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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim, AZ

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1.3k 146 25
Guide 146 Triplogs  25 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Clints Well
4.1 of 5 by 39
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Loop 18.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,163 feet
Elevation Gain 950 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 9 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 23.45
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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20  2019-09-14 azlaurie
20  2019-07-20 oceanwithin
10  2019-06-29 ALMAL
32  2019-06-29
Blue Ridge - AZT #27
1  2019-05-24 gregstewart1952
14  2018-09-23
Blue Ridge - AZT #27
24  2018-09-12 domromer
12  2018-07-28 ALMAL
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 11
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Sep, Oct → Early
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:13am - 6:22pm
Official Route
22 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!
3.90miBarbershop Trail #91
6.60miFred Haught Trail #141
4.50miGeneral Crook Rim
7.50miHouston Brothers Trail #171
7.55miU-Bar Trail #28

The Cabin Loop Trail is the link between the earliest fire guard cabin network in this area of the Mogollon Rim and has its roots in the beginning of the Forest Service era here. The trail was developed between the General Springs Cabin, Pinchot Cabin and Buck Springs Fire Guard Station. Administratively, the cabins were part of the Bly Ranger District, now the Blue Ridge Office of the Mogollon Rim Ranger District.

The Bly Ranger District had a winter administrative headquarters at the Old Bly Ranger Station located about 10 miles north of the present Blue Ridge Office. The summer headquarters for the Bly District was the Blue Ridge cabin near Rock Crossing Campground. These two cabins are no longer in existence.

The trail passes through some of the most spectacular country in Arizona and you will encounter a variety of landforms, vegetative communities, and a number of springs and perennial water sources. It is important to remember that trails such as the Cabin Loop Trail provide the only access to the country in the early days. This and other trails were used and maintained by early Forest Rangers, ranchers and settlers. Livestock was driven up the Rim from the Tonto Basin and grazed during the summer up on the Rim. Portions of the trails are still used by ranchers for moving livestock. Historic accounts tell us that the old timers who made and used the trails blazed them to a height of 6 or 7 feet so the trails could be followed even after a deep snow. Maintenance and repair of the old telephone line was a priority for the rangers each spring. Their accounts indicate that snow lasted late here and it wasn't uncommon for them to have a ride over 4 foot drifts during spring rounds.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
    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 49 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Thunderstorms in the White Mountains foiled our plan to overnight the Baldy loop, so we hit up Cabin Loop instead. U Bar’s closure last week due to the Hart fire clean-up meant our original route of Barbershop, Houston, and U Bar was a no-go for risk of a fine, so we decided to do the West loop instead. We arrived Friday evening and camped at General Springs TH, then headed out up the Fred Haught around 7 am the following morning. The moisture the rim has been getting was very evident, and there were mushrooms galore. I also helped myself to some ripe raspberries while looking for any bear sign in the area, but there was none to be found.

    The hike was leisurely all morning, with plenty of stops for pictures. We knew of the washout “closure” at FR 95 before Pinchot, but I was confident we could easily bypass based on photos and previous reports. Indeed, the washout was quite the sight, but easily walked around via a detour trail down the south side into the canyon that has been trodden out over the last several months.

    The original plan was to camp at or just south of Aspen Springs, but a late-morning storm was building and I had forgotten my pack liner. So out of concern for a soaked quilt and puffy, we set up an early camp at Pinchot and found an oak tree 2-300 ft from camp suitable for a proper bear hang. The rest of the day was spent reading and waiting for the downpour that was so promised by the clouds, but never delivered. Instead, a few sprinkles were all to be had.

    There were not too many other backpackers along the route, but quite a few MTB and day hikers coming in at the trailhead. We met a group of other backpackers passing through back to Barbershop via U Bar. Unsurprisingly, given how inconspicuous the closure order was posted on the Coconino FS page (with nothing on Inciweb), they were not aware of the closure. They decided to give it a shot anyway, and must not have run into any FS workers along the trail, as they did not come back through Pinchot. I guess we should have given U Bar a shot after all.

