Cabin Loop Suggestions

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ddgrunning
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Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by ddgrunning »

Looking for suggestions on route and best camping spots for an overnight backpacking trip along the cabin loop. Prefer a camping spot with hammock options, though I assume that wouldn't be a problem most places. Would like to cover the loop over the course of two days. Thanks in advance!
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Grasshopper
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by Grasshopper »

ddgrunning wrote:best camping spots for an overnight backpacking trip along the cabin loop.
My recommendation for your overnight campsite location at perennial McFarland Spring and Campsite [ photo ] (with hammock options), privacy and if lucky [ photo ] 👍

McFarland Spring: [ McFarland Spring ]
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nonot
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by nonot »

Most people will likely prefer the eastern loop. The western loop suffers from a roadwalk on the rim road along with significant burn damage along the AZT/Fred Haught trail portion.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

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azbackpackr
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by azbackpackr »

@nonot
While this is certainly true, I really enjoyed my two-night west loop backpack last July. It was a really nice hike, and I saw only about 3 people (on weekdays, of course.) I hope to do the east loop this summer. I remember green meadows, plenty of water, plenty of solitude.
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andrewp
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by andrewp »

@ddgrunning

Planning a trip in a couple of weeks and am planning to hammock camp as well. Based on the trip reports and photos I've seen I've identified the following:
  • Apen Spring area
  • Dane Springs area
  • potentially something slightly up / downstream in Barbershop Canyon where the U-Bar trail crosses.
These are all sites that have recent promising water reports. If I'm willing to carry a little more and dry camp then the options appear to be nearly limitless.

The issue that I've had is deciding on the route. Should be easy as it's a true loop, right? I'm trying to make a 3-day trip out of it but want to keep the day 1 / day 3 mileage sane due to the drive time. Was going to do a heavily modified east loop with a traverse up Barbershop Canyon added in, but the mileage distribution wasn't working as nicely as I would have liked. Now I'm likely going to start somewhere along Fred Haught (at one of the FR intersections) and do the east loop from there. Starting there increases the total mileage enough to make it a 3-day trip while making it easier to get the mileage distribution right. Of course, I'll probably change my mind again when I look at the map today.
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ALMAL
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by ALMAL »

@ddgrunning
Don't forget this little obstacle along Fred Haught/FR95 section. [ photo ]
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nonot
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by nonot »

@azbackpackr
Agreed, you can't go wrong in choosing east or west. Best to hike and enjoy both in due time. A 2 night trip that the OP indicated seems a little much to plan to do the figure 8 and get both loops in one trip.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

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ddgrunning
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by ddgrunning »

@ALMAL
yikes! is it still like that? And where is it along FR95? Have all the geocodes on photos been disabled?
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Grasshopper
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by Grasshopper »

@ddgrunning
Here: [ photoset ] (see pic captions)
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ALMAL
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by ALMAL »

@ddgrunning
it's steep and loose but really just a slight slowdown...
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Grasshopper
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by Grasshopper »

@ALMAL
..and your referenced photo shows the worse sides of the washout.. not the sides (down and back up) that is the actual bypass hiking route :)
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ddgrunning
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by ddgrunning »

Thanks for all the feedback/suggestions. One other question: I'm thinking we will do the eastern side of the loop for sure. The question is whether to incorporate Houston Brothers, or just stick to the outer loop and incorporate Fred Haught and General Crook. If you had to choose on and bypass the other, which would you choose?
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ALMAL
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by ALMAL »

@ddgrunning
You did say two nights? Well, I would rather hike Fred Haught twice than Gen Crook or rim road once. So, I might park at Washington Park, up the Col. Devin trail, head down Fred Haught and camp at Pinchot vicinity. Day two head south on Houston Bros and complete a loop with Barbershop and U-bar trail, camping anywhere you like. Hike back out Fred Haught on Day 3.
Maybe you'd keep the same campsite both nights and Day 2 is a day hike loop back to camp?
This access to Cragin is also a short side hike from a Pinchot campsite.... [ photo ]
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nonot
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by nonot »

ddgrunning wrote: May 24 2021 5:12 pm Thanks for all the feedback/suggestions. One other question: I'm thinking we will do the eastern side of the loop for sure. The question is whether to incorporate Houston Brothers, or just stick to the outer loop and incorporate Fred Haught and General Crook. If you had to choose on and bypass the other, which would you choose?
Houston Brothers for sure. If you like, hike to the Fred Haught cabin via Fred Haught from the northern end of Houston Brothers. That is the nice part of Fred Haught. Fred Haught goes to scorched earth a little west of the AZT intersection until you get within perhaps a half mile of General Spring Cabin.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
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ddgrunning
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by ddgrunning »

@ALMAL
Looks like its about a 5 mi. round trip to CC Cragin from Pinchot as the crow flies. Is there an established trail? I don't see any posted routes, and the photo is not geocoded, so it's hard to pin down where it connects with the reservoir. Did you just hike down one of the 4x4 tracks that heads toward the reservoir from FR95, north of Pinchot Cabin--along Telephone Ridge or on the ridge between Houston and Dick Hart Draws?
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ALMAL
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by ALMAL »

@ddgrunning
That photo was from Rock Crossing C trail, [ Rock Crossing Trail #18C - Blue Ridge ]
From Pinchot head north and follow the road uphill to FR139A, follow that to it's end. It turns to a trail about a half mile before the lake. There are also some good campsites there.
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andrewp
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by andrewp »

Add-on question for the Cabin Loop experts...

