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Backpacker Magazine – May 2002

Wolves And Water: Arizona's Blue Range

With an abundance of wolves and water--two rarities in the desert--Arizona's remote Blue Range may be the Southwest's best kept secret.

by: Annette McGivney

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Expedition Planner
BLUE RANGE, AZ

Getting there: The Blue Range Primitive Area is located on the Arizona-New Mexico border, approximately 15 miles south of Alpine, Arizona, via AZ 191.

Route: An extensive network of trails offers a variety of loop routes with reliable water throughout much of the wilderness (uncommon in Arizona). Wolves are most often heard (occasionally seen) at higher elevations. Starting from the Hannagan Meadow trailhead off AZ 191, you can create a loop route from 10 to 40 miles long using the Grant Creek, Upper Grant Creek, and Steeple Trails.

Guides: Exploring Arizona's Wild Areas, by Scott Warren (The Mountaineers, 800-553-4453; $14.95). A map of the Blue Range Primitive Area can be purchased from the national forest (see Contact below) for $7.

Contact: Alpine Ranger District, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, (928) 339-4384; www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf


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