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Grant Creek Trail #74 - Blue Range - 2 members in 17 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jul 20 2018
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 15
 Routes 234
 Photos 6,048
 Triplogs 438

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Moonshine Park - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 20 2018
DarthStiller
Hiking12.40 Miles 3,202 AEG
Hiking12.40 Miles   7 Hrs   1 Min   1.88 mph
3,202 ft AEG      26 Mns Break
 
1st trip
This being the last weekend before my family comes back from Europe, I planned a trip to the White Mountains. This was the first of three hikes. Wally and I left Mesa about 4:45am and arrived at the trailhead a little after 9am. There was a 50% chance of thunderstorms for that weekend, but when we arrived, the skies were clear.

The main comment I have is that the official HAZ route for this hike needs to be retired with that designation. JJ's route should be the official route. This hike is a solid 11 miles, and we turned it into more than that with some missed turnoffs, and a couple mistakes in navigation. We noticed that the official route was off about a mile in after the first trail junction for Grant Creek. We took the right trail, but we weren't on the track. I could tell that we were headed in the right direction eventually, so I thought maybe the trail was re-routed. As the Grant Creek Trail descended, the views started to get really nice.

Later on, Wally and I missed the junction for the Paradise Trail. I had actually seen the marker, but it was nailed to a tree instead of on a post, so I had thought it was just labeling the trail. A few minutes later I decided to check my GPS and saw that we were off route and had missed the turnoff. Right about htat time at 11am, we heard the first rolls of thunder.

Once we were on the Paradise Trail, I noticed again that we weren't on the track. We still were going in the right general direction, but we were pretty far off from the offical route. Looking later, I can see that JJ's route is a way more accurate one for the actual trails out there.

This became a factor for us soon enough because we saw the trail split in two. The one trail headed downhill, and looked like it headed closer to Moonshine Park than the other one, and was closer to the "official" route. This trail dead ended at a wash in a narrow gorge, next to a bog. It also lost us over 100' of elevation. We decided to head back up. Wally was ahead of me and missed the turnoff on our way down and kept going back the wrong way, similar to what he and Joe did back in February on Oracle Ridge. I didn't miss it and quickly realized that he had gone the wrong way because I should have been able to see him along the trail.

After I got to the point where you have to go off trail to get to Moonshine Park, I called Wally and could hear him calling back. I headed towards Moonshine Park on a faint trail that follows the creek until I saw Wally. I told him to make a sharp left at the creek crossing.

Eventually you do have to go off trail to get to Moonshine Park. I had a hard time figuring out where to go and thought we needed to go up another 100'+ to a stand of Ponderosas I could see. To get there we needed to go through some very steep, loose rock and heavy vegetation. Wally was not enthused, but didn't complain. About halfway there, I looked at my GPS again, looked downhill and to the left and saw Moonshine Park. Sorry, Wally. Going back down was marginally easier than going up. We had lunch at the park and headed back.

We missed the turnoff again to the Grant Cabin Shortcut Trail, which was actulaly good because we got to see the remains of the cabin. The hike back up Grant Creek Trail was a bit of a slog, mainly because of the extra energy expended on our side excursions. Towards the top of Grant Creek, a fighter jet flew over the trees, making some of the most hellacious noise I've ever heard. I saw a fighter jet once before at Picacho Peak, but this one was way louder. My reaction was to hit the deck as it was at its loudest and closest.

