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Old 01-19-2009, 06:24 AM   #1
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Trailer: Former Casita 17 ft owner
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In the Hannagan's Meadow thread, Harry Young gave up one of his favorite campsites. In keeping with that philosophy, I'm offering my all time favorite boondocking site. Lee and I can no longer camp so we can't use this site; it's all yours.

The Blue River in Arizona flows down the eastern border of the state from 15 miles south of Alpine to just north of Clifton where it empties into the San Francisco River. The Blue River is formed by the joining of two creeks: the Dry Blue Creek flowing in from New Mexico and the Campbell Blue Creek flowing in from west of Alpine.

The place I'm giving up is on Campbell Blue Creek. It is not a campground although there is usually a fire ring. There are no tables or ramadas, water or electric; it's a site for dispersed camping in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. We enjoyed it because of its isolation and peace and quiet. The forest road serves one ranch, so there is not much traffic. We stayed there for over a week once and the only traffic was the rancher going to Alpine each day to bible school; we hit the high traffic season. It's better during the monsoon maybe in July.

It takes a full day to get there from Phoenix and set up camp, so you need a long weekend at least.

In Alpine at the junction of US-191 and US-180, turn east on US-180. Proceed east for 3.3 miles (you'll see Luna Lake ahead on the left) to Apache County Road 2104 which is also Forest Service Road FS-281.

Turn south on FS-281. About 5 miles south, you'll start to descend the Mogollon Rim. At the base of the hill, after crossing two narrow bridges and coming level and parallel with Turkey Creek, you'll see a sign pointing to Luce Ranch to the right. That is FS-30.

Turn west on FS-30 and immediately cross Turkey Creek. Proceed exactly 1.2 miles. Camp site is on the left just past a (hopefully) dry wash. The road is fenced from the creek all the way from the turn-off. The camp site gate is the second one (the first is before the wash).

Here's our campsite all set up:

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Here is Lee enjoying the hammock:

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When you see this knob, you know you're in the right place:

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Old 01-19-2009, 06:31 AM   #2
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Trailer: Former Casita 17 ft owner
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There is room at this site for several campers:

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The forest service road is like a little country lane:

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It even has its own beaver pond on the way to the campsite.

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Old 01-19-2009, 06:45 AM   #3
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Trailer: Former Casita 17 ft owner
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A beautiful little rill flowing into the creek:

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This is a spring fed pond nearby:

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Here is Campbell Blue Creek, note that is's not a fishing creek.

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This little canyon has an intermediate climate between desert and alpine. You'll find ponderosa and fir trees as well as oak, walnut and other hardwoods.

If you go, plan to do some exploring. In the right season, we found wild grapes up one of the canyons. You should also drive down the river to the end of the road. The river starts just below where you turned off on FS-30.

This is truly boondocking, so take everything you need for your planned length of stay. It's a long way to Alpine if you need supplies or to dump. There is a good cafe in Alpine, the Bear Wallow; try it.
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