username
X
password
register
for free!
help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
Houston Brothers Trail #171 - 39 members in 139 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 7  Next
139 triplogs
  All Months
139 Triplogs
Jan
0
Feb
1
Mar
0
Apr
7
May
23
Jun
30
Jul
22
Aug
31
Sep
16
Oct
7
Nov
1
Dec
1
 
Jun 13 2021
trekkin_gecko
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 392
 Photos 4,826
 Triplogs 3,245

63 female
 Joined Nov 17 2008
 phoenix, az
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2021
trekkin_gecko
Hiking17.25 Miles 2,519 AEG
Hiking17.25 Miles   6 Hrs   20 Mns   2.87 mph
2,519 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
johnlp
the east cabin loop has been on my radar for a few years
along with @tibber, mary jo and wade, did parts of barbershop, u-bar and houston brothers five years ago
john agreed to hike it with me, and suggested driving up saturday afternoon to car camp
early dinner at the thai restaurant in payson, then took fr 95 to where fr 139 crosses u-bar trail
found a very nice campsite nearby and had an hour or so to enjoy being in the pines
started hiking around 0630 on u-bar, going counterclockwise on the loop
checked out pinchot cabin, then the area around aspen spring
continued on houston brothers trail
somewhere close to the barbershop turnoff, john flushed a mama turkey and several little turkeys from a drainage where they were getting a drink
i had never seen a group of little ones before, pretty cool
took a left on barbershop, then a left on u-bar four miles later
u-bar was my favorite of the day, just a nice stroll through the forest for several miles, with a stop at dane spring and cabin before the drop/ascent at dane canyon and barbershop canyon
finished up and had a smooth drive home with another stop for thai food - love that place
it was nice to see how everything fit together and complete the loop
water in several places if needed
we saw several elk, including two young ones
quite a few downs and ups at canyons and drainages
miles of relatively flat, pine needle covered trail too
a nice getaway with good company
thanks, john!
_____________________
2 archives
Jun 13 2021
johnlp
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 4,906
 Triplogs 3,960

64 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2021
johnlp
Hiking17.25 Miles 2,519 AEG
Hiking17.25 Miles   6 Hrs   20 Mns   2.87 mph
2,519 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 no routes
Partners partners
trekkin_gecko
Kelly invited me to do the east cabin loop. With the soaring temps in the valley, it sounded wonderful. We decided to go up Saturday evening and car camp in the cool pines.
We got started at 0630 which is about as early as we can get going while camping. Temp was about 50 degrees. Felt great. The trails are in very good shape. A fair amount of deadfall on Houston Brothers, easy to get around. Barbershop has a lot of ups and downs unlike the other trails which have some long flatter sections.
We startled a turkey and her poults, which could barely fly. We also flushed up two elk cows and their calves.
First time doing the east loop. Good times. Thanks Kelly. :)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
“Good people drink good beer.” Hunter S Thompson
Jun 05 2021
johnmc22
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 4
 Photos 139
 Triplogs 6

61 male
 Joined Sep 02 2003
 Phoenix, AZ
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 05 2021
johnmc22
Backpack16.50 Miles
Backpack16.50 Miles3 Days         
28 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Backpacked the East Cabin Loop (Barbershop/U-Bar/Houston Bros) over the weekend, starting at the intersection of FS139 and the Barbershop Trail and taking the loop counter-clockwise. Total distance for the loop was 16-17 miles and we did it in a leisurely 3 days/2 nights. Camped at Dane Spring on Friday night and at Aspen Spring on Saturday. There was plenty of water at Dane Spring with a steady flow coming out of the pipe. Aspen Spring was also flowing fine, but the shallow water level of the stream meant you needed to go down stream a little (to just beyond Aspen Cabin) to collect out of one of the larger pools. Around the loop, there was water at Barbershop Spring, Dane Spring, Barbershop Canyon Stream, Pinchot Spring, Aspen Spring, McFarland Spring (low flow), and Houston Draw Head.

While temps were 100+ in the Valley, the Cabin Loop remained hospitable throughout the weekend. High temperatures were around 80 all 3 days, making it warm in the sun, but since the loop is 80% in the shade, it wasn't a big deal. Overnight lows were in the low 50's. Overall, the loop was wonderful and not terribly crowded. We only saw 3 other people on Friday (at Dane Spring) and zero on Sunday. As you might expect, Saturday was the busiest where we crossed paths with a dozen or so people, but it still wasn't bad. We had one other camper at Dane Springs on Friday night and one other group of 5 at Aspen Spring on Saturday night.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Aspen Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
A moderate flow out of the spring, but it's difficult to collect near the source since the stream's only about 1 inch deep. Downstream a little from the Aspen Cabin was a pool big enough to fill a collapsable bucket (although it was a bit cloudy).

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Barbershop canyon creek Light flow Light flow
Some nice pools in the creek bed with light flow. One of the more gorgeous campsites was nearby.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Barbershop Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Hard to say what the flow rate was, but there were a few large pools to filter from and a nice campsite (or 2) nearby.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Dane Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
A nice steady flow coming out of the pipe right next to the U-Bar Trail.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Houston Draw Head Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
A nice big pool by the source with a flow down the drainage for about 100 yards.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max McFarland Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
The spring is lightly flowing, but there's only a few places where it would be deep enough to collect water for filtering.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pinchot Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Some decent pools near the spring and flow all the way from the spring down to the Pinchot Cabin.
_____________________
1 archive
Jun 04 2021
andrewp
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 13
 Photos 231
 Triplogs 15

male
 Joined Sep 27 2020
 Tucson, AZ
Cabin Loop de Loop, AZ 
Cabin Loop de Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 04 2021
andrewp
Backpack36.45 Miles 4,620 AEG
Backpack36.45 Miles2 Days   21 Hrs   6 Mns   
4,620 ft AEG
 
1st trip
I came up with a combination on-trail / off-trail approach to the Cabin Loop area as I suspected that the real treasures of were in the canyons. I'm really happy I did it this way as the trails, while beautiful, didn't begin to show off what the area has to offer.

I wanted to do at least 3 days and knew that I wouldn't want to be making the 5 hour drive back to Tucson after a full day of hiking so I added a 4th day and made it purposefully short. This ended up being a smart move as the drive home was taxing enough on a Monday morning, so I can't imagine it on a Sunday night after a full day of hiking.

Day 1 - Pinchot Cabin to Coyote Spring
VERY early start from Tucson and took the back way up through Globe and along Roosevelt Lake rather than the route through Phoenix that Google really wanted me to take. Uneventful drive up, parked on FR139A at the Fred Haught trail intersection, and was ready to start hiking around 11am. Spent a few minutes at the Pinchot cabin and waited for another hiker to get going on the U-Bar trail so that we weren't right on top of each other. We ended up leapfrogging each other all day. Chatted a bit at Dane Spring... nice guy. Pointed him here as he was looking to abandon Alltrails app.

U-Bar trail starts out a bit ho-hum, but improves in terrain and scenery on the approach to Barbershop Canyon. Steep descent and climb out ended up being a workout that I wasn't expecting. Stopped in the canyon bottom for lunch and continued on to Dane Spring. I had originally planned on camping at Dane, but ended up continuing on as there was still some daylight to burn and there was already a group camped there.

Finished off the U-Bar trail and ended up making a campsite for myself on the hill above Coyote Spring. On the way down to the spring to get some water I found the skeletal remains of what appeared to be an elk and this was a little offputting. There only appeared to be remains of one animal so I assumed that this wasn't a popular dinner spot and hoped that I didn't have a visitor overnight. I didn't.

Day 2 - Coyote Spring > Merritt Draw > Camp Grasshopper #2 > Barbershop Canyon (upper-middle??)


Broke camp early and continued on Barbershop trail to Barbershop Spring where I refilled my bottles. After a bit of route finding I found FR139C which I followed a bit to a drainage that dropped into the head of Merritt Draw. Once into the draw I was treated to a really pleasant meadow walk for a mile or so. The riparian exclusion zones erected by the Forest Service appear to have gotten larger from those shown in previous photos and they take up almost the entire width of the draw. They also enclose the springs so pulling water with the current flow levels wasn't possible.

After the open meadow I continued on the abandoned FR9735P which is now a grade which is slowly going back to nature. This area is beautiful and it was interesting to watch the open meadow of Merritt Draw turn into a deep canyon. I continued walking the road around the nose of the ridge and to its intersection with FR139C. I stopped at Camp Grasshopper #2 for a quick lunch and then found the elk trail down the ridge into Barbershop Canyon. The trail was fairly easy to follow, but having the GPS track was definitely nice.

Where the elk trail dropped me, Barbershop was a deep and narrow drainage with a small, dry creek at the bottom. I started upstream in the creek bed and came to some pools within a few hundred yards. The water came and went for the rest of the journey. The canyon remained narrow with hardly any room for a consistent use trail and what little trail was there crossed the stream constantly. This area was beautiful and although there were a number of forest roads about 300ft above I felt like I was miles from civilization.

My intended stop for the night was one of the primitive campsites identified by @Grasshopper , but upon reaching the planned site I realized that it wasn't going to work for me. I was hammock camping and the tree arrangement was such that my hammock would have to span over the use trail. I imagined being awoken in the middle of the night by an elk colliding with me suspended in mid-air. I continued on and after a short distance the canyon opened up a bit and after about 1/2 mile I found an excellent spot on a high bench overlooking the stream.

Made camp, had some dinner, and hit the sack early.

Day 3 - Barbershop Canyon upstream to Rim > Houston Bros > Aspen Spring

I had been awake for about 15 minutes when a crash to my right alerted me to an incoming elk making her way down the ridge. She saw me (or my hammock) and froze. As I reached for my phone to get a photo she bolted back up the hill and from the sound of it she was stepping on every piece of downed wood she came upon!

Broke camp and headed up Barbershop Canyon with the intent of continuing all the way to the rim. This was the highlight of the trip by far as the upper section of Barbershop is absolutely beautiful. From my campsite this was an easy hike and once I reached the head of the canyon it was an easy walk across FR300 to take in the view off the edge of the rim. Spent some time here soaking it up and also took advantage of the cellular coverage to share the view with my wife via FaceTime.

Set off with the intent of following the General Crook trail to Houston Bros and although I was successful for a stretch I eventually lost the blazes and just hiked cross country in the approximate direction. I completely missed the trail and overshot it a bit then in backtracking got turned around. A quick check of GPS put me back on track, but it was an entertaining couple of minutes while I walked in circles.

The initial section of Houston Bros is quite pretty and the broadleaf trees in the drainages were a nice change from all of the pine and fir that I had been seeing for days. There were some good ups and downs in the first half of this trail and it was a bit more of a workout than I was expecting.

Once into Houston Draw the character changes and I was treated to alternating forest and meadow sections. This was easily one of the more enjoyable trail sections of the entire trip and I loved every minute of it. My intention was to camp at McFarland Spring, but after inspecting the area I decided that the area was too overgrown with too much deadfall to make for a pleasant evening.

I continued on and found an excellent site at Aspen Spring just east of the meadow in the side drainage. Nice site with some nice scenery. Setup camp, relaxed a bit, had some dinner, and then hit the sack.

Day 4 - Hike out and drive home

Very early start with a quick hike out to Pinchot cabin and my waiting truck. I was ready to hit the road a little after 8:30 and was very pleased that I had structured the trip this way. The drive home was long and tiring which was made worse by the closures due to the fire. Ended up taking AZ87 to the Bush Hwy and then picking up US60 in east Mesa and finally the straight line of AZ79 back to Oracle junction. Made it home by 1:30, which wasn't too bad at all.

Parting Thoughts

This was my first time in the area and I honestly wasn't sure what to expect. I knew that the trails were heavily forested and feared that the lack of views would get to be a drag after a while. That was absolutely the case and I'm so glad that I planned in the off-trail sections. If I had only done a trail hike I might not have a strong desire to go back, but after this experience I'll gladly make the drive again to explore more of the canyons.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Aspen Spring Dripping Dripping
Very light flow, but enough to create some shallow pools in drainage. MSR pump filter had no issues, but other methods might require some creativity.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Barbershop canyon creek Light flow Light flow
Fair amount of water at the U-Bar trail crossing. Light flow with large pools.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Barbershop Spring Dripping Dripping
Very, very shallow trickle with some small pools. Was able to draw with my MSR filter, but other filters would have trouble. Nearby Barbershop Canyon had large pools and light flow.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Coyote Spring Dripping Dripping
Hard to tell actual flow as it's just a large pool with a trickle down slope. Water was crystal clear which suggests a reasonably consistent flow.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Dane Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Strong flow. Easily qt/min, probably more.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Houston Draw Head Quart per minute Quart per minute
Light flow but created fair amount of surface water in drainage.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max McFarland Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Good flow with pools to draw from

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pinchot Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Good flow. Lots of pools downstream
7 archives
May 28 2021
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 230
 Photos 4,475
 Triplogs 374

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
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
_____________________
May 22 2021
Nobody01
avatar

 Routes 4
 Photos 315
 Triplogs 26

male
 Joined Sep 13 2019
 
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar May 22 2021
Nobody01
Backpack23.00 Miles
Backpack23.00 Miles   9 Hrs      2.56 mph
   10 Hrs    Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
The goal was to complete the circumference trail in one day but decided to find camp in Barbershop Canyon after being a little too cold and tired. A very quiet and breezy night and also very cold for late may. According to the thermodrop it dipped to a low