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Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
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mini location map2015-07-24
15 by photographer avatarTough_Boots
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Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 24 2015
Tough_Boots
Backpack23.20 Miles 3,268 AEG
Backpack23.20 Miles2 Days         
3,268 ft AEG
 
Everyone is off doing other stuff and I really needed to do a backpack. I know I've done all the Cabin Loop trails a million times-- but I like those trails :D

Lily and I started from Washington Park to avoid the extra hour of driving plus the long stretch on 300. My old truck rather appreciates that preference. We made it up to the rim pretty quick. The Colonel Devin really is speedy access to the top. We got our lousy road walk over and powered through the 4 miles encountering very little traffic. We finally hit Houston Brothers.

The first pair we came across were doing the loop in the opposite direction starting at Pinchot. We would see them again the next morning. Then we came across a larger group camped in one of the drainages just south of the Barbershop intersection. They were part of a larger boyscout group. They were the ones who didn't make it as far but they didn't seem to mind :D

I had the idea of adding some off-trail stuff to the day. I'd drawn up a route to duck over into Merritt Draw and then Maverick Canyon and head back to Houston Draw. With the slight chance of rain and clouds coming in and out all morning and still having fresh memories of getting caught in that storm up there a few weeks ago, I decided just to head to camp. Also to be honest, we were ten miles in at that point and adding three miles of off-trail didn't sound very appealing.

We came across the rest of the boyscouts. They had camped at Pinchot and were on their way back to meet the other group. I think they were spending one more night out there-- really friendly kids. Finally we made it to Aspen Spring. Its one of my favorite camp spots.

I set up camp, made dinner, water, and all that normal camp stuff. According to the boyscouts, it had rained up there early that morning. It was a bit of a struggle getting a fire going and I had to sacrifice all of my frequent buyer cards and coffee stamp cards-- but I got that baby going :lol: I went to bed pretty early to the sounds of coyote echoing through the draw. I don't know what they were up to, but it was loud and steady for some time.

I woke up to the beautiful sounds of elk singing-- just gorgeous set of pipes on those things :lol: I spotted a few on the ridge right above us and they were just going to town. I took my time breaking down camp and we headed off. We didn't see anyone again until we hit the Fred Haught Trail. I saw the couple from the day before earlier than I thought I was going to. Then I met a couple other pairs that were camped and a couple sets of dayhikers. It was turning out to be a lovely day and pleasant hike out.

We finally hit General Springs. There were a lot of folks down there today. Four or five cars down at the cabin and then probably seven or eight up by 300. I spoke to a couple groups and headed back down the Colonel Devin. As soon as we began descending, the sun came out and the temperature jumped up unexpectedly. It was a little toasty and Lily immediately felt it. My thermometer was reading 96 on that first set of exposed switchbacks. I figured if I kept Lily moving, I could water her down in the pines where it would be a bit cooler and then there would be a few spots after where the water flows over the trail-- no big deal. Once we got out of the pines, the clouds rolled back in for a bit and the temperature dropped nicely but by the time we reached the trailhead things had warmed up again but we were done :)

I let Lily cool down and I was hungry so we headed up to the THAT Brewery for their delicious black bean burger and dog friendly patio. We headed back to Phoenix soon after. I'm pretty over these long summer drives with no A/C in my truck-- and I know Lily is too. I have a pretty good method of keeping her cool in the truck now which basically consists of dumping water on her every 30 minutes or so which is kind of annoying to both of us. Though if I'm consistent, she barely even pants on the drive :lol:
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Tough_Boots'
243 Photosets

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