Fodor's Expert Review Blue Range Primitive Area
Lovingly referred to by locals as "the Blue," these unspoiled 170,000 acres about 60 miles south of Springerville-Eagar are the last designated primitive area in the United States. The diverse terrain surrounds the Blue River and is crossed by the Mogollon Rim from east to west. No motorized or mechanized equipment is allowed, and that includes mountain bikes; passage is restricted to foot or horseback. Many trails interlace the Blue: prehistoric paths of the ancient native peoples, cowboy trails to move livestock between pastures and water sources, access routes to lookout towers and fire trails. Avid backpackers and campers may want to spend a few days exploring the dozens of hiking trails. Even though trail access is fairly good, hikers need to remember that this is primitive, rough country, and it's essential to carry adequate water and other supplies. Access it off U.S. 191; get directions and instructions from the Alpine Ranger District.