|Upper Barbershop Cny - FR139C Loop, AZ|
|Upper Barbershop Cny - FR139C Loop, AZ|| |
Upper Barbershop Cny - FR139C Loop, AZ
|Hiking||5.90 Miles|| 5 Hrs 27 Mns ||1.08 mph|
|553 ft AEG|
|I visited Grasshopper for three nights at his camp on FR139C on the Mogollon Rim to escape the valley heat and enjoy this forested retreat. GH decided to take a day of rest in camp on the first day while I started off from camp on a hike to explore the ridge above the west side of Barbershop Canyon. An old long abandoned logging road follows the top of the ridge between FR139C and the canyon and was my guide for the beginning of the hike. |
I soon tired of the ridge top scenery and found a likely route down the side of the canyon after studying the topo map on my gps. Although steep, the descent was not all that challenging. I was soon hiking up the creek bed with the plan to continue up the bottom of the canyon until reaching the Barbershop Trail #91 and following it to FR139. There were numerous pools of water with water trickling down the stream bed between pools. In some areas the flowing water retreated below the surface leaving the stream bed dry. The lush green of ferns and grass on the stream bank and the shade of towering pine, spruce, fir and the occasional Aspen trees made this a most pleasant escape from the hot desert of the valley. Some rock hopping and the occasional detour around fallen trees were required but the hike was otherwise an easy stroll on elk trails along the stream bank.
I stopped frequently to take photos of the scenery with my new cell phone (a Samsung Galaxy S10E) and with my old standby, a Nikon P600, to later compare photos. The cell phone has two cameras, one with a "normal" lens, and one with a wide angle lens. Both provide a wider view than the Nikon but there is no optical telephoto zoom on the cell phone where the Nikon excels with a 60x zoom. I soon found that having the wide angle capability of the cell phone cameras and its photo quality in difficult lighting situations made it my top choice for most scenery shots. But, for me, also having the zoom capability of the Nikon is a necessity. So not a problem, I'll just carry both on my hikes.
The section of the Barbershop Trail to FR139 is mostly through thick forest as it climbs up to the road. Barbershop Spring had a trickle of water, maybe about 0.5 gpm. A huge cow elk tried to sneak by me in the dense forest near the trail and disappeared before I could get a photo. Once reaching the road I abandoned my original plan to follow the top of the ridge between Merritt Draw and instead hike down FR139C back to camp. FR139C, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful back roads on the Mogollon Rim. It follows a spring fed draw with lush meadows and forest much better viewed when walking than from a moving car. I've been down this road many times over the last 10 years on the way to Camp GH and it's like going home.
Back at camp, GH informed me that our camp had been visited by a bear during my absence, @AZWanderingBear, to be exact. Wade returned for a visit shortly after I got back to camp. I hadn't seen him since a backpacking trip to Reavis Ranch in Oct. 2015. It was great to see him and catch up on his latest outdoor adventures.