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Houston Brothers Trail - Aspen Spring Access - 5 members in 9 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jun 13 2019
Grasshopper
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 Guides 42
 Routes 458
 Photos 8,104
 Triplogs 508

74 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Houston Bros Tr Loop via U-Bar Tr-FR139GPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2019
Grasshopper
Hiking3.50 Miles 335 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles   2 Hrs   25 Mns   1.68 mph
335 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
Oregon_Hiker
On my recent 6nt/7day Mogollon Rim- Camping/Hiking trip (6/12 to 6/18), for my first full day outing this was Oregon_Hiker and my first planned hike stop of three to check out the perennial status of local springs in this area.

This short loop hike takes the back way into the scenic, historic, Aspen Spring meadow area, perennial Aspen Spring, and the historic Aspen Spring Guard Cabin complex, then north onto the Houston Brothers Trail #171 to perennial Pinchot Spring and on to the historic Pinchot Guard Cabin area connecting with the U-Bar Trail #28 back to FR139G to complete the loop.

This was my 3rd time to hike this very pleasant, short loop, and this visit with the most lush greenery and water flowing from perennial Aspen Spring, perennial Pichot Spring, and within Houston Draw drainage.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Aspen 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
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
1 archive
Jul 18 2018
Grasshopper
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 Guides 42
 Routes 458
 Photos 8,104
 Triplogs 508

74 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Camp Grasshopper - Mogollon Rim-C/Site#3Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Car Camping avatar Jul 18 2018
Grasshopper
Car Camping
Car Camping6 Days         
 
Six nights / Seven days at my favorite place to be on our Mogollon Rim. Monsoon Rains on Wed-7/18 arrival day 10:30am which made for a more challenging "Camp Grasshopper" setup, but got it all done before sunset :)

Lots of cooking with R & R at 7435ft and cooler temps with only three short area hikes planned. Nice to visit again with HAZ-BeeBee (Brian) who arrived on Sat-7/21 afternoon to Sun-7/22 late morning. Brian towed in his very cool custom built camping trailer with custom, high end pop-up tent.. an impressive setup that Brian designed and built.


On the Merritt Draw Riparian Area hike Sat-7/21am, prior-to reaching perineal Merritt Spring, there was a large cow elk that managed to lock itself into the first large Riparian enclosure [ photo ] along this hiking route. It appeared to have been in this large rectangular, 8ft high enclosure for a number of days with enough vegetation to eat, but with no water source available. On my unplanned and unexpected drive to/back from Strawberry, AZ, this same Sat-7/21 afternoon, on FR95 (my late afternoon drive back to Camp G/H), at around 4pm I was able to stop a Ranger from the Mogollon Rim Ranger District and communicate this cow elk's location details. He said he would later contact AZ Game & Fish with the details. Two kind, courtesy kudos for me this day 👍 the first of which driving to Strawberry, AZ, turned-out to be very stressful & risky for me.
Named place
Named place
Merritt Spring

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Merritt Spring Dripping Dripping
Minimal spring water present in the constructed old spring box but enough seepage to filter with an extended filter tube;
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
7 archives
Aug 06 2016
Dirt4dinner
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 Photos 24
 Triplogs 20

39 male
 Joined Oct 20 2005
 Mesa, AZ
Houston Brothers Trail - Aspen Spring AccessPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 06 2016
Dirt4dinner
Hiking1.00 Miles 150 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
150 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took my son on his first backpacking trip! The only thing I want to add to the current description is a little better explanation of the actual parking spot and where you begin hiking. When you make the turn onto 139G (kind of easy to miss, but obvious that you've missed it if you get to higher letters...like I did). It's about .5-.7 miles to the parking spot on the LEFT. The road is very faint, as it's been closed for a long time. There are two posts, and a sign with # 9738N.

