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Boyer Cabin Trail#148, AZ

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Guide 14 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Young S
3.7 of 5 by 3
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 11 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,100 feet
Elevation Gain 1,450 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,357 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6.5-7.5 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 22.79
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
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18  2018-03-09 ALMAL
14  2016-10-17
Hell's Hole Trail #284 - Salome Wilderness
20  2015-05-09
Peak 5940 via Boyer Cabin Trail
22  2014-09-14 DarthStiller
5  2014-09-14 wallyfrack
32  2014-08-20
Hells Hole & Boyer Trails
21  2011-11-13 Kenny
26  2010-03-20 Grasshopper
Page 1,  2
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 42
Routes 458
Photos 8,104
Trips 508 map ( 5,318 miles )
Age 74 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, May, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:09am - 6:27pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
..Two TRIPS in One..
by Grasshopper

I can't decide what would be more rewarding- an exploratory "off-road day trip" to visit this most scenic, historical, and remote Salome Wilderness upper Thompson Mesa Watershed area and old 1890's Boyer Ranch Cabin Complex, "or" a most scenic, diverse, remote, & challenging "day hike" on the 6.25mi one way Boyer Cabin TR#148(to it's intersection with the Salome Wilderness- Hell's Hole TR#284). You really can't do justice to these two day trip options by trying to do both in just one day (unless of course, you decide to primitive camp and/or backpack in this area which is also recommended!).

Either day trip option from the PHX area entails a long day outing (~4hr drive one way) with prior planning and the correct high-clearance vehicles to reach this remote upper Thompson Mesa Watershed area(at 4600'+) and continuing on a steep downhill via 4x4 only to the Boyer Cabin Complex-Boyer Cabin TH/Trail#148(at 4200'). The 6.25mi one way TR#148 hike is "very" difficult to follow in at least three different segments of this hike. Good route finding capability is definitely required, with proper maps, and having the Default GPS ROUTE is highly recommended. Also, in the "Driving Directions Section" please note my comments regarding low wash/creek water crossings on FR60 during our AZ rainy months of the year.

Beginning around 1891(the year that local resident-Joseph Boyer registered his official cattle brand in Globe, AZ), the Boyer Cabin Complex became the site of a large working ranch. The isolated location of this ranch, below Thompson Mesa in a canyon bottom riparian area, surrounded by huge old shade trees, and bordering the Salome Wilderness Boundary, tells us what hardy people these early ranchers were. One can almost feel their presence as you explore the well preserved remaining cabin(with full windows/doors), bunkhouse, barn, and corral. Judging by the many antique furnishings left in place, it appears as if it may have been occupied as late as the mid 1900s. History books and archives have it that "Joseph Boyer" was present when the Graham-Tewksbury Feud began in 1886, marking the beginning of the bloody Pleasant Valley War(cattlemen vs. sheepherders).

The most popular way to hike into the Salome Wilderness' "Hell's Hole" area is via Hell's Hole TH/Trail#284 accessed off Hwy#288 (the Young Hwy). The much more remote and challenging Boyer Cabin TH/Trail#148 allows you to access Hell's Hole from another side of the Salome Wilderness IF you are good at trail route finding "and" IF you give yourself enough time to do this ~16.5mi R/T hike. It would be very tough to hike it all in one day to have any extra time to enjoy and explore around scenic Hell's Hole before needing to head back to the TH for the slow and long drive out.

For this reason above (unless you are camping in this area, or backpacking in), this hike description will concentrate only on a big enough "one day chew": just completing the entire 12.5mi R/T "in and out" hike on the much more remote and less traveled Boyer Cabin TR#148 to its intersection with Hell's Hole TR#284.

This hike starts on the Jeep access road just across from the Boyer Cabin Complex where you are parked- just past a 1st open gate (see TH driving directions for details). You are now at GPS LOCATION (33degrees 49.420N -111degrees 04.057W). Start hiking down this Jeep Road which will soon take you through a 2nd open gate, then continue on down this Jeep Road and follow it as it continues into a rocky creek bed which crosses over a creek crossing at ~0.33mi from where you parked. Continue following this old Jeep Road for ~1.0mi to a Jeep spur road (veering both Straight ahead uphill and also veering to the Right..easily missed!). You are now at GPS LOCATION (33degrees 50.105N -111degrees 03.593W). At this point, you want to take the spur road that veers to the Right, NOT Straight ahead uphill (if you start an uphill climb and start seeing some of those dark brown plastic F/S Wilderness Boundary/Do Not signs, then turn around and head back to find that spur road you missed).