    Unwisely, we did the loop clockwise, so the next day was met with a longer 12 mile hike back to the truck, with 5 or so of the final miles being the least scenic portion of the hike, which is not the ideal way to close a trip. Once we got to the rim stretch, we tried to follow the Gen. Crook through the burn scar, but the trail was nowhere visible on the ground and the blazes were too far between. We soon bailed onto the Rim Road, which is not my idea of hiking, but it was better than dealing with route finding in a rocky burn scar. We eventually hopped back on a better-restored portion of the Crook, and took it all the way back to the TH at General Springs. We loaded up, headed out, and grabbed a burger and a beer in Pine before driving the rest of the way back to Phoenix.
    Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    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.
    Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Well this is the first time I could get away for a much needed trip. The weather forecast was great (lows in the 40's and highs in the 70's)and I couldn't wait to get on the trail.
    I arrived late (11:00am) at the General Crook Cabin on the first day and started out on Fred Haught Trail. I met five other hikers on this trail. I ended up at Pinchot Cabin around 4:00pm. I camped at Pinchot Cabin the first night (temperature dropped to around 40). I was disappointed that a large fire ring had been built in what was a nice grassy area under some trees.
    I was up early had a good breakfast (scrambled eggs with sausage and three types of bell peppers) and hit the U-Bar trail. I met two hikers on this trail (Wow! Lots of people on the trail this weekend). :o I did see two elk while trucking on down the trail.
    Dane Spring was flowing, a little slow from my last two trips. I wasn't sure if there would be any flowing springs after that so I loaded up on water. :scared: I dry camped a short distance down Barbershop Trail. Wow, did it get cold! The temperature had dropped to 40 just after the sun set and fell below freezing before dawn. I had some ice in one of my water bottles when I got up, as well as frost on the rain fly of my tent. I'm glad I didn't cowboy camp that night!
    Since it was Monday, I decided to take my time breaking camp :y: . After another great breakfast and hot chocolate I packed up and headed on down the trail. About 11:00am I had an early lunch and spread my tent, rain fly, and sleeping bag out to dry in the sun while I chowed down on some Sloppy Joe mix on Paleo crackers. After lunch I checked my eyelids for holes (I needed about 30 minutes just to make sure :D ). Repacked everything and with a spring in my step I was off again. A short time later I passed yet two more people on the trail (man, I've got to do this trail in the middle of the week next time). Barbershop Spring was flowing so I didn't need to carry all the water I got from Dane Spring ](*,) .
    I switched over to Houston Brothers Trail and was glad to see the area is recovering from the fire. Once I got to FR 300 it was a short walk (about three miles or so) back to my van. The day was great and with just the right mix of sun and cool breeze.

    I was trying out a few new things this trip, here is the run down.
    New tent 3F 2 person tent - Worked great!!
    Hiking poles instead of a hiking staff - I'm now a convert. The bonus was I no longer had carry two poles for my tent.
    The CNOC water bladder - fail. I contacted the company and they are sending me a new one.
    Liner socks inside of my wool socks - fail. Ended up with a blister for the first time, back to just wool socks.
    All my food was homemade freeze dried food. The Paleo crackers were the bomb! My wife and I will look into selling these.

    Things that I wish I had taken on the trip.
    Nothing. I had everything I needed without any dead weight.

    Things that I would do differently.
    Maybe a little heavier sleeping clothes, I was still warm enough even when the temperature dropped below freezing. Guess I'm just whinnying.
    Get an earlier start. If I wanted the trail to myself start my hike on Wednesday. :lol:

    Over all trail conditions.
    Good trails, few trees down across any of the trails, just have to keep a sharp eye out at times for the faded blazes.
    Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    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.
    Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    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.
    Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    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!
    Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Met up with Joel to go check out the leftovers of the waterworks on the rim.

    Weather and conditions could not have been better as we enjoyed the bounty of seasonal water flow.
    I was trying to keep the mileage very low for this one as my dog Payton was recovering from a nasty case of colitis and gastroinitis but she was running and splashing around like her usual goofy self with a bounty of energy so we just kept on going.