Aside from a little wandering finding out spot. The meadow and camp site are just AMAZING. We saw a young couple cruise by on friday evening evening aroun 5:30pm and then a larger group of 5-6 well after dark at 8:45pm, both groups across the creek from the cabin on the main trail. Firewood will be tricky, but there is a nice fire pit. The cabin is a TERRIFIC spot to get some cover (shade/ rain) while packing unpacking. I didn't see any signs of wild critters in it like some cabins in the back country.

Water was REALLY shallow, but fairly clear and easy enough to scope a little out with a cup. Saw a MASSIVE crawdad in there, so it apparently never dries up. We boiled the water and enjoyed.

Absolutely the PERFECT first hike for my 3 year old. I did have to hold his hand while hiking because the road is pretty steep and rocky...but for .5 mile I am happy to hold his hand.
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*****Dirt4Dinner***** - I like anything fast enough to do something stupid on.
Aug 10 2014
chumley
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 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,238
 Triplogs 1,423

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Houston Brothers Trail - Aspen Spring AccessPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 10 2014
chumley
Hiking0.94 Miles 144 AEG
Hiking0.94 Miles      45 Mns   1.25 mph
144 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
John9L
A little side trip down to the spring. Met a group of backpackers taking a break.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Aspen Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Low flow. But reliable as always.
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Profound observer
Aug 10 2014
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 170
 Photos 4,848
 Triplogs 1,619

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Houston Brothers Trail - Aspen Spring AccessPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 10 2014
John9L
Hiking0.94 Miles 144 AEG
Hiking0.94 Miles
144 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
chumley
Nice "hike" with a cold beer and flip flops.
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May 17 2014
chumley
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 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,238
 Triplogs 1,423

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
West Cabin Loop, AZ 
West Cabin Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 17 2014
chumley
Backpack15.94 Miles 2,754 AEG
Backpack15.94 Miles   5 Hrs   43 Mns   2.79 mph
2,754 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Kyle and I decided on this as an easy overnight with the pups. I've always enjoyed this area, and this trip was no different.

I brought my bike and rode the 4.5 miles along FR300 to save us from having to do that less interesting section on foot. I was surprised how green and wet everything is, especially with the early fire restrictions this year. It really is early season up there, with many aspen not yet showing their leaves, and the maples just getting started.

Last time I did this section was in a freak April snow storm a couple of years ago, so it was neat to remember how things looked that day. Saturday was just borderline warm in the sun, but Sunday cooled off and was perfect, with cloud cover, breezy, and in the 60s.

I always forget about the numerous little draws to cross on the southern half of Houston Brothers, it's such a different hike from the northern half.

We stopped at Baker Butte on the way out. Shirley has been there for 18 years, and it's been at least 7 since I carried an antique sewing machine up into the tower for her, and she has since acquired a horse. The tower has been upgraded and now has new windows and doors and an outdoor walkway around it.

The views were nice, but a little bit hazy today.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Aspen Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Low flow, but nice clear, cold trickle. Great for filtering.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Dude Lake 26-50% full 26-50% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Fred Haught Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Light flow and pools throughout the draw

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Houston Draw Head Quart per minute Quart per minute
Nice pool of water at the seep, trickling down into the draw.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max McFarland Spring Dripping Dripping
Very light flow at spring source, but plenty of water just downstream. Nice trickle flow and small pools.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Pinchot Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Reliable and cold as always

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Quien Sabe Spring Dripping Dripping
Just a pool of muddy water.
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Profound observer
Aug 24 2013
matthewkphx
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 Photos 5
 Triplogs 3

48 male
 Joined Dec 16 2012
 phoenix
Houston Brothers Trail - Aspen Spring AccessPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 24 2013
matthewkphx
Hiking1.00 Miles 150 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
150 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My son and I just got our backpacks and I picked this as a very easy first trip for both of us. We had the site all to ourselves. We chose to hang our hammocks across the stream from the cabin in the trees near the trail. We enjoyed the meadow, looked at the cabin and the spring. We used the fire ring farther away from the cabin and found the little rock "table" a handy place to set up our stove and later to sit on next to the campfire.

