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Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
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mini location map2016-06-17
35 by photographer avatarrcorfman
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Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 17 2016
Backpack29.64 Miles 4,058 AEG
Backpack29.64 Miles1 Day   22 Hrs   52 Mns   
4,058 ft AEG21 LBS Pack
Partners none no partners
Friday morning, my daughter and I left home for a three day backpack along the Cabin Loop trail on the Mogollon Rim. We've backpacked together twice before. The first time was almost twelve years ago on an out and back of the Barbershop Trail The second time was a Grand Canyon trip we did in April 2005, so it's been a long time.

We got on the road a bit past eight and stopped in Camp Verde and picked up a Subway before continuing on to the cabin at General Springs where we got ready to go and ate our subs. The plan was to go counterclockwise in order to hike the General Crook trail first instead of in Sunday's heat near a dusty FR300. We were on the trail a bit past eleven. Well kind of, I couldn't find the trail so we ended up road walking until we spotted a blaze.

We tried to follow the General Crook Trail as much as possible but there is no tread so it's blaze by blaze and is sometimes on the Rim Road. I used a GPS track a bunch. Eventually we made it to the Houston Brothers trail where we stopped for a break.

The Houston Brothers trail was much easier to follow, there was actually real tread. It didn't take long to reach the Barbershop trail where we turned and shortly passed near where we camped on our first backpack. From there we dropped down to Barbershop Spring where we stopped and got water. We figured we'd set up camp before the next spring so we filled up for the night.

The trail dropped for a ways and we were hearing people yelling and making lots of noise. The trail turned into a clearing and there was two large groups of people camping. We talked with one of the groups then went around the other group's game of kickball.

About a half mile before Coyote Spring, we stopped to find a geocache, then shortly after that set up camp. Somewhere during the day, we saw the tail end of a cow elk and another time we scared a bull elk. I didn't get a good look at his rack but I think it was a 4x4.

We had a lazy start the second day. While standing around camp, three people backpacked from where we were heading. We waved to eachother.

Once on the trail, we crossed a small creek with light flow below Coyote Spring. We continued up the otherside and walked right by Coyote Spring, so we turned around and went back, where we gathered water before continuing.

When we reached the U Bar Trail, we continued a short distance down the Barbershop trail to find another geocache. We then turned around and went back and got on the U Bar trail. As we neared Dane Spring, two more backpackers going the other way passed us. We talked for a few minutes then continued on to Dane Spring, were we stopped and had a snack. It was warming up, so I topped up my water a bit before we continued hiking along Dane Canyon.

The trail dropped into Dane Canyon and crossed over then climbed out. On the way up, I could see some pools of water below the trail. From there, the hiking became more tiring as the day warmed up. Crossing over towards Barbershop Canyon, three turkeys ran in front of us and across the trail. Shortly after that, we came across three hikers with a couple of dogs. There was a puddle in the road and the dogs were wet from splashing in it. One of the hikers had a nice looking turkey feather in her hair that she had found.

As the trail dropped into Barbershop Canyon, I stopped to find another geocache. My daughter continued down to the bottom to hide in the shade while I searched in the sun. While searching for the cache, I saw a Garter Snake, then when continuing down the trail into the canyon, I spotted a Horned Lizard.

We relaxed in the shade at the bottom of Barbershop Canyon. We ate lunch and drank a bunch of water. I went and found another geocache a short distance up stream that I wasn't able to find three years earlier. We also gathered some more water to be sure we had enough until Pinchot Cabin since it was warm and we were going through a lot of water. There was a couple relaxing nearby with their dog. They were also backpacking the Cabin Loop, but clockwise like everyone else we had seen.

We took it easy climbing up out of Barbershop Canyon, and when we were at the top, some other backpackers were heading down and asked if there was water below. Yes, plenty. From there the hiking was easy and we made good time heading across Dick Hart Ridge. The only obstacle on the way to Pinchot Cabin was the climb up Dick Hart Draw. We did stop to drink several times and it was nice to drop towards Pinchot Cabin.

We stopped at the cabin and ate and drank a lot then gathered water for our evening's camp as we expected to camp before the next water. While there, five men came down the Fred Haught trail and three of them continued up the Houston Brothers trail. The fifth had pulled his groin and was hoping the fourth would chase the others down and come back. Who knows what happened. We wished the man well and we headed up the Fred Haught trail.

The trail follows the road as it crosses Bear Canyon. We stopped at the bottom and enjoyed the view into the canyon. There was a large pool of water below the road that I wished wasn't so far below the road but it probably wouldn't have been as refreshing as it appeared. We continued along the road until the trail turned off and made our way over Fred Haught Ridge and dropped down to Quien Sabe Spring. The spring was dry. Who knows when there is ever water in it?

I stopped to find a geocache above the spring before we continued about a mile farther along the trail where we set up camp above the trail out of Quien Sabe Draw.

Once the sun was down and the moon rose, there was a loud bark. I thought it was a dog. Then there was another bark and I thought it was maybe a coyote, though I'd never heard a coyote bark like that. Then there was another bark from a different place. The bark moved from me to the other side of where my daughter was camped. I was cowboy camping so I sat up and looked over that way and saw something run by. Then there was some more barking and I realized it was a couple of bull elk talking to each other. They continued their chat off and on throughout the night.

Despite the noise the elk made throughout the night, I slept well and woke up rested and ready to go. We got up and broke camp and were on the trail well earlier than the day before. It wasn't long before we dropped into Fred Haught Canyon where there was some water. Next we made it to General Springs and the Arizona Trail where the trail is sandy and harder to walk on but there is lots of water for a couple miles. The temperature was very nice as we started the morning but was warming up to quickly so we were glad we didn't have far to go.

When we reached the fenced exclosure below General Springs Cabin, there was a large Monarch butterfly in the trail. I tried to get a picture but it flittered around. We watched it for a couple minutes before finishing the hike.
Yellow Columbine
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Saw a few Columbines.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Barbershop Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Coyote Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Dane Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

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