Did a partial Cabin Loop as our annual Sands family backpacking trip. This was the first time on this trail system for most of us, and all of us were quite impressed. My uncle (Billiam) led the way, as he had hiked these trails many times over the years. This was my brother Ryan's first time joining us, and he kicked all of our butts.
All of us met in Payson at the Beeline Cafe on Friday morning, before shuttling up to the Rim. We stated at General Springs Cabin, and spent the first night at Pinchot Cabin, in sub-freezing weather. Shortly before heading out on the U-Bar Trail the next morning, I met Hank (Grasshopper), who was on a group hike.
U-Bar began as a typical Mogollon Rim ponderosa forest hike, but soon changed to fir clad ridges and jaw-droppingly beautiful canyons. While having lunch, some "mountain man" hikers in period clothing passed by, and stopped to talk with us. Dane Spring and Dane Cabin were the highlight of the day for me, with ice cold water jetting out from a pipe. Delicious, and no filtering needed! Turning onto the east end of the Barbershop Trail, we emerged from the forest into an army-like camp of college kids at Buck Springs (part of an annual U. of Montana ecological study). We moved to the far end of the meadow, and camped near Lower Buck Springs. John B. had parked his car there, and brought out ice cold beverages for that night's enjoyment.
On Sunday morning, John B. took off, and the rest of us hiked back on the Barbershop Trail. It was an endless series of turn-offs and blazes, made rather complicated by the countless road crossings. The reward was incredible beauty and solitude. After arriving at our car, which was parked on FR 139, my dad gave us a tour of the Blue Ridge project. On the way back, we stopped at an overlook of Camp Geronimo, then headed back to Payson, where I was left behind. It was Del Taco for dinner then down to my favorite mountains: Mazatzal!
||Gallon + per minute
|Flowing strong from a pipe and ice cold. We got water from the pipe, did not filter it, and did not get sick.|