There's more reasons to hike this cool woodland trail than just because it offers an alternate, slightly shorter access route to the KP Trail (# 70) at the bottom of KP Canyon.
As with all Wilderness and Primitive Area trails, # 93 trail is open to hiking and horse use, but all types of motorized and mechanized travel are prohibited.
There's more reasons to hike this cool woodland trail than just because it offers an alternate, slightly shorter access route to the KP Trail at the bottom of KP Canyon. For one thing, it leads to one of the most scenic areas in the Blue Primitive Area, the confluence of the north and south forks of KP Creek. This spot is marked by steep, rocky outcrops and a couple of ten foot waterfalls. You'll want to spend some time here, so remember to pack a picnic lunch along with your camera and bird book. Sheltered riparian areas with their diverse vegetation and accessible moisture attract a variety of colorful songbirds.
The route to this beautiful little hideout is scenic in its own right. The North Fork Trail quickly leaves the upland habitat of its origin for the more lush confines of a deepening canyon and its well established streamside community of plants and animals. As the trail dives down the steep slopes of the North Fork drainage, it is highlighted by the lush green of box elders, sawtooth maple and healthy stands of poison ivy that cluster near the streambed. Within a half mile of the confluence, the canyon of the South Fork comes into view and rocky outcrops give a hint of the canyon landscape that is up ahead. The North Fork KP Trail and the KP Trail join about ten yards upstream of the two waterfalls that mark the confluence in a beautiful spot that will have you looking for a place to sit down and enjoy the view, as you contemplate whether to continue downstream a bit before you decide which trail to take back to the high country.
0.0 Trailhead parking area which is shared with KP Rim Trailhead. Trail follows an old logging road for the first 0.7 miles
0.7 Trail leaves logging road
0.8 Trail switchbacks down to a creekside trail
1.5 Trail contours around a tributary coming in from the north
2.4 Junction with KP Trail (# 70). There is a water fall just downstream
USGS Maps: Strayhorse
At a Glance
May through October (ski it in winter)
No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) permitted in Primitive area.
A loop hike via the KP Trail is an option if you set up a shuttle in KP Cienega or hike the 3.3 miles between the two trailheads.
From Alpine, AZ: drive south on US 191 about 25 miles to the North Fork KP/KP Rim Trailhead. This trailhead is generally plowed for winter use.
The North Fork KP Trail is also accessible via the KP Trail (# 70). From Alpine, AZ: Drive 27 miles south on US Highway 191 past Hannagan Meadow Resort to a sign that points the way to KP Cienega. Turn east (left) onto the access road and drive 1.2 miles to KP Cienega Trailhead, just before the campground. Follow the KP Trail 2.9 miles to the junction with the North Fork KP Trail.