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Taylor Cabin Loop, AZ
mini location map2022-03-09
20 by photographer avatarLJW
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Taylor Cabin Loop, AZ 
Taylor Cabin Loop, AZ
Hiking24.62 Miles 4,419 AEG
Hiking24.62 Miles   10 Hrs   42 Mns   2.91 mph
4,419 ft AEG   2 Hrs   15 Mns Break
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I wasn't going to do this loop again this year, but after hiking through the Rafael Fire scar on Yew Thicket Trail a month or so ago, I got nervous about the Taylor Cabin Trail. It's one of my favorites, and since I couldn't find anything out about the damage, I went to have a look, fire maps being as reliable as they are. It turned out both Taylor Cabin Trail and the cabin itself burned this summer, though neither is a total loss.

Casner Mountain Trail is the same as ever until the last few miles to the Taylor Cabin Trail TH. Efforts were made to confine the fire to Casner #8 and above Mooney Canyon in order to prevent the spread to Sedona. The fire didn't cross the road much except at the TH. Walking Casner it looked like while the fire had torched the north rim and Cedar Creek, much of the canyon bottom and forest North/East of Buck Ridge are still green.

The Taylor Cabin Trail TH was burned some. Not nearly as shady. TC Trail starts with some brief switchbacks onto a fairly epic ridgeline. The Canyon to the west and its pockets of fir and pine were completely destroyed. Maybe a half dozen left. From above, the side canyon to the East where TC descends looked burned but encouragingly green. The heavy rains that extinguished the fire caused serious erosion in the side canyon, and the TC Trail has a couple massive washouts. It has many more minor ones, and in general it is eroded and mostly missing. The summer rains widened the creek and filled it in with gravel and sand, and some of the slick rock features are buried. While the forest along the way was not burned completely, almost every tree was touched by fire. It's still a beautiful course but a more difficult one and not quite what it, up until very recently, was.

Sycamore Basin Trail is good from Packard Mesa to a mile or so east of the cabin, that is apart from the section where Dutch Kid now takes its place. This being the case, I rocked hopped down the creekbed. There was flood debris 6 feet up the sycamores. There was only one pool of green water in the shade of a cliff 30-40 minutes east of the cabin. The Cabin was burned by the juniper that hung over its north wall. It took out the wooden frame of the north window, as well as the cypress beams of the roof. The back half of the roof had collapsed, and the rest is on its way. Otherwise it had been cleaned up and emptied out since I was there last year. No water at the cabin, down on provisions. Met a couple guys who had hiked in for a two night trip from Parsons TH.

Dutch Kid was burned, but it was patchy and not too unlike in years past. Sycamore Basin and Dogie were as well, mostly by the junction. Overall the fire damage wasn't too severe. Taylor Cabin needs restoration desperately, but I'm sure it will get it. I thought the Great American Outdoors act or some legislation like it had it slated for some TLC. The real bummer is the damage to the Taylor Cabin Trail. The jewel of the wilderness area doesn't shine as brightly.
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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