The last mile the thunder got a little louder and more often, but no close strikes. Got lucky to end the hike without getting rained on, unlike the previous weekend.
Fauna
Fauna
Western Tanager
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Oct 03 2016
montanaman
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 Triplogs 1

67 male
 Joined Nov 27 2015
 Apache Junction,
Grant Creek Trail #74 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 03 2016
montanaman
Hiking9.15 Miles 3,565 AEG
Hiking9.15 Miles
3,565 ft AEG28 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My friend Tom and I really like the Blue Range Primitive Area. It has spectacular scenery and a remoteness you don’t often find. I’ve been to the Blues 3 times for a total of 7 days and have never seen another person. The peace and solitude is expansive. I have however heard a pack of Mexican Grey Wolves yapping and howling at 5:30 in the morning, apparently enjoying a fresh kill. I’ve heard the sound of elk bugling and watched as a good sized herd trotted off through the meadow leaving a large bull elk stand on a hill looking directly at us. He released a loud bugle, shook his horns, and slowly trotted off, obviously afraid we were after what was rightfully his. No, Mr. Elk, those little ladies are all yours! On this last trip we saw a bear some distance away which quickly disappeared into the brush. Hmmm. The Blue Range is truly a special place.

There are a couple of different way to get to get to Grant Creek #75 but we decided to start out at the #326 trailhead. This TH is on Hwy 191 and is about 3 miles before you get to Hannigan’s Meadow on the left side of the road. After a short hike, #326 intersects with Foote Creek Trail #76. Turn left on Foote Creek and go past P Bar Lake. P Bar Lake really isn’t a lake. It’s a large mud hole. I wouldn’t want to have to get water out of it. Anyway, just past P Bar is Grant Creek Trail #75. Merge to the right and you’re on track. From here on out it’s downhill. Literally. If you decide to go all the way down to the Blue River, which is about 5450’, you’re looking at an elevation difference of 3500-4000’. Not bad if you’re going down, but a bit of a go coming back up.

We stayed at White Oak Spring, which is about 4 miles in. We got there just a little after dark on a Friday and set up camp. It was a pleasantly cool night. The crickets were chirping and the air was still. We ate a well-deserved meal and just after we finished, it started raining. That seems to be our luck as of late. At least it waited until we finished eating. The next morning, we went to get water, which was only a couple of hundred yards away. The first thing I noticed were several piles of bear scat on the trail to the spring. About six of them to be exact. That caused us both to take notice. More on that later. Anyway, White Oak Spring is a good source of fresh water. After filling up, we decided to leave our camp where it was, hike down to Grant Creek proper, explore some of the side canyons, and hike back up to our camp. That way we wouldn’t have such a long uphill march from Grant Creek with full packs when we left the next day. We could leave from White Oak Spring. I’m glad we did it this way.

Grant Creek is a very nice little creek. I wish we had time to follow it all the way down to the Blue River, but time was not on our side. There are trout in this stream, which is nice. While exploring one of the side canyons we came upon the track of what appeared to be a bobcat, or similar feline. Nice find. After a day of exploring, we went back up to camp and relaxed the rest of the day. After dinner, a miracle happened: it didn’t rain. Woohoo!

We had a great night with temps down to about 40 degrees. The night stars were in full array and the impossibly bright Orion constellation loomed over us like a heavenly guardian. I slept well.
The next day woke warm and bright. After breakfast, I went out to look for a convenient tree to finish things up, and that’s when I saw it, about 100’ from our site: bear scat, which looked exceptionally fresh to my eyes. I’m not talking a couple of piles either. Within a diameter of about 30’ I counted 20 piles of bear scat. And I didn’t even look that well. I swear that some piles were so large they wouldn’t fit in a gallon jug. I quit looking after 20 because the more I looked, the more I found. It was like a bear poop graveyard. That made me kind of nervous. The only thing that gave me any consolation was the fact that every single pile was composed of berries. Berries, berries, berries. All piles were the same, some were just larger than others. I don’t know what kind of berries they were (juniper??), but at least I didn’t see any bones, fur, or bells. That’s a good thing, I think… That little find motivated me to move a little quicker (pun intended), so with a newfound spring in my step I hurried on back to camp to finish getting packed up. As we left through the barbed wire gate we noticed a big tuft of hair on it. I’ll give one guess as to what it was…