In general how much time should one allot to hike Barbershop Canyon from the U-Bar crossing heading south toward the Barbershop trail?

I'm cooking up a plan where one full day of my trip would start at Dane Spring and hike the loop CW to Merritt Draw, then Merritt Draw about halfway downstream [north] (to the point where it narrows), then up onto the ridge and walk FR139C and then down to the U-Bar intersection, then Barbershop Canyon about 2/3 of the way upstream to one of the identified backpacking campsites.

That's the yellow track on this map: [ Route Editor ]

My only concern is that going upstream through Barbershop Canyon will be setting me up for a much longer day than anticipated. Plan would be a leisurely start (say walking by 9am) and settled in at camp before 6pm. I'd have no trouble with this on-trail over varied terrain, but I'm concerned that the heavy bias off-trail here might really slow me down. The alternate option would be to cut out the lower section of babershop (red track on the map linked above) which would limit the off-trail bits to the easy part of Merritt Draw and a short section of Barbershop.

I know that I could always stop short and camp if things start taking too long, but I'm trying to keep from tacking on too much for the following day as that will be hiking out (to Pinchot) and then driving back to Tucson.
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Grasshopper
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by Grasshopper »

andrewp wrote: May 29 2021 10:52 am Add-on question for the Cabin Loop experts...

In general how much time should one allot to hike Barbershop Canyon from the U-Bar crossing heading south toward the Barbershop trail?

I'm cooking up a plan where one full day of my trip would start at Dane Spring and hike the loop CW to Merritt Draw, then Merritt Draw about halfway downstream [north] (to the point where it narrows), then up onto the ridge and walk FR139C and then down to the U-Bar intersection, then Barbershop Canyon about 2/3 of the way upstream to one of the identified backpacking campsites.

That's the yellow track on this map: [ Route Editor ]

My only concern is that going upstream through Barbershop Canyon will be setting me up for a much longer day than anticipated. Plan would be a leisurely start (say walking by 9am) and settled in at camp before 6pm. I'd have no trouble with this on-trail over varied terrain, but I'm concerned that the heavy bias off-trail here might really slow me down. The alternate option would be to cut out the lower section of babershop (red track on the map linked above) which would limit the off-trail bits to the easy part of Merritt Draw and a short section of Barbershop.

I know that I could always stop short and camp if things start taking too long, but I'm trying to keep from tacking on too much for the following day as that will be hiking out (to Pinchot) and then driving back to Tucson.
@andrewp
Since I am familiar with your off-trail hike options (FRs including Merritt Draw and Barbershop Canyon), I feel qualified to offer my recommendation for your 2nt/3day backpack:
I like your Day 1 and Day 3 hike plans. For a backpack trip this June'21 (before our July-Aug Monsoon Season begins), for your Day 2 to have a more enjoyable hiking day, I would recommend you implement your alternate, shorter RED Connector Route (from FR139C at Camp GH #2 in and off-trail ~300ft down with some route finding, to connect with Barbershop Canyon Drainage).

Your longer Day 2 YELLOW Route to include hiking FR9735P + the 2.2 mile lower section of FR139C before heading off-trail -300ft with some route finding to connect with the Barbershop Canyon Drainage at the U-Bar Tr 28 crossing, will have a significant amount of sun exposure (ie, it will be a toasty hike). Save this slower, longer and also with sun exposure off-trail hiking section of Barbershop Canyon for a return trip as a dayhike without your backpack in-tow :)
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andrewp
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by andrewp »

@Grasshopper

Grasshopper wrote:Your longer Day 2 YELLOW Route to include hiking FR9735P + the 2.2 mile lower section of FR139C before heading off-trail -300ft with some route finding to connect with the Barbershop Canyon Drainage at the U-Bar Tr 28 crossing, will have a significant amount of sun exposure (ie, it will be a toasty hike). Save this slower, longer and also with sun exposure off-trail hiking section of Barbershop Canyon for a return trip as a dayhike without your backpack in-tow
Thank you so much for this information and since I'm planning this trip for next weekend I'm planning on it being rather toasty in the sun. I'd rather avoid getting roasted on that section especially since timing would put me there in the middle of the afternoon. Out of curiosity, is it the FR sections or the canyon (or both) which have the more extreme exposure?

I think I'll stick with my original plan (red track) and save the full length of babershop canyon for a different trip.
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Grasshopper
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Re: Cabin Loop Suggestions

Post by Grasshopper »

andrewp wrote:is it the FR sections or the canyon (or both) which have the more extreme exposure?
Not really any extreme sun exposure but the FR's will have the most sun late morning-early-mid afternoon. This section of FR9735P (closed to vehicles) is not really a defined two track until you reach it's intersection with FR9734P to where it connects with FR139C. Also, entering the upper end of Merritt Draw is only a short bushwhack to where it opens up to a green meadow, three fenced Riparian Areas, water seeps, and on to perennial [ Merritt Spring ] Also, off-trail hiking up Barbershop Canyon you will cross over the minimal water source numerous times and need to negotiate over/under/around downed trees before reaching your night two Backpack Campsite which will slow your progress some, and especially so with a backpack and thus one good reason to not add an additional ~3.8miles to your day two hike.

First time I believe anyone on HAZ has ever expressed an interest in camping overnight at one of my years ago recommended, primitive Barbershop Canyon backpack campsite. You should have some active wildlife around your second night out! 👍
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
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