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Barbershop Trail #91, AZ

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1.2k 132 5
Guide 132 Triplogs  5 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Clints Well
3.8 of 5 by 31
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance One Way 4.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,645 feet
Elevation Gain 280 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,095 feet
Avg Time One Way 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.55
Interest Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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10  2019-06-29
Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
5  2019-06-16
Barbershop Tr #91 from FR321 TH / PARK
15  2018-11-03 jamminaz
15  2018-08-31
East Cabin Loop
28  2018-08-29
Barbershop Merritt Draw Loop
36  2018-08-28
U Bar Dane Canyon Loop
19  2018-08-21
Barbershop Trail
13  2018-08-12
Barbershop Merritt Loop
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Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 149
Photos 5,534
Trips 1,317 map ( 6,690 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Co-Author Billiam
co-author avatarGuides 1
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 0 map (0 Miles)
Age 66 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Jul, Aug → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:09am - 6:29pm
Official Route
20 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Now you see it, now you don't
by PrestonSands & Billiam

Overview: The Barbershop Trail #91 is part of the Coconino National Forest's Cabin Loop Trail system on Arizona's Mogollon Rim. Once part of a network of trails used by early ranchers and the Forest Service, the route of the historic Barbershop Trail was marked by blazes (notches) cut into the bark of trees. This description will cover the Barbershop Trail from its west end to its eastern terminus at Buck Springs Cabins.

Following the route of this trail is quite challenging. One must keep a constant eye out for trail junctions, as well as blazes, which consist of two notches deeply cut into the bark of a tree, one on top of the other. Some areas are marked by cairns and small signs indicating "Cabin Loop Trail". A well trodden footpath is a rare sight on this hike. I highly recommend downloading and using gpsjoe's excellent and highly accurate Barbershop Trail gps routes. Or, at the very least, bring a copy of this topo map.

Many of the roads that access this trail are closed during the winter, due to snow. If you are in doubt, check with the Forest Service for road conditions before you go.

Camping: There are many outstanding campsites along the Barbershop Trail. Water may be available at Buck Springs, Barbershop Canyon, Dane Canyon, and Bill McClintock Draw, but check with the Forest Service for water conditions before planning a trip to the area.

History: The Barbershop Trail derives its name from a local sheepherder who had a talent for shearing sheep, as well as cutting the hair of his fellow herders. Buck Springs Cabins, where this trail comes to an end, originally consisted of three cabins, built by the Forest Service as housing for fire crews. The first cabin was built around 1904, the second in 1923, and the last in 1946. Only the two newer cabins, which have been preserved for their historic value, remain.

Hike: From the junction with the Houston Brothers Trail #171 at its west end (mile 0.0 for this description), head east along the Barbershop Trail to where it crosses Forest Road 139, at 0.15 miles. At this signed crossing, follow the Barbershop Trail east, as it gently descends a lush draw. The draw soon opens up into a large meadow, where four side drainages come together, near Barbershop Spring. Although the trail disappears while crossing the meadow, it reappears on the north slope of the canyon, and continues its descent to the east. Watch for cairns and blazes.

A quick drop through the Coconino sandstone deposits the Barbershop Trail at the bottom of Barbershop Canyon. Barbershop Canyon is a tempting place to linger, with its grassy bottom, aspens, and cross-bedded sandstone bluffs. The trail leaves the canyon along a well constructed path that ascends the eastern wall.

Now free from Barbershop Canyon, the trail crosses Forest Road 145 at the top of a ridge. Beyond this signed road crossing, the trail descends among bigtooth maples to the narrow bottom of Dane Canyon, before turning north to climb the opposite canyon wall. The trail briefly follows an old logging road along the east rim of Dane Canyon, then turns east to climb a low ridge. The route is not obvious on top of the ridge, so look carefully for blazes.

Heading southeast from the ridge top, the trail soon turns northeast to cross a picture perfect, park like meadow, where the path disappears briefly. At the far end of this meadow, the trail darts through the trees for a few hundred feet along side an unmarked jeep trail, before turning north to pass through a smaller meadow. The Barbershop Trail then descends to cross a densely forested side branch of Dane Canyon, before turning north to follow another old jeep trail. After 0.2 miles on this jeep trail, the Barbershop Trail makes a hard right to scale yet another ridge. The trail then turns north at the top of the ridge and descends to meet Forest Road 321C. The Barbershop Trail shares its route with Forest Road 321C while traveling past a long meadow.

