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Barbershop Canyon, AZ
mini location map2015-06-27
6 by photographer avatarTough_Boots
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Barbershop Canyon, AZ 
Barbershop Canyon, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 27 2015
Hiking14.50 Miles 1,687 AEG
Hiking14.50 Miles
1,687 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
This was planned to be a backpack but the weather totally screwed us. I wonder if I can still count it as a backpack since I carried around a 30 pound pack all day :-k

A friend of mine has been wanting me to take her on her first backpacking trip so we worked out a weekend and the plan was set. I would take her through Barbershop Canyon starting on the south end. Once through the canyon, we would decide on the rest of the route. I wanted to see how she was doing. The first option would be to head west and try to camp near Aspen Spring giving us a long day and a short easy day back on the Houston Brothers. The second option was to head east and camp down near the Ubar / Dane Canyon crossing giving us two pretty even days returning via Ubar and Barbershop Trails.

Our morning was beautiful. It was a little warm but Lily had water to cool off in all day. Both waterfalls were flowing. We made it to the Ubar crossing and decided to head east for the second option. As soon as we climbed out of the canyon, the dark clouds rolled in. The forecast gave a 20% chance of rain for the day so I wasn't too worried. I was expecting probable rain on Sunday afternoon. As we pushed on, all hell broke loose. The thunder and lightning came out of nowhere and the rain started. Very soon, the storm was directly above us and it was obvious is wasn't going to let up anytime soon.

We got our rain gear on and thought about our situation. Lily has no rain gear and was mostly miserable for all of this. Camping down in Dane Canyon during a monsoon storm didn't exactly sound like a great idea. We didn't have enough water to set up camp away from a good water source and I wasn't stoked on telling her we would actually have to extend it a couple miles to Dane Spring. We were both a bit uncomfortable with all the lightning and I could tell my friend was nervous about what the future might hold for us. We could be in for a really long evening stuck in the tents.

I threw out the option that we could go back to FR145, hike the road to the Barbershop Trail, and then over to my truck on FR139. That might mean a 15 mile day but that was our only bail-out option. Neither one of us wanted to be the one to call it but as we stood there a huge crack of thunder echoed down from directly above us and the choice was made :lol:

We got back to the road and the storm got worse. Then the hail started-- thunder, lightning, and the heaviest hail bombardment I've ever been in. Our rain gear was allowing us to tolerate it (kind of, at least) but poor Lily was getting it full force and freaking out. I grabbed her, got her behind a large tree, and we stood over her and blocked the hail until it stopped. As the temperature dropped a good 25 degrees in about 30 minutes, I realized I was glad we were bailing. It was going to be much colder at night then I had expected. I was not prepared for that. I had planned for mid-50's-- not whatever it was going to drop to.

The rain continued for a while and eventually stopped. We were cold and wet. Lily was very cold and wet. My friend was getting blisters and facing a much longer hike than she's ever done. We finally hit the Barbershop Trail and it was nice to be off the road for the final bit. Lily perked up and was happy to be running in the ferns again. My friend was definitely pushing her threshold and that last climb out of Barbershop was pretty miserable for her. She was done and in pain but very positive about it all.

We were both very glad to see my truck and head to THAT Brewery for a hot meal. On our way out of town it looked as though another storm might be coming through. We were very happy to be leaving. It was an adventurous day.
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