Blue Range Primitive Area
Trailhead: Hannagan's Meadow
Length: 25 miles roundtrip
Wilderness Area: Blue Range Primitive Area
Directions to Trailhead:
From Alpine go South on US 191 (formerly called US 666) for 23 miles to Hannagan's Meadow. Turn left on FR 29 and go 1/2 mile to trailhead. Trailhead is accessible in a car.
This adventure takes several trails. From the trailhead, go .2 miles to a junction. Take the Steeple Creek Trail #73 south for 2 miles to the junction with the Upper Grant Creek Trail #65. This section is quite beautiful. Large spruce, aspen and pines dominate above fern-filled meadows The junction is in a large meadow. Trail #65 is not readily visible from the sign, but follow the creek for a tenth of a mile and soon the tread becomes noticeable.
Trail #65 follows Grant Creek for 4 miles, crossing it numerous times. Grant Creek usually has water in it after the first 1/2 mile. The trail is downhill most of the way at a moderate grade. After 3 miles form the junction, Grant Cabin is seen. A large camping area and the remnants of a corral are here, too. Just past the corral is the junction for the Grant Cabin Shortcut Trail #306. Stay on Trail #65. 1 mile after the cabin, Trail #65 ends at the Paradise Trail #74. There are several campsites along the creek in this section. To reach Moonshine Park, continue South on Trail #74 for 1/2 mile (all uphill). Moonshine Park is a large meadow, surrounded by tall pines. We camped here.
Our side trip involved hiking from Moonshine Park to Paradise Park and then down to Grant Creek and back.
From Moonshine park, descend on Trail #74 to the junction with Trail #65. Cross the creek and climb northeast on Trail #74 for 2 miles to Paradise Park and the junction with the Grant Creek Trail #75. Go east on Trail #75 for 2 miles to White Oak Spring. This section is especially easy and beautiful. Basically flat, we saw all kinds of wild life in this area, including deer, wild turkeys and a rattlesnake!
After White Oak spring, Trail #75 descends steeply for 1.5 miles to Grant Creek. This section is very rocky and a real chore to climb back out. Due to an impending storm, we turned back at Grant Creek. The trail does continue along Grant Creek for another 3 miles to its end at the Blue River.
The entire Blue Range Primitive Area is so beautiful and remote it is a "must-do" for Arizona hikers and backpackers.
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