Just before Forest Road 321C bends east, at about 3.2 miles, the Barbershop Trail veers to the right to cross both the long meadow and Forest Road 321C. The Barbershop Trail leaves the road behind, turns east, and makes a quick descent through thick stands of fir to reach the bottom of Bill McClintock Draw. The trail briefly jogs north to follow the draw, before turning east to make a final crossing of Forest Road 321C.

The Barbershop Trail continues east up a shallow side canyon and soon enters a beautiful grassy glade, bordered by tall firs, where it passes a sign for Coyote Spring. The Barbershop Trail reaches a signed junction with the U-Bar Trail #28 at about 3.9 miles, among tall aspens and bigtooth maples. The Barbershop Trail continues east up the draw, and makes a signed crossing of Forest Road 321 within a quarter of a mile.

After the crossing, the Barbershop Trail descends to the east, and crosses three ancient logging roads before reaching the rim of Yeager Canyon. The trail bends right, becomes more defined, then drops down to cross picturesque Yeager Creek. Across the creek, the trail peters out somewhat while climbing a rather steep and eroded slope. At the top of the slope, the Barbershop Trail turns left onto another old logging road, which it follows for 0.1 miles, before making a sudden right to climb another steep and heavily wooded slope. This particularly lush stretch comes to an end on top of a ridge, where the Barbershop Trail crosses Forest Road 137.

The primitive, blazed route of the Barbershop Trail now steadily descends to the edge of a broad, grassy meadow in Buck Springs Canyon, where it comes to an end at about the 4.9 mile point. The historic Buck Springs Cabins stand near the end of the trail. The waters of Buck Springs are impounded by a concrete dam, a short distance downstream from the cabins.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-06-26 PrestonSands & Billiam

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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 of 64 deeper Triplog Reviews
Barbershop Trail #91
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Decided to hit the Cabin Loop when it isn't raining for a change. Marched up the Col. Devin at 6:30am and hit the rim road down to Houston Bros. Quick stop at the B-shop turn off, then down to a favorite water spot for a refill. Some folks were camped at Aspen spring but Pinchot was empty and quiet. Continued on down the road to the turnoff for the lake and hiked into an empty spot. There were some folks camped a bit further down, but I like the first little spot. Hung the hammock and chilled, fished a little, caught 1 rainbow and lost two others on downed trees. I spoke to others that were catching "stockers" too. Quiet night, but the sun comes up early these days. The washout on FR95 is a pain. Fred Haught was quiet on the return as well.
Barbershop Trail #91
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Barbershop Tr #91 from FR321 TH / PARK
This was Fathers Day 2019 :D and was the next to last full day of my 6nt/7day (6/12 to 6/18) Mogollon Rim Vehicle Camping/Hiking/R&R trip.

I only had two short hikes on my agenda for today. This second stop was to hike the last one mile out-in-back segment of historic Cabin Loop Trail- The Barbershop Tr #91 from where it crosses FR321 to the Buck Spring Cabin Complex and Perinneal Buck Spring.

Because of my late start with sun heat exposure on my .5 miles hike in and taking a hard trail fall (doing some minor damage to my right elbo), I decided to turn around at this Yeager Canyon fall area and head back to the TH and on to Camp G/H where it was a safer place to be :oops:
Barbershop Trail #91
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This area of AZ is incredibly breath taking! What an experience to pull us away from the sprawling city and enclosed dark saloons we find ourselves frequenting. The flipside though was this trip was only possible this time of the year probably due to the ridiculously dry season. The roads were in great condition from Payson to getting on FR-300 and FR-95. Got to come back with my 2wd hatchback badged up with snow and mud tastefully splattered across the body. Coming up the forest roads was peaceful with panoramic sights nonstop. Just a couple of cars were seen on the way up and looking out over the rim was a must.

