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Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
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mini location map2021-05-28
20 by photographer avatarddgrunning
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Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 28 2021
ddgrunning
Hiking26.78 Miles 5,881 AEG
Hiking26.78 Miles1 Day   4 Hrs   28 Mns   
5,881 ft AEG
 
1st trip
My youngest daughter graduated from high school on Thursday and wanted to celebrate with an overnight backpacking trip. :y: She picked out the Cabin Loop, which is an area that has long been on my radar, but hadn't quite made it to the top of the list.

With some help from the HAZ forum (thanks!), we mapped out a tentative itinerary for the eastern loop. We changed our minds several times about starting location, but ultimately settled on starting from Buck Springs cabins. We were happy with our choice. On the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, we were the only ones at the TH and enjoyed an amazing amount of solitude.

We took Barbershop over to the U-Bar trail and then started a counterclockwise loop. Didn't see a soul until we reached Pinchot Cabin, where one group was setting up camp and we were passed by a few vehicles.

From there, we decided to take a side excursion up to the southern leg of CC Cragin Reservoir to make our camp. Total solitude all along that path and at our campsite overlooking the dregs of the reservoir, which in that area has been reduces to spotty pools. While we were hoping for a more scenic view of the lake, it was still a nice spot and we enjoyed the evening.

The following morning, we packed up, retraced our steps to Pinchot, and then continued the loop down Houston Brothers. We stopped for an early lunch at Aspen Spring and really enjoyed this area, with the cabin remains, and beautify meadow. I can see why this would be a popular camping area. One of our favorite sections of the loop. We hung up the hammock and relaxed for a while before continuing on.

After Aspen Spring, we enjoyed the continuous meadows and stream/springs along HB, which then gave way to a very nice, canopy-covered fir forest.

By the time we were approaching the HB-Barbershop junction, we were ready to be done, but still had about 5 miles of hiking to go. We grinded it out! Thankfully, the scenery kept us distracted from the tired legs, with 27 miles and a Grand Canyon's worth of elevation gain.

Arriving back at Buck Springs, we were still the only ones there and no other entries in the register. As we drove out, FR 300 was more of the expected crowd of Memorial Day weekend traffic.

Got back to the valley around 6:30 pm and hit the hay early ....

Great trip and more priceless memories with my daughter!
Fauna
Fauna
Horned Lizard
Named place
Named place
Aspen Spring Houston Draw

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Aspen Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
flowing nicely

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pinchot Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Didn't check out the source, but plenty of water in the creekbed
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ddgrunning's
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