. This time I was just simply running out of light. I had my head lamp but not knowing the area and the trail being a little sketchy in some areas made me want to keep moving.

What I thought was really cool was to hear the birds chirping, see the ducks swimming, the deer grazing and see the clear skies. Less than a year ago this area was right in the heart of the largest wild fire in Arizona's history! Yes it has much to recover but not all was lost!
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Sep 26 2009
hhwolf14
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 Photos 832
 Triplogs 173

43 female
 Joined Oct 13 2007
 Loveland, CO
Grant Creek Trail #75 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 26 2009
hhwolf14
Hiking10.00 Miles 3,360 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
3,360 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Just the drive in on this one was an adventure. I came up 191 from Safford- wow, that is not a fun road for those of us who get a bit queasy on the curvy roads :sk: I drove up late Friday night, ready to start the hike bright and early. The critters in the area aren't used to many cars passing by at night. I saw 3 grey foxes (yes, definitely foxes, not coyotes), a skunk, a couple of rabbits, several small rodents, and a herd of deer. Unfortunately it was pitch black and they were all pretty much skittering for cover from my headlights- would have loved to get some pics. The hike itself is very secluded, but a bit lackluster. I did a loop including P-Bar trail, Foote, Grant Creek, Paradise, and Grant Shortcut trails, and a little side trip to Moonshine Park- an open meadow area just off the trail. A bit exposed in many places, this was a warm one, especially on the return leg of the loop, which is a steady climb. The first 1.5 miles is the best- just a quiet walk through the pines ending at P-Bar lake- pretty much just a stock pond- but surrounded by some nice aspens.
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2 archives
Oct 06 2007
JoelHazelton
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 Guides 16
 Routes 10
 Photos 967
 Triplogs 406

35 male
 Joined Mar 22 2006
 Phoenix, AZ
Steeple Trail #73 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 06 2007
JoelHazelton
Hiking15.00 Miles 3,920 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles3 Days         
3,920 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The trip began at the Hannagan Trailhead, across the street from the Hannagan Lodge. We didn't arrive at the trailhead until 4:30 pm on Saturday. The first night we only made it about 4 miles, camping just shy of P-bar lake off of trail 76. That night we heard loud, frantic howling sounding from close-by. Coyotes? Mexican Gray Wolves? Day two we turned south at P-bar lake, traversing Paradise trail 75 down the steep drainage to Grant Creek. Grant Creek was definitely the most beautiful portion of the trip. The narrow trail skirted the edge of the precipitous canyon, where the rocks slipping from beneath my feet and tumbling down the steep canyon walls to the creek made the hike all the more interesting. We eventually made our way up the canyon walls and passed through Moonshine park, which has some perfect campsites. After passing through Moonshine park, the trail makes a sharp 180 degree turn and proceeds to drop down to Steeple creek.
After the 180, however, the trail begins to degrade at some spots.

Unfortunately, we fell victim to the degrading trail. We lost the trail somewhere near where it drops to steeple creek, and ended up hiking cross country down the side of a canyon to reach the trail. Happy to finally hit the trail, we went on our merry way- that is, until Dennis noticed a plant he had recognized from quite a bit earlier. "Dude, we need to turn around, we're going the wrong way," he informed me, with confidence. "What?" I exclaimed. What followed was a long string of expletives that perfectly defined my mood and state of frustration and confusion. Finally, because my Walmart compass constantly told us we were going northwest, even though we had clearly changed directions numerous times, and because the landscape surrounding us did not seem to line up with the contours on the map where I thought we were supposed to be, I had to resort to relying on Dennis' instincts and noted broken reed to get us back on track. Luckily, he was right. About a mile or two later (of trail we had already covered), we figured out exactly where we had lost the trail, and discovered a large cairn about 10 feet past that spot. Why is it that cairns are always a few feet out of my vision? Anyway, we continued down to Steeple creek, and found a very, very nice campsite on the north side of the creek near Mud Springs. Although this should have been the most fun and recreational portion of my trip, a combination of no sleep the previous night and horrible allergies (which I'm very prone to) drove me right into the tent. As I lie there and closed my eyes, all I could think about was my constantly running nose, itchy throat, incessant pile of phlegm behind my tongue, and the fits of 8 or 9 sneezes that hit me every couple minutes and left me feeling worse every time. The original plan was to camp the next night at KP Creek and then hike the north fork up to the 191 and then back to the Hannagan trailhead, but the option of trekking straight up the Steeple trail and back to the car the next day was becoming more and more appealing as I sat there sneezing and blowing snot rockets. Finally I proposed the idea to Dennis, who readily agreed.

The next morning we broke camp and started up trail 73. Whew!!!!!!! This trail was a damn huffer! In the 2 miles following Mud Springs, the trail rises in elevation from 6900 feet to 9200 feet, is literally carpeted with poison ivy much of the time, requires almost constant bushwacking and sometimes no real path at all, and has an abundance of fallen trees that occasionally required legitimate climbs to surpass. We finally reached the top though... And it was one of the happiest moments of both of our lives. Actually, near the junction of 73 and 315, with 6 or 7 more miles of trail and numerous canyons between us and the car, we sat on rocks and had an intensely relaxing conversation about the undeniable beauty of the area and how we had both been humbled by the previous few hours of hiking. Apparently something that grew near the creeks was triggering my allergies, because at the top of the mountain, with nothing to worry about but bear crap, bear tracks (SOOOOOOOOOO many of them) charred pines and expansive, awe inspiring views, my head was suddenly clear of phlegm, stress, and everything negative. Now THIS was why we went on this trip.