Once at the Houston Brothers TH we excitedly hopped out and took off down the trail. We briefly surveyed the semi frozen creek and cabin planning to indulge there on the way out. The only people we met on our loop was a vibrant group of 4 on their way out about a mile into Houston brothers. The forest, the space, the patches of snow on the ground was another world compared to our usual day to day trek. I loved the trees towering over us, hearing them grunt and moan swaying in the wind. I loved hearing the rare crunch of snow under our boots, and then hoping the moisture didn’t seep through my roll back boots. We even saw a herd of cow Elk stealthily making their way across the trail. Checking Barbershop Spring most of it was snow and there was only standing water at what I assumed was the source. We decided to pitch just east of Coyote Spring, which was in the same condition just a shallow pool of standing water. As the light faded it definitely cooled, but with a small fire and surprisingly filling good to-go meal, by the time we tucked in we were certainly at ease.

COLD. Rising just after sun up there were tiny crystals of condensation that had frozen over on our rain fly. Once outside of the tent we were back on our way waiting for the warmth to return to our toes. Probably could have stepped up to a full cushion DarnTough here, but after about a quarter mile down U Bar it was back to basking in this winter wonderland. Dane Spring was running pure straight out of the pipe and Barbershop Canyon creek was glistening and running feely through patches of ice. Completing the loop we took in the history of Pinchot Cabin and signed out the trail log. There is no question to whether you should hike out here. Thanks for the time can’t wait to be back!

Barbershop Trail #91
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KactusKutie's First Backpack
Last year our neighbor started going hiking with us. She liked it. Several of us created a HAZ name for her - KactusKutie. She sort of liked it. A couple months ago she and her family went on a camping trip with us. She sort of liked it. Then she wanted to go backpacking. We did. She liked it.

Headed up to the Mogollon Rim with Stephanie (KactusKutie) and MJ (AZBeaver) to hit part of the Cabin Loop (Barbershop and part of U-Bar). A little cloudy as we began to climb up towards the Rim with MJ proclaiming loudly that we were going to drown. She does have a history of being caught in torrential downpours on the Rim. We took Rim Road in for the views. Saw turkeys on Rim Road and then some elk as we turned on FR 139. The clouds cleared nicely as we hit the trailhead on FR 139.

I haven't been hiking much over the summer, so Barbershop was going to be a lung burner for me given the elevation. Cool temps (high 60s) and a light breeze helped. The ladies kept pace admirably. Steph's new pack was working well for her. MJ was nursing an injury from a previous backpacking trip, so we kept her pack light. While Barbershop is relatively short, running east-west it is a roller coaster in and out of the tops of Barbershop and Dane Canyons as well as smaller tributaries. The climbs had all of us breathing hard and happy to top out each time.

The big tooth maples and other trees are well into their Fall color. The aspens still need some time. Barbershop Spring and Creek had plenty of water. Heard the occasional elk bugle.

Beyond the unction of Barbershop and U-Bar, the hike was an easy stroll on an gentle downhill grade to Dane Spring. The pipe at Dane was gushing pure cold water at several gallons a minute and no one else was around. We had found our home for the night. The ladies explored various level places for their abode, MJ's two-person Big Agnes tent. After settling on a good choice I began setting up my hammock nearby. The girls were pretty quick with their tent, though Steph was a bit skeptical that it was indeed a TWO person tent.

With camp basically established, we found our mugs. I had humped a liter of Shotfire, a decent Shiraz from Australia, for us. It made for a nice camp warmer. After gathering some firewood, MJ broke out her JetBoil and concocted had a 3-course dinner of re-hydrated broccoli cheese soup, a shepherds pie of Idahoan instant potatoes enforced with dried milk, butter and cheese and sliced summer sausage, and a finale' of Backpacker Pantry's Key Lime Pie. Steph helped start the fire which felt really good as the evening chilled as did a mug of hot apple cider later.

MJ turned in early leaving me and Steph to discuss all those topics best aired around a camp fire. The tiniest field mouse I've ever seen came out to play on the flat rocks we'd used as our kitchen. He was unfazed by our presence, the fire, or our headlamps shining on him. He even did a little scampering dance worthy of Michael Jackson. You just can't buy entertainment like that.

The night passed uneventfully. Elk bugled fairly regularly. I was trying out a new top quilt for my hammock set up and it performed well. The sun warmed the Rim a bit before the girls emerged, Steph having conquered her fear of freezing to death while camping. Breakfast was a coffee/hot chocolate mix and oatmeal. Camp came down quick enough and we set off for the trailhead encountering a single backpacker and two day hikers along the trail.

