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Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim
36 Photosets

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mini location map2010-06-13
21 by photographer avatarchumley
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Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2010
chumley
Hiking6.50 Miles 460 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   2.60 mph
460 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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After a weekend of camping, I decided to explore this area that has always intrigued me. I dipped into Upper Buck Springs Canyon near the junction of FR 137 and FR 161B. From here, its about 2 miles to the Buck Springs Cabins, where FR 161 crosses the canyon. This 2-mile section of canyon is a wide, expansive meadow, and has been closed to motor vehicle use for what must be at least 20 years. But there is an old road that runs the length of the meadow and provides an easy hiking surface.

Near the south end (upper end) of the canyon, Upper Buck Springs trickles a little water from a pipe. Throughout the meadow, there are seeps and little pools of water, though there are also areas of dry, firm ground. The old road always provides a dry firm hiking surface. After hiking all the way to the cabins, I explored a couple of side roads on the way back up, making for a bit of a loop hike as there were places to explore that didn't involve the way I came.

I kept my GPS handy so I didn't end up going too far away from the main canyon. A couple of the side canyons were incredible. One was full of shady Maple trees, a very rare and unusual sight for this part of Arizona.

The University of Montana maintains a research camp at the Buck Springs Cabins in the early summer, and they maintain numerous birdhouses throughout the area, though I didn't see any exotic birds! I also didn't see another person!

I highly recommend this area for anybody looking for a few hours of hiking while camping up there. This could also be added onto the Cabin Loop as part of a backpacking adventure. There may not be a more scenic area to camp while hiking, though I only saw one fire ring on the entire hike, so you would probably have to make your own.
Fauna
Fauna
Dog

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Upper Buck Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
You'd probably want to filter this as the pipe has a bunch of greenery. But mom always said you should eat your vegetables, so maybe it'd be ok? (There's a photo in my photoset if you want to check it out).
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