OK, now you have located the spur road that veers to the Right: ~150 yards down this Jeep spur road is the official, almost completely faded-out and barely hanging up, old Tonto Natl Forest- Salome Wilderness wooden boundary sign (Now you are at the original TH start of The Boyer Cabin TR#184)! So where is the trail? Look Left and you will see a dirt embankment... hike over and up this dirt embankment and you will be looking into a rather large man made "animal watering pond/tank" that is part of the original Boyer Ranch. Hike around this closer end of the watering tank and start looking for sometimes almost completely hidden (in high grass) or almost completely collapsed rock cairns as you proceed hiking up hill and away from this watering tank. At this point, if you are not already doing so, I highly recommend that you start concentrating on and following our Default GPS ROUTE that hopefully you have loaded-into your GPS. IF you don't see any obvious rock cairns to follow in this immediate area, just start heading in a NNW direction to intersect our "first" GPS Loop Route "Line" and then start following this GPS line route up hill, continually looking for old rock cairns in the high grass/rocky areas as you hike. From this point on, the secret and challenge is to first find the cairns, then follow uphill our GPS Route via our straightest line route as possible (without doing any loops like we did in error trying to find the trail).

After hiking a total of ~2.0mi in, on your GPS, you should now be "keying-in" on our next "important" GPS LOCATION at 33.8407 -111.0482 : This is where the Boyer Cabin Trail crosses at a high mesa through an OPEN GATED fence line. From this point and for the next 1.25mi, the trail and cairns are much easier to follow as you proceed across some very scenic high mesas (toping-out at 5600') with scenic distant views North into the rugged Salome Canyons/Salome Creek and following the trail down and then continuing up two rugged canyon drainages with beautiful slick rock flowing creeks (as of this writing). Once you start climbing-out of the second canyon drainage, for the next 1.75 miles you gain altitude into a pine forest area with numerous downed trees and small drainages that follow initially to the left of the trail, with the trail sometimes crossing into and over these drainages. This is the 3rd difficult area to trail find. There are cairns, but you really have to concentrate in this route finding area or you will lose a lot of time like we did on this, our first attempt hiking in on this little used trail. "Suggestion": again, follow our GPS ROUTE's straightest line! After you successfully complete this section, the last 1.25mi to the Boyer Cabin Trail intersection with Hell's Hole Trail at 5475' is wide and easy to follow.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2008-03-22 Grasshopper
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Boyer Cabin Trail#148
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Only making one trip this year to HH, since the trout are all gone. The camp was empty as expected on a Monday, and surprisingly not trashed like the last several times. I worked my way upstream in the afternoon but only caught a few sunfish. The usually clear water was slightly stained on this trip, but still flowing as always. Tuesday I worked my way downstream. I brought rope this trip and after tying off to a large tree, was able to scramble down the big drop to some previously un-fished holes. No luck, except a few more sunfish. Boulder hopping towards Salome creek quickly turned to slogging in deep mud, so I turned around and headed back towards camp.
    There are still a few scraggly blackberries at the workman creek crossing, just enough for a snack.
    Boyer Cabin Trail#148
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This was my 3rd backpack trip to one of my favorite 1 night AZ backpack destinations. On this trip I took 9 others from the meetup group BCH to the cabin. Being Helloween weekend I could think of no better place to go then the very remote Boyer Cabin to spend the weekend. What this place lacks in a spooky name it sure makes up in scenic views, lack of visitation, water availability and a handful of Arizona vegetation life zones. Oh! Did I mention a very intact cabin?

    I pre-hiked to the cabin a few days earlier to confirm that there was water at the cabin. I did that by driving as far up FR 97 as I felt comfortable driving and dropped off my Jeep XJ and hiked up the road to the JCT of FR 895 on Lower Thompson Mesa. From that JCT I continued up FR 895 onto Upper Thompson Mesa and then made a couple of turns (bring a map) and descended off the NW corner of the mesa to the cabin.

    The cabin had a surprisingly low amount of water but plenty for a group of 10 backpackers coming in a couple of days. At the cabin; go through the cowboy fences past all 3 structures, then through the double corral and follow the short road to the drainage crossing. The most likely spot to find water is going back up the creek, through the prickers about 50' (bring clippers, I cut it back last year but its coming back). We decided to explore down creek to see if the water would resurface. We went 1/4-1/3 of mile down stream and it was bone dry, we passed a couple of spots that you would think would hold water but nothing.