We drove out north for some different scenery. On FR 96 close to East Clear Creek, there appeared a "Road Closed" sign just before a small bridge and some other barricade signs on the other side of the bridge. The bridge looked intact except for some damage to the rusted railing. I wasn't about to backtrack 20 miles so I asked the girls to move one of the barricades on the opposite side. They jumped out, crossed the bridge, and proceeded to discuss and plan their attack on the barricade. I eased the 4Runner over the bridge and it held up nicely. After watching the extremely slow progress with the barricade relocation, the driver's side ditch seemed a good option and was manageable in 2WD. The ladies were both impressed and nonplussed.

A late and much needed lunch and libations at That Brewery in Pine followed by a quick drive home ended the adventure. The ladies performed admirably and seemed to enjoy themselves. MJ is settling in as solid backpacker developing good skills. For a first backpacking trip, Steph did fantastic. She literally trounced her fears and trepidations. There are undoubtably more adventures in her future.
Barbershop Trail #91
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Got started at Gen springs cabin about 4pm Friday. Marched into a nice campsite just off trail near the remnants of Fred Haught cabin. Some folks were camped nearby back where the trail pulls away from Gen Springs. Good water flow coming out of the spring below the cabin site. A bit of rain came about midnight. Packed up early Saturday and headed for Pinchot cabin. No body there but a warm campfire remained. Continued on up Houston Brothers, the springs are flowing nicely, lots of good water. Made a left on Barbershop. Passed a few people going the other way. Water in Barbershop and Dane both flowing along the Barbershop trail. I like the campsites in the big meadow just passed Dane. Passed a few more folks by the U-bar turnoff. Stopped at Dane spring which was flowing about like a garden hose full on. Considered camping here, too much broken glass around, a definite turn off for me. A sure sign its close to a road where people can park and walk in quickly. Oh wait! I hear some now, time to move on. I really like the next section of trail leading away and down into Dane Canyon. Folks camped at both Dane and several groups camped at Barbershop crossings. Good water at both crossings. Gathered extra water here. Continued on up and across 139 and settled into a spot for the night. Started early Sunday and rolled down 95B into Pinchot. Watered up and kept on towards Fred Haught springs again for a final water and snack spot. Passed at least 20 people hiking in during my last 2 miles out. Yes, the rim road was a bit crazy, but likely nothing like it was today.
Barbershop Trail #91
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I made a last minute trip up to see some of the water along the cabin loop. I arrived at Washington Park at 6:45am to find the parking lot almost full, and a group of runners getting ready to launch a training run for the Mogollon Monster. I started first, most of them passed me on the way up. Great weather until about 3:30pm when I reached Barbershop canyon on the U-Bar trail. I scrambled for some dry firewood which could be hidden from the rain under the large rock there. I managed to get my tent set up on a slanted spot just before the rain came. Rained for about 2 hours solid. It let up just long enough to cook some food about 6:30, and I got a fire started, then it rained again for several more hours as I called it a night early.
Clear skies Sunday and a nice hike back to General Springs, Fred Haught still has wet crossings in several places.
The real fun began when I made it back down to the parking lot. The parking lot was fine, but the last half mile of the road coming in is absolutely trashed. I spent an hour moving rocks, logs, and leveling some sandy spots before I could make it out. I've never seen that black plastic before, must have been a real gully washer Saturday afternoon... The one picture I took does not tell the whole story. The road is seriously a mess!
Barbershop Trail #91
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Barbershop Canyon U-Bar Loop
The four of us headed north for a nice day hike on the rim. We met at Walmart off Dobson & the 202 and made the drive up & started hiking around mid-morning from FR 145. We dropped down the Barbershop Trail and then headed north in Barbershop Canyon. This was my third time here and I really enjoy this canyon. The going is fairly easy although there is a lot of rock hopping and deadfall to step over. We really enjoyed this canyon and took our time hiking through. Once we reached the U Bar junction we took a short break before the climb. From there it was slow going as we headed for Dane Spring where we took our lunch break. We enjoyed lunch and I filtered a liter of water. It was a warm and sunny day. After that we continued north and made good time as we completed our loop.

I really enjoy hiking on the rim during summer. It’s much cooler compared to Phoenix and the hiking is very easy going. Thanks to everyone for coming out and thanks to Kyle for driving!
Barbershop Trail #91
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Came up with this idea last minute and got to Washington Park TH just before sunset.

