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Upper Grant Creek Trail #65 - Blue Range - 2 members in 10 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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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 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
friendofThunde
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 Guides 19
 Routes 283
 Photos 7,953
 Triplogs 747

37 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 15 2013
BelladonnaTook
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 Guides 12
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,291
 Triplogs 58

73 male
 Joined Aug 26 2002
 Lakeside, AZ
Upper Grant Creek Trail #65 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 15 2013
BelladonnaTook
Hiking13.20 Miles 1,962 AEG
Hiking13.20 Miles   7 Hrs      1.89 mph
1,962 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Trail crew finished in here last week - their shelter is still setup at the cabin, but the work is finished - and conditions are prime, or as prime as they ever will be. There's new deadfall on the trail already. It's a wildflower and butterfly circus down there right, and if this is on your bucket list, go now. Abundant poison ivy beginning about 2 miles from the top end.
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Oct 03 2009
Xiled1
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 Photos 105
 Triplogs 12

46 male
 Joined Feb 26 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Steeple Trail #73 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 03 2009
Xiled1
Backpack15.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Backpack15.00 Miles2 Days         
2,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
This past weekend my wife and I took an overnight backpacking trip in the Blue Range primitive area. We were hoping to see some wolves but only ended up hearing them on Friday night. We hiked a loop consisting of the #73 (Steeple Trail) to #74 (Paradise Trail) to #65 (Upper Grant Creek Trail) to #305 (Long Cienega Trail). We started out Saturday morning and headed down the Steeple Trail. At its intersection with the #65 trail, there were a couple of backpacking tents setup in a nice meadow. I think this would be a good place to camp on a Friday night if you were arriving late.

After 65 we started to climb though meadows and forest that is recovering from a fire. The area is thick with young 4-6 foot aspens, almost as though they were a weed. Most of the leaves had changed to yellow/orange but were only just starting to fall. At 2.8 miles we came to the intersection with the #305 trail and #73 turned right up the hill to the KP rim. At the rim you get some great views. After hiking along the rim for short while we began the long downhill along Steeple Creek. So far the trail was relatively clear and looked like it was recently maintained. As we descended the trail slowly degraded from firm ground to loose rock combined with lots of fire debris. Whoever maintained the trail saw fit to cut the young trees off 4-6 inches above the ground and they make for great trip hazards. A little farther down you add in the thorn bushes, wear pants. We came to a downed tree that looked like it was blocking the trail, but there were actually some switchbacks going down to the creeks edge, water was flowing near the bottom. That's where the trail all but disappeared. We had to bushwack for about a mile, finding and losing the trail numerous times. Route finding was easy, just follow the creek. The trail cleared up shortly before reaching #74. Along the way we did find a spooky pile of old backpacking equipment including pack, tent, bag, and a pile of empty food cans; strange.

#74 is a well maintained trail which gently climbs away from Steeple creek and over to Moonshine Park, a small meadow in a depression. We camped there for the night. In the morning, it was back on #74 following along Grant creek which was flowing nicely. This turned into #65 and kept following the creek. We reached the canyon where I THOUGHT #305 was supposed to be, a small amount of water flowing in the stream. Due to my poor map reading skills, I thought we were supposed to hike directly up the drainage, but #305 was actually a little ways past the canyon exit. So we bushwacked up a short ways and then climbed out of the canyon and stumbled onto the trail - Hallelujah! We had considered turning back. This trail is a little less maintained, but not hard to follow. It takes you up the stream drainage, thru some thick forest so its well shaded. Water flow was intermittent throughout the trail. This trail had been recently cleared as well. Its about 3.5 miles from #65 back to #73 and you get to gain all the elevation you lost. The last ¼ mile of the hike opens up into a long meadow where the trail disappears. We just hiked to the other end and the trail resumed, dropping us at the 73/305 intersection. It seemed like a short hike back to the car from here compared to the slog up #305. We got back to the car enjoyed a cold bottle of Gatorade and some football on the radio.

This was a pretty difficult hike for us since we don't get many chances to go out. But well worth the effort. We got to enjoy some fall colors, cooler weather, and great views.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Sep 02 2007
Tim
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 Guides 10
 Triplogs 395

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 44
 Routes 463
 Photos 8,381
 Triplogs 522

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.

*****************************************************************
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.
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Jun 04 2007
Grasshopper
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 Guides 44
 Routes 463
 Photos 8,381
 Triplogs 522

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.

****************************************************************************
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;
*****************************************************************************

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!
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
May 26 2007
BelladonnaTook
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 Guides 12
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,291
 Triplogs 58

73 male
 Joined Aug 26 2002
 Lakeside, AZ
Upper Grant Creek Trail #65 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 26 2007
BelladonnaTook
Hiking13.70 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking13.70 Miles   9 Hrs      1.52 mph
1,600 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Starting at Hannagan Meadow Lodge, we walked across the highway to the trailhead and ventured south on the Steeple Mesa Trail. At the junction with Upper Grant Creek Trail, we turned east onto it. This track was a mess last time we used it several years ago, but the trail crew groomed it in a recent season, and it's in good shape now. Due to lack of traffic, it does tend to disappear in the overgrowth from time to time. Past Grant Creek Cabin we turned onto Paradise Trail, which also is little used. We discovered the extensive fires of a few years ago did not spare Paradise Park. Everthing north of the trail is burned. The 1500 foot climb up Grant Creek Trail is always tedious, made even more so this day by much deadfall. We could step over or around all of it (and removed from the path what we could), but it was still a bother. At P-Bar Lake we turned west onto Foote Creek Trail and stayed with it back to the trailhead.

It was a cool, lovely day, and we encountered no other persons on the trail. We also saw no wildlife, which disappoined as we always expect to see bear in the Blue.
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May 29 2006
JGPohlman
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 Photos 38
 Triplogs 8

38 male
 Joined Nov 09 2005
 Tempe, AZ
Upper Grant Creek Trail #65 - Blue RangeAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 29 2006
JGPohlman
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   3 Hrs   20 Mns   1.50 mph
1,600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We began the hike at a small trailhead 2.8 miles north of Hannagan Meadows on US Highway 191. From a gravel parking area on the east side of the highway, the trail crosses a small ditch before heading into the forest beyond. For the first mile the hike followed the P Bar Lake Trail, which climbed a moderate grade to gain the ridge running east of the road. After the ascent of 500 feet the route leveled off before connecting with the Foote Creek Trail. Turning left at this junction, the route continues for another 0.5 mile to P Bar Lake. Though the lake is little more than a muddy stock pond, it is surrounded by a nice meadow. At the far end of P Bar Lake meadow, the route keeps right at a second trail junction. This is the start of the Grant Creek Trail. Over the span of about a mile and a half the trail decends about 1,000 feet.
_____________________
-James Pohlman
average hiking speed 1.74 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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