    If you come from my recommended way from the Hells Hole trail, you'll pass 6 other places to get water! All had water on our backpack. The 4th source again seems to be perennial. It doesn't show up on my topo maps but its an amazing little area. There's some probable ruins in the area. Also LOTS and LOTS of big bear scat and also big cat scat too!
    Boyer Cabin Trail#148
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Went back and did this trip with the BCH (Backpacking, Canyoneering and Hiking) meetup group. We had a good GPS with us (Thanks Fan) and found that from the Reynolds Creek TH off of AZ 288 that the cabin is 9 miles one-way. There is more elevation than I guess-timated on this trip. The cabin is at 4100' and the TH is at about 6000' but don't let that fool you. From the TH on day 1 we had 1400' AEG and on our hike out on day 2 we had an AEG of 2600'. This is a great trip!
    Boyer Cabin Trail#148
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I'd been wanting to do this trip for some time since I first read Grasshopper's report. I find it hard to believe that no one has posted anything about this trail after a very good writeup, so I will.

    Since I've been putting off buying new tires for my Jeep XJ we decided (terricita10) to add distance and my favorite ELEVATION to this backpack by starting at the Reynolds Creek TH off of AZ 288. Not sure but I'll guess-timate that it adds 5 miles and 1000' of additional climbing R/T.

    I won't go into great detail about this trip but a quick summary is;
    1.We found this trail very easy to follow all the way to the cabin going from top to bottom,
    no need for GPS
    2.There are many, many cairns marking the trail, many looked new (no moss/lichen on rocks).
    3.The grass was short so the cairns really stood out, especially for the last 2-3 miles
    prior to the cabin.
    4.Very recent brush removal has been done in spots, maybe horse riders or FS.
    5.Given that it had stormed for 2 days we found 5 spots with water; A.The first (spring)
    had water but messed up my purifier, its on the Boyer trail,
    1/2 mile from the Hells Hole trail Jct.. B. Second source is about 1/4 mile+ further, it
    looks to have recently been dug out. C. Third source was the best and seems like it
    may be perennial and is located at the bottom of the drainage you must drop into
    between 2 panoramic vista's about 2.5-3 miles from the Hells Hole Jct. (probable Indian
    ruin just prior to descent).
    6.Last 2 spots with water were; D. On the 2 track road leading to cabin but I wouldn't
    count on it. E. Last water is in drainage next to the cabin, it surfaces in a couple
    of spots but bring clippers, lots of thorny berry bushes to get through.

    The cabin is in great shape but you will freeze your but off like we did if its a cold night. No wood stove to stay warm, but there is an very old wood burning oven with burners. It's much better then nothing when your wet and cold. We were able to dry off wood by placing it on the top of the stove top. The cabin is too clean, bring candles or some source of light. Also I'd recommend storing some kindle for fire for others in one of the outbuildings, sucks trying to get a fire going with wet wood.
    Boyer Cabin Trail#148
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Beginning around 1891(the year that local resident-Joseph Boyer registered his official cattle brand in Globe,AZ), the Boyer Cabin Complex became the site of a large working ranch. The isolated location of this ranch, below Thompson Mesa in a canyon bottom riparian area, surrounded by huge old shade trees, and bordering the Salome Wilderness boundary, confirms what hardy people these early ranchers were.

    I first visited this remote area in March'08 with topohiker. Prior to this day trip we had found very little documented information on what this published 11 mile Boyer Cabin Trail#148 had to offer and even less regarding the rich history and scenic beauty of this remote Salome Wilderness- Boyer Ranch location. On March 15, 2008, we managed to turn our day hike on this Boyer Cabin Trail#148 from an 11 mile published round trip to a challenging 12.5 mile/7.5 hour route finding experience (from its TH start across from the Boyer Cabin to its 5.5 mile end at the intersection with the Salome Wilderness- Hells Hole Trail#284). As difficult and challenging as the route finding was this 3/15/08, we did complete the hike and we ended-up with a usable GPS Route as well. I was so impressed with this overall hike and the beauty of this remote area that I soon after completed a detailed HAZ hike description to share with all.