This is a great, easy hike for introducing a child or family to backpacking. :)
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
Water was flowing nice and clear but slow.
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Jun 22 2013
jdcollard
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 Triplogs 3

48 male
 Joined Dec 06 2003
 Scottsdale, AZ
Washington Park - Cabin Loop, AZ 
Washington Park - Cabin Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 22 2013
jdcollard
Hiking30.00 Miles
Hiking30.00 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Had been wanting to do this trip for some time and decided to finally do it last weekend. Got a late start out of Phoenix Saturday morning and made our way up to the Washington Park trailhead. It was a warm day! Plenty of elevation right off the bat on the Colonel Devin trail. First part of the trail paralleled the pipeline then broke off into switchbacks climbing the rim to some looser rock closer to the top. Nothing terrible. Just got the heart rate up and the legs warm. From there we traveled over to the General Springs cabin and up the Haught trail. We were looking for good water sources up the trail but never found anything significant. The trail itself is easy to follow and the scenery was beautiful. Just not much in the way of water. Therefore we hauled it over to the Pinchot cabin then down Houston Brothers to Aspen Springs for the night, where we knew there would be water. Day 2 we ventured South on Houston Brothers down to Barbershop. Given that we needed to head back early Monday we were looking to place camp as close to the Houston Brothers/Barbershop junction as possible. We found a perfect spot at Barbershop Spring, just 10 minutes from the junction. We made camp, set up the tent and day hiked for the rest of the day. We took Barbershop over to Dane Canyon, then decided to head north to explore. Given how dry it has been, the canyon itself was very easy to navigate. I could see when the area gets wetter how difficult this area could get. There are many faint game trails and multiple ways to get around in there. We came across 7 elk in one area - a beautiful site. The day was getting late and we had decided to try and exit the canyon near Dane Springs. From the canyon, about 0.2 miles from the Springs we located a faint trail up the canyon - we took it up and it popped us out on the U-Bar about 1000 feet South of Dane Springs. We reloaded on water there - this is an awesome spring with an excellent flow of water. Back south on the U-Bar over to Barbershop and back to Camp.
Monday morning an early start and back on the Barbershop over to Houston Brothers and then General Crook/Rim Road. In thinking about all of our mileage, I thought to myself - the section from Dane Canyon on Barbershop west all the way to Houston Brothers to Rim Road is pretty brutal. Constant up/down. The trail runs perpendicular to the land contour, so you are constantly going in and out of drainages. Feel the burn!!
The crook trail. This trail is a nightmare. Tried following it using posted coordinates, and in places it is so overgrown or has dead and downed trees that it is almost impossible. There are white markers in some sections then in other areas there is nothing. It really was hard not to just go to the road and say the heck with it, but we stayed on the trail as much as possible, until the trail veered away from the tunnel/Colonel Devin trail. We took the road directly back to that trail and cut off the half mile back to the Springs cabin and then over to the marked tunnel trail.
Overall it was a great weekend. Water was available, but mainly on the Central and Eastern side of the loop. Saw very few people up there and I feel like this area is a true gem for us Phoenix folks looking for a getaway in the Summer months. :)
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Jun 15 2013
Grasshopper
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 Guides 42
 Routes 458
 Photos 8,104
 Triplogs 508

74 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Houston Brothers Trail - Aspen Spring AccessPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 15 2013
Grasshopper
Hiking1.00 Miles 150 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles      35 Mns   2.00 mph
150 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
For some years now I have wanted to post a new hike description for this lesser know "shortcut" access driving and hiking route to the historic, perennial Aspen Spring / Cabin area at the Cabin Loop- Houstion Brothers Trail #171 pass-by.. and now I have :)

Aside from providing a short, family friendly parking and hiking access route to one of the most popular Cabin Loop historic, scenic, and easy access locations, this beginning hiking location could easily serve as an additional day or overnight parking option for accessing either the east or west Cabin Loop area trails via TR #171.
Culture
Culture
Corral Wooden Dwelling
Named place
Named place
Aspen Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Aspen Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Perennial Spring flow at one quart+ per minute
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
average hiking speed 1.93 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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