Long Cienega Trail - # 305

Area Status: Open
This area is Open


The Northwest portion of the Blue Range Primitive Area where this trail is located has been severely affected by the Wallow Fire of June 2011. The area is currently open to public use and entry - HOWEVER trails may not have been recently assessed or maintained for hazards associated with the fire, so plan your trip accordingly.

Please keep in mind that any area affected by the wildfire can be prone to hazards such as falling trees, flooding and burned out stump holes. The environment you are entering is highly susceptible to rainstorms and wind events. Any time you enter the forest, you should be aware of your environment and changing weather conditions. You are responsible for your own safety! Always look up, look down, and look all around.

A long, open meadow or cienega bordered by tall spruce, fir, and aspen trees invites you to explore this upland backcountry trail.


As with all Wilderness and Primitive Area trails, Long Cienega Trail (# 305) is open to hiking and horse use, but all motorized and mechanized travel is prohibited.

The moist environs of this pleasant forest grassland support a diverse community of wildflowers and provide a good place to see just about any species of wildlife that lives in the Blue Country uplands. Elk, mule deer, black bear, and other animals known to inhabit the Alpine District are seen here about as regularly as anywhere on the district.

As the trail and the small stream it follows leave Long Cienega for Grant Creek, the forest closes in and the streambed drops into a shallow but steadily deepening canyon. Moisture loving tree species cluster along the canyon floor to mark the completion of the transformation from upland meadow to canyon riparian area. As the stream and trail continue their course toward Grant Creek, the canyon narrows even more and the trail becomes rough and rocky. At 3 miles from the trailhead, the trail climbs to the top of a juniper studded bench of conglomerated bedrock and tops off the hike with an overlook of Grant Creek and beyond.
Trail Log:
0.0 Junction with Steeple Trail (# 73) in Long Cienega. 
2.8 Trail climbs out of drainage to the left. 
3.0 High point of trail overlooking Grant Creek 
3.3 Junction with Upper Grant Creek Trail (# 65) after a very steep descent. 
USGS Maps: Strayhorse

At a Glance

Best Season: May through October
Restrictions: No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) permitted in Primitive area. 
Water: Grant Creek is a reliable source of water.
Restroom: Restrooms available at trailhead
Information Center: Alpine Ranger District
(928) 339-5000
TTY: (928) 339-4566

General Information

General Notes:

The Long Cienega Trail is NOT recommended for horse use.


Long Cienega Trail is accessible only via other backcountry trails. Steeple Trail #73 leads to its upper trailhead. Upper Grant Creek #65 and Grant Cabin Shortcut #306 lead to its lower trailhead. For the most convenient access, drive south on US 191 to the south end Hannagan Meadow and turn left (east) to the Steeple Trailhead. Hike Steeple Creek Trail about 2.9 miles to Long Cienega Trailhead.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Hide detail HIDE

Day Hiking

Elevation desc 9,040 feet to 7,200 feet
Difficulty Level: More Difficult


Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
3.3 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
7,200 feet - 9,040 feet