    I much wanted to return on a full day trip to capture the rich history of the Boyer Ranch in pics, and also to do some hike-route verification and documentation to: 1) Complete and post GPS Driving Routes to also include a loop driving option, 2)to verify the TH Start location way point and to show this in explanatory pics, 3) to hike the first 1.4mls in on this TR#148 to correct the beginning GPS Route previously posted on HAZ and to also show this now corrected route in explanatory pics; I am now happy to say that with my 3/20 revisit, all these verifications and changes are now completed and updated to our HAZ hike description per my now posted 3/20 pic set with captions and also per my recently posted 3/20/10 GPS Driving and GPS Hiking Routes.

    Eric and I had a most enjoyable day revisiting this area on 3/20/10. This was the 3rd or 4th visit for Eric and only my 2nd. This day we also found time to hike another very enjoyable Salome Wilderness area and shorter trail hike which also has its TH Start from the Boyer Cabin area- the Boyer Ridge hike.. .

    Plan a full day of exploration for this area and I guarantee you will not be disappointed! ;)
    Boyer Cabin Trail#148
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I just recently completed a detailed Hike Description on HAZ for this great area to hike and explore in our Tonto Natl Forest- Salome Wilderness.

    I hope some of you will take time to read my HAZ Hike Description and will be interested in giving this hike and remote area a try..
    It really is: "Two TRIPS in One"!

    Like I say in my HAZ write-up Overview:
    "I can't decide what would be more rewarding- an exploratory off-road day trip to visit this most scenic, historical, and remote Salome Wilderness upper Thompson Mesa Watershed area and old 1890's Boyer Ranch Cabin Complex, or a most scenic, diverse, remote, & challenging day hike on the 6.25mi one way Boyer Cabin TR#148(to it's intersection with the Salome Wilderness- Hell's Hole TR#284). You really can't do justice to these two day trip options by trying to do both in just one day (unless of course, you decide to primitive camp and/or backpack in this remote area which is also recommended!)".

    On this 3/15 exploratory trip, Ken and I have already figured-out and detailed here most all the TH and trail finding work necessary for you to have a more enjoyable drive to the area for exploration and/or a hike. Do hope some of you will consider it!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Info is below 'Directions to trail'

    To hike
    From the Phoenix area: take Hwy#60E to Globe; Turn Left on Roosevelt Lake Hwy#88/188 and continue North for 14.7mi(MP 229.4) to the intersection with Hwy#288(Young Hwy); Turn Right on Hwy#288 and continue North for 12.2mi(to MP 270.5); Turn Left onto FR60 and continue for 9.8mi to intersection with FR895; Turn Right onto FR895 at ~2600' elev. and reset vehicle odometer to "0"; Continue on this "high clearance only" slow, rough dirt road for 0.7mi to a closed, unlocked gate and entrance into the "lower" Thompson Mesa Watershed Area; Continue driving in gaining elevation to the ~1.9mi mark where you will head downhill and cross a low wash/water crossing; Continue driving to the ~7.1mi mark, gaining more altitude, passing a working windmill, and two or three animal water tanks; At this ~7.1mi mark, you are on top of the "upper" Thompson Mesa Watershed Area and at some Jeep road intersections (Note: there will be a rather large animal water tank to your Right); At this 7.1mi intersection, reset your odometer to "0" and veer Right on the spur Jeep Road and continue on this spur Jeep Road veering Left at the next road intersection; At ~1.0mi in on this spur Jeep Road (at ~4600' elev.), the Jeep Road begins a steep(-400'), rocky, rough, rutted, ~.75mi decent down into the canyon bottom where the "Boyer Cabin Complex" and "Boyer Cabin TH/TR#148" START is located; NOTE: IF you are driving a 4x2 high-clearance vehicle ONLY, you will need to park at this road high point(~1.0mi in at 4600') before it starts it 0.75mi decent. IF you are driving a high-clearance vehicle (with P265 or 31" tires or larger) and it is a true 4x4, then you can continue down to the TH parking: ~0.75mi further down just past the 1st open gate and park off the road, on the Right side in a small opening across from the Boyer Cabin Complex which will be in view across the road behind some trees to your Left;
    You are now at GPS TH START LOCATION: N33.82213 W-111.06647

    Also please note: Your 9.8mi drive on semi-maintained dirt road FR60 is subject to serious mud and numerous low wash/creek rapid water crossings that can be dangerous and/or a "show stopper" during our AZ rainy season-months, so please plan your drive accordingly!
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