Colonel Devin #290: Enjoyed the new stretch of trail in the lower portions. Definitely more scenic than walking under powerlines. Lots of green vegetation and more Columbines than I'd ever seen along the creek. Raspberries appear to be on schedule. New tread meets back up with old tread. Steep climb up the rim, but it's over quick.

Fred Haught #141: Sunlight was fading quick. I remembered this canyon having ample tent sites so I walked into the darkness for a while before settling on a nice flat spot w/ plenty of firewood. Very peaceful night alone at the campfire. Started again in the a.m. Plenty of water in the canyon, nothing flowing. Green grasses and ferns dominated. Spooked 3 bull elk at Quien Sabe Spring.

Houston Brothers #171: Highlight of the trip for me. Stopped for brunch at Pinchot Spring where I encountered people for the first time. A group of day hikers. Grass and ferns again dominate the landscape. After the fenced in Houston Draw area, the forest gets dense and tall pines loom overhead. Then into a thick Maple grove. Passed a group of about 15 backpackers headed North.

Barbershop #91: Couldn't pass this up so I took a detour and did an out and back just to see the sights. Beutiful meadows and dense pine forests where enchanting. This might be my favorite Rim Country canyon.

General Crook #130 / Rim Road: I started following the white chevron blazes immediately. Spent a surprising amount of time on the actual trail before it spit me back out onto FR300. There is a path there. No well-defined foot path, just remnants of a trail and a bunch of deadfall. Played leapfrog with 3 mule deer for about 30mins. 3 cars stopped and asked me for directions to various spots.

Great day in Rim Country with highs in the 70s and plenty of sunshine.
Barbershop Trail #91
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Lily finally made it through recovery and I wanted to get her back on the trail-- but something nice and easy. I took a couple friends and one of Lily's dog park buddies up to the Cabin Loop. We parked where Barbershop crosses 139 and then hiked over to Houston Brothers and up past Aspen Spring a little ways. I picked up a backpacker on 300 making that dreadful walk back over to General Springs and added it to my good trail karma. We drove through some pretty nice hail on the 260 back to Camp Verde.
Barbershop Trail #91
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I took the day off from work to do what I like best - go hiking! Mark and I talked last week about hooking up and decided on today. Mark suggested the Dane Canyon Loop and another loop close by if we both felt good after the first. Alas, the thunder storms came early today so we decided to call it a day after the first loop.

Before the threat of storms shortened our hike, it was shaping up to be a beautiful day. The temps were cool early, a tad muggy, with morning dew hugging the vegetation as we meandered south along the U-Bar trail. It warmed up in Dane Cyn with the sun overhead, but it was generally pleasant throughout the hike. With the exception of Dane Canyon, where we followed whichever routes looked good, the trails were in wonderful shape and quite easy to follow. That is, when we weren't gabbing too much and missing the turn off, which we did on a couple of occasions. All the better, though; more time to gab!

This was my first trip to the Cabin Loops area. I've wanted to explore up here for a long time. I wish we could have gone a little longer, but it was a grand day nonetheless. I need to get back up there. Soon.

Thanks for driving, Mark, especially so on the way out with all that rain on the Rim Rd.

A smattering of wildflowers in Dane Canyon.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
West Access on Forest Road 139: From the highway 87/highway 260 junction in Payson, travel north on highway 87 for approximately 28 miles, then turn right (south) onto the Rim Road (Forest Road 300). Follow the Rim Road #300 for approximately 16.4 miles, then turn left (north) onto Forest Road 139. Follow Forest Road 139 for about 1.9 miles to the Barbershop Trail sign along the road. Forest Road 139 crosses the Barbershop Trail about 0.15 miles east of the Barbershop Trail's west end.

East Access at Buck Springs Trailhead: From the highway 87/highway 260 junction in Payson, travel north on highway 87 for approximately 28 miles, then turn right (south) onto the Rim Road (Forest Road 300). Follow the Rim Road #300 for approximately 20.3 miles, then turn left (north) onto Forest Road 137. Follow Forest Road 137 for about 3.75 miles, then turn right onto a short spur road that leads to Buck Springs Trailhead.
page created by PrestonSands on Jun 25 2008 11:47 pm
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