    I've always been aware of the cabin loop trail system but overlooked it for its "lack of beauty" which I was foolish to think but I am now aware of its pleasant attractions and will most certainly be back up there whenever water is in abundance.
    Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    In the past, I have tended to be lukewarm to this area and really only sought if for dog walks, or social hikes. However, some healthy monsoons from the night before turned this area into a water wonderland and I may have just had my best hiking experience to date up there. This hike was just what I needed to fall back in love with AZ hiking again!

    Jackie and I camped on the rim the night before and endured some pretty nice storms in the back of the Xterra until sometime after midnight, but is proved to be worth it, as we awoke to those unique post-storm conditions that have that ability to transform an area so much that it almost seems foreign. There were dramatic clouds, ephemeral flows everywhere and water literally spewing from the saturated face of the rim. John and Chumley met us near camp and we were off for the short road walk needed to commence our loop. We chose a less rugged bypass of the first mile of Bear Canyon, but later learned it was not needed as the hiking was easy within the canyon and the fire damage minimal. After meeting back up with Chumley, we continued the rest of the loop together. There were really no dull portions to this hike and it never go overly difficult for us, or the dogs. We all marveled at the amount of water along the way and the dogs may have reached some level of nirvana, in terms of the swimming opportunities and frantic squirrel chases. We did not run into any other hikers until the last couple of miles, but the trailhead was busy with campers and the walk up 300 was a little annoying with three unleashed dogs and all of the traffic.

    A big thanks to Chumley for putting this variation of the Cabin Loop together and for getting permission from the local trail steward (@toughboots) to complete the loop. I can't think of too many better ways, or better company to mourn my transition into the mid-30s with.
    Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    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!
    Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    My daughter Natalie wanted to go camping. I decided the cabin loop area would provide some nice camping and some relatively easy hiking as well. We drove to the trailhead near Pinchot Cabin via rim rd 300 and fr 95.

    We found a nice campsite within a quarter mile of the trailhead off fr 96. A fire had burned through here within the last few years. Enough pine needles have fallen to cover the charcoal. Grass and flowers are growing under the tall pines. Looks healthy to me.

    We set up camp then hiked to the trailhead and down to Pinchot cabin. Houston Brothers trail looked nice so we started our hike here in the late afternoon. Much of the trail was shaded which was nice. Flowing water, pines, and green were the theme.

    When we reached Aspen Springs there was a large group of backpackers there. Beautiful location. It was getting late so we turned around here and made it back to camp at sunset. The next morning we started up U-Bar but Natalie wasn't feeling good so we called it day early.

    Wild flowers are out. We saw a turkey, elk, and colorful western tanager.

    We returned via fr 95 instead of taking the 300 back. Nicer road. Recommended entry route. Fun trip. :)

    Lupine, columbine, iris, western wallflower and others.

    Permit $$
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    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    2007-09-10 Grasshopper writes: To start this Cabin Loop Hike near PINCHOT CABIN which will give you Parking and TH/Trail access to 3 of the 4 cabin loop trails-Fred Haught Tr141,Houston Brothers Tr171,U-Bar Tr28: Drive North of Strawberry on Hwy 87 for 12.5mls to the Rim Road-FR300; Turn Right on FR300 and continue for 13.0mls to intersection with FR95; Turn Left on FR95 and continue for 7.6mls to a signed parking area- Houston Draw- on Left side of FR95, parking for approx 5-6 vehicles at 6900ft elev.; Directly across the road from this parking area is a green metal gate with no signage as of this posting Sept'07; Go through this green gate and continue straight across- Houston Draw- drainage to dirt embankment on other side; Climb up this dirt embankment to unsigned Old Logging Road; Turn Left on this Old Logging Road and continue for approx .125mls to PINCHOT CABIN and beginning TH/Trail starts on Left side, just across Pinchot Springs drainage;
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