Anyway, the Blues are special, but there are a few things you should be aware of. The trails are not highly populated, which leaves them vulnerable to nature and makes them somewhat difficult to follow at times. There are a lot of dead and downed trees which can complicate matters. There appears to be very little (read: zero) trail maintenance done. On our way going down, we got off track several times, and if it weren’t for my GPS app (BC Navigator), we would probably still be there. To be fair however, we did follow the marked trail back up from Grant Creek to the trailhead and didn’t stray once. I haven’t figured that one out yet. To be safe, I would suggest taking your GPS if you have one. I would also prepare myself mentally for bears. If you’re lucky, you might not see one. If you’re lucky, you just might see one. Go figure!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation None
Leaves are beginning to turn. Both the oaks and poplars were turning yellow, making for a nice contrast to the pines.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Grant Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Not only can you get water, but fish as well.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max P Bar Lake 26-50% full 26-50% full
Mud, mud, mud.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max White Oak Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Good source of water. Every other animal in the area seems to agree. Especially the bears.
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Sep 03 2016
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,723
 Triplogs 716

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Grant Creek Trail #74 - 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 22 2016
haggster
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 Guides 1
 Photos 32
 Triplogs 5

43 male
 Joined Oct 18 2006
 Farmington, UT
Grant Creek Trail #74 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 22 2016
haggster
Hiking6.15 Miles 1,800 AEG
Hiking6.15 Miles   5 Hrs      1.23 mph
1,800 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Great hike down into Grant Creek. I went in via trail #326 to P-Bar Lake, then down trail #75 and the #306 Grant Cabin Shortcut. The burned sections really opened the views down into the Blue. Once I got down to Grant Cabin, I only fished about a mile towards Moonshine Park before I had to head back.
Fauna
Fauna
Apache Trout
_____________________
Jul 16 2016
hikeaz
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 Guides 5
 Photos 341
 Triplogs 214

63 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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kurt
13 archives
Jun 19 2015
Thoreau
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 Routes 10
 Photos 465
 Triplogs 653

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
Jul 17 2014
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,723
 Triplogs 716

37 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
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,723
 Triplogs 716

37 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 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,598

52 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
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 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,598

52 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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May 30 2011
GrottoGirl
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 Guides 3
 Routes 304
 Photos 10,998
 Triplogs 1,253

44 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Hannagan Meadow Grant/KP Creek LoopAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar May 30 2011
GrottoGirl
Backpack36.00 Miles 7,401 AEG
Backpack36.00 Miles4 Days         
7,401 ft AEG39 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Great trip, however there were definitely some forces of evil working against me. Maybe it has something to do with starting the trip just off the "Devil's Highway".

Day 1: We started at the KP North Fork trail and continued on the KP Trail for about 5.5 miles. About 3 miles in, my camera went crashing to the ground after taking pictures of poison ivy. Camera Lens Error... So much for carrying about 1 pound of extra accessories for my camera. Canon PowerShot S5 IS - you were the BOMB! RIP!

We did find a good campsite along KP Creek and the temperatures were just right for sleeping!

Day 2: Great day, but really long (12 - 13 miles). We got great views of Sawed Off Mountain and the surrounding area. The trail along the KP and Steeple Mesas is very rocky with very little shade. If the view at the end of the mesa looking down in the lower part of KP canyon wasn't so awesome I'd have a hard time recommending this hike. I got to test out my birthday present, the Solar Dome Umbrella. Really awesome when there is no shade! Too bad it didn't protect me against heat rash on the backs of my legs. We did spend a fair amount of time relaxing in and near the Blue River. It was very nice to cool off!

As we walked between the Steeple trail and the Grant Creek trail along a dirt road I found my next dream job: Postal Worker at Blue, Arizona. The office is only open 3 times a week - sweet!

We again found another great campsite about a half mile from the Grant Creek TH. I had a special treat - I saw a javalina near camp.

Day 3: We hiked up long a ridge where you could look down in to part of Grant Creek Canyon. The view of the Red Saddles was pretty cool.

