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Arizona Trail Report

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Lanphier Trail

Contributed by ranchez

Lanphier Canyon provides a scenic access route into the northeastern section of the Blue Primitive Area. The trail follows Lanphier Canyon for most of its 5 mile course winding in and out of that shallow gorge providing scenic views as it reaches high ground and offering the pleasant surroundings of rich green riparian vegetation as it descends back to the streambed. At its high points, views of Bear Mountain, Lanphier Peak, and overlooks of Lanphier Canyon are the reward for the climb. About 2.7 miles from the trailhead a major tributary called Indian Creek shelters an exceptionally lush riparian area which you may want to stop and enjoy.

Beyond Indian Creek Canyon the trail slants up the canyon slopes to offer even broader panoramas to the south and west. About one half mile beyond the confluence of Lanphier and Indian Creeks, the trail climbs the north slope of the canyon and meanders through a series of secluded basins before dropping back into the canyon. Vegetation varies as the trail gains and looses altitude and the area through which it passes becomes more or less exposed. Trailside trees vary through the entire range found in the Blue with ponderosa pine and white fir holding the high ground and cool sheltered areas, while pinyon, juniper and scrub oak claim the hotter, dryer south slopes. Maples, walnuts, alders and box elders thrive in the streamside oases.

As the trail nears its end, it crosses the creek one last time at a pleasant spot marked by pools of water bordered by moss covered rocks. From that point the trail heads up slope to its junction with the Cow Flat Trail.

Note: No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) permitted in Primitive Area. Reliable water can be found at Blue River and in Lanphier Creek downstream of Indian Creek.


Drive 3 miles east of Alpine on US 180 to Forest Road 281 (Blue River Road). Turn south and follow this scenic back road 23 miles to the Blue Administration Site and a trailhead marked Largo Canyon. Backcountry Access: Lanphier Trail is accessible via Largo Trail #51 and Cow Flat Trail #55.

Length: 5.6 miles  |   Rating: Moderate
Activies: Day Hiking, Backpacking

Trailhead Elevation: n/a

Trailhead Waypoint: 33.595965 N -109.130312 W

Permit Info: Unknown 928-333-4301

National Weather Service Forecast

Trailhead Maps:
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Management Area(s)
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
Blue Range Primitive Area

Greenlee County

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