We finally got our lazy butts up and continued on our way. It wasn't long before Dennis saved the day. I was sure we had passed the turnoff and suggested that we turn around and retrace our steps to see if we could find the fork. Dennis insisted that we go a little farther first- 20 feet later, a sign for the Steeple trail and the Rim trail stared right at me. Thanks, Dennis. At this point, the most difficult aspect of the trail was all of the deep footprints and bear crap we had to dodge until we reached Grant Creek, where there it seems to be more frequently hiked and maintained. From there it was about a 600 foot climb and 2 more miles back to the car.

At the gas station in Alpine (pump before you pay, by the way, if anybody needs to steal gas), the very nice lady that worked inside informed us that
A. It had reached the 20's the past couple nights
B. Turkey hunters had been complaining that there haven't been any turkeys around, although we had seen and heard plenty near where we camped at Steeple Creek
C. The Blue doesn't see many backpackers, or at least she doesn't.

We also learned that those 4 dollar turkey sandwiches that you always snicker at in the freezer at gas stations are freaking amazing after 3 days of canned fruit cocktail, energy bars and iodine-filtered creek water.

All in all, in spite of the lack of photos and dreadful experience in Steeple Creek canyon, it was an adventure and experience to remember.
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"Arizona is the land of contrast... You can go from Minnesota to California in a matter of minutes, then have Mexican food that night." -Jack Dykinga

http://www.joelhazelton.com
Sep 02 2007
Tim
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 Guides 10
 Triplogs 430

59 male
 Joined Feb 25 2002
 Scottsdale
Upper Grant Creek Trail #65 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2007
Tim
Hiking11.30 Miles 2,500 AEG
Hiking11.30 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   2.05 mph
2,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
This hike was actually an 11.3 mile loop hike incorporating five trails and originated from the Hannagan Meadows trailhead. It took us 5 ½ hours including a short 10 minute stop for lunch and was one of the prettiest hikes I've ever been on. The trails in order were Steeple Mesa (#73) to Upper Grant Creek (#65) to Grant Cabin Shortcut (#306), to Grant Creek (#75) to the Foote Creek (#76). The highlight of the trip was the Upper Grant Creek Trail and one covers most of its distance so that's what I went with as far as a hike name.

We got a late start at 12:20 pm which had me somewhat concerned due to the likelihood of afternoon showers and an earlier sunset at around 6:30. (We decided to claim a campsite and pitch a tent at the Hannagan Campgrounds before hiking which added to the delay.) I was planning for a 6 hour hike and cutting it kind of close. The weather was a beautiful, sunny 66 degrees when we pushed off.

The trailhead itself is at 9,200 feet. After 1.4 miles on the Steeple Mesa Trail (#73) we came to the turnoff for Upper Grant Creek (#65). The intersection is well signed in the middle of a meadow. We headed east down the meadow through the long grass following no discernable trail. This worried me as I feared the entire trail would be a similar bushwhack which would really slow us down and have us on the trail after dark. However, once we got to the trees at the end of the meadow, there was a well defined trail that traveled along the creek. Route finding was never an issue, (it's a drainage for crying out loud!), and the trail was well traveled. In a few spots there was some confusion as the trail crisscrossed the creek, but it was no big deal and we were able to maintain a good pace. This trail was simply gorgeous! The further we descended the greater the volume of water in the creek which made for a boat load of fun and wet feet on several of the numerous creek crossings. However, we were giving up quite a bit of elevation and I knew we'd eventually have to pay the piper for that. There we a couple of spots where the trail climbed up the steep sides of the drainage to avoid water pour offs in the creek. This was merely a harbinger of things to come and we felt like we were hiking into a lobster trap with all of the elevation we were giving up. Just before the intersection with Grant Creek Cabin Shortcut Trail (#306), we came across said cabin. Only its 4 walls are left and it sits next to a small corral. Apparently ranchers used this along with some moonshiners at some point. My GPS had this intersection at the 5.5 mile mark and it had taken us 2 ¼ hours to get to the turnaround point at 7,300 feet. Originally, we had wanted to hike further down to Moonshine Park but decided to pass on that short side trip since we were pressed for time.

We climbed out of the drainage on the Grant Creek Cabin Shortcut Trail (#306) which was fairly steep with lots of switchbacks. It was probably only ¾ of a mile to the intersection with the Grant Creek Trail (#75), but it took us a while. As we climbed out of the drainage on the bear slopes we were treated to awesome views of the entire Blue Range. The climb up continued on the Grant Creek Trail (#75) for approximately another two miles until the intersection with the Foote Creek Trail (#76) on the top of the rim at the 8,900 foot mark. All told, this 2 hour stretch on a stair master covered roughly 1,600 feet in 2 ¾ miles.

From this point it's a relatively flat 3+ miles back to the trailhead through a thick forest with lots of Aspen. Along the way we jumped a group of turkeys and 3 large elk and got back to the trailhead at 5:50 with plenty of light remaining. Fortunately, the weather held and we never had to don our rain gear.
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average hiking speed 2.2 mph
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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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