We hiked through Paradise Park - the devil had been there in 2010 and burned the heck out of the area. However, the elk had been working hard on trying to spread out some fertilizer to help promote revegetation. We ended up camping between Paradise Park and the Grant Cabin Trail Jxn. This area had also been burned but all the Ponderosa Pines had survived. I just did some research and found that the Paradise fire had been caused by a lightning strike on June 7, 2010. At this campsite, it was impossible to maintain any cleanliness. In fact, I still have dirty hands! That day it was windy and many of us either saw or heard trees going down not to far away.

Joel and I decided to go down the Grant Cabin trail to check out that area in case there might be good campsites for the future. On the way down, there was one section where it was burnt to a crisp and there was like an inferno heat. Half way down a gust of wind came up and branches from a live tree came flying towards us. When we were down near the Cabin, the wind just wouldn't stop. I was off looking around and heard a crash. I got back to where Joel was by the creek and he told me he saw a live tree go down not far from him. The wind was howling like out of a scary movie! That was probably the most scared I've been while in the wilderness. I felt the need hurry back up the trail to our camp. In total that day we did between 10 - 11 miles.

Day 4: We got started at about 6:30 AM. We were smelling smoke as we were ascending up to P Bar Lake. Half way through the ascent we could see smoke coming up a neighboring canyon that had connected with ours. It was impossible to tell where the fire was so we made sure we didn't slow down. We hurried up to P Bar Lake where the smoke wasn't as obvious and took a break. As we hiked out the temperature seemed to keep dropping which help speed us up! We completed our 5.5 miles before 10 AM. As we left the Blue, we saw a lot of fire fighting equipment (trucks, planes, etc). We learned at a gas station that the Wallow fire had started.

Overall, awesome trip. It will be nice to return in a few years to see how the forest changes after the fires. Too bad I won't have a bunch of photos to use for comparison. Maybe next time, the evil forces will leave me alone!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max White Oak Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Both Rubbermaid troughs were full and some water was spilling out onto the ground.
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May 30 2011
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 7
 Photos 237
 Triplogs 943

44 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Hannagan Meadow Grant/KP Creek LoopAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar May 30 2011
RedwallNHops
Backpack36.00 Miles 7,401 AEG
Backpack36.00 Miles4 Days         
7,401 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Sep 26 2009
hhwolf14
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 Photos 832
 Triplogs 173

41 female
 Joined Oct 13 2007
 Loveland, CO
Grant Creek Trail #74 - 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
Sep 02 2007
Tim
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 Guides 10
 Triplogs 366

58 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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Jun 06 2007
Grasshopper
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 Guides 42
 Routes 458
 Photos 8,104
 Triplogs 508

74 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Steeple Trail #73 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 06 2007
Grasshopper
Hiking13.40 Miles 3,920 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles   7 Hrs      1.91 mph
3,920 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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During my 10 day camping/hiking trip to the Hannagan Meadow area, this LOOP HIKE, starting out on the Steeple Trail#73 turned-out to be the one I most enjoyed of the five day hikes I was able to complete during my stay(5/30-6/8/07) at the Hannagan Campground.

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Hiking Route: From the Steeple Tr#73 / Foote Creek Tr#76 Trailhead(off Hwy#191 near MM231.5), begin on Steeple Tr#73 for 1.3mls down to intersection with Upper Grant Creek Tr#65; hike #65 down 4mls to intersection with Paradise Tr#74; hike #74 up 1.9mls to intersection with Grant Creek Tr#75; hike #75 up 2.6mls to intersection with Foote Creek Tr#76; hike #76 for 3.6mls ~level terrain back to the beginning TH and parking area; This wonderful and manageable 13.4ml LOOP HIKE has a total accumulated elevation of: 3838ft;
*****************************************************************

Prior to doing this hike, I spent almost half a day on 6/5 having fun looking at maps and planning this above LOOP HIKE. Prior to leaving home for the trip, I discovered this "inner trail" called the Paradise Trail#74, so I already knew that one hiking day that I HAD TO MAKE IT TO THIS TRAIL..regardless!...I figured that any trail named PARADISE had to be worth whatever effort it took to get there :) ! It turned-out that I was correct...the scenic views and old forest growth on this trail section were great! This Paradise Tr is 4.2mls long, but on this planned loop, I was only able to include the upper 1.9mls of it for this trip, but I will be back one day to do the 2.3ml balance of the South/SW trail portion. Also, this loop included a most pleasant surprise with my inclusion of the 4 mile Upper Grant Creek Tr#65 which is "not" passable during the rainy seasons(usually not a problem in June). This trail desends a beautiful steep & deep, narrow canyon with huge old growth forest, beautiful & unusual dense (almost "rain forest like"..) vegetation along a very active, running creek. This primitive trail is somewhat difficult to follow at times, crossing over the creek numerous time, and would be almost impossible to follow when the creek water is HIGH. A lucky seven of us encounted much Bear scat and Elk signs while hiking this beautiful 4 mile trail to its end at the Paradise Trail#74 intersection.

Also, this loop hike was the same day that 81MPH WINDS were clocked on the top of the Forest Service FIRE TOWER on ESCUDILLA PEAK! (see my Escudilla Tr trip log..dtd-6/7/07). For our afternoon 3.6ml hike on the Foote Creek Tr#76 back to the TH, we were actually having to "dodge and run over/under" falling trees due to these major high winds in the forest canopy..it was actually pretty scary at times, but we did all get back safely.
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Jun 04 2007
Grasshopper
avatar

 Guides 42
 Routes 458
 Photos 8,104
 Triplogs 508

74 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Foote Creek Trail #76Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 04 2007
Grasshopper
Hiking11.50 Miles 3,680 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles   6 Hrs   20 Mns   1.82 mph
3,680 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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This 16 mile trail goes deep into the Blue Range Primitive Area & Wilderness from Rim Top(at 9200')to Canyon Bottom (at 5520'). I joined my AOTC group this day to do a nice, manageable "in and out" day hike to the OLD GRANT LOG CABIN and back.

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Trail Route: At the Steeple Creek Tr#73 / Foote Creek Tr#76 TH- Start on trail#76 and continue ~mostly level for 3.6mls to the intersection of the Grant Creek Tr#75 at P-Bar Lake(more like a small pond now); Continue Right and downhill on #75 for 1.5mls to the intersection (at gate) with Grant Cabin Shortcut Tr#306; Continue downhill on Tr#306 for .5ml to intersection with Upper Grant Creek Tr#65; Turn Right on Tr#65 and continue ~level for not more than .1ml to a nice lunch spot next to active Upper Grant Creek and the Upper Grant Creek Trail OLD LOG CABIN. This nice "in and out" hike is 11.5mls and +/-1800ft;
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This is a great hike to get acquainted with some of the hiking areas East of Hannagan Meadow in the Blue Range Primitive Area and Wilderness. The first 3.6mls is a nice level walk (+/-200ft) in the woods, in an old growth forest/canopy of large aspen, fir, pine, and spruce trees. You will start the downhill trek (-1600ft) after turning right at P-Bar Lake on to the Grant Creek Tr#75. Lunch at the Upper Grant Creek Tr OLD LOG CABIN is a great photo op area next to active Upper Grant Creek. It was at this lunch spot that I got the idea to plan a hike (for 6/6..see Steeple Trail trip log) to do the entire 4ml Upper Grant Creek Tr#65. While the others were having lunch and doing photo ops, I hiked about 10 minutes further UP this primitive Tr#65 and I was convienced that it would be a wonderful hike to do!
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Jul 03 2006
Crocodile Ryan
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 Guides 1
 Photos 58
 Triplogs 27

36 male
 Joined Aug 16 2005
 Tempe, Az
Grant Creek Trail #74 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 03 2006
Crocodile Ryan
Hiking10.00 Miles 3,360 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   4 Hrs      2.50 mph
3,360 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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An adventure is merely an inconvience rightly considered
average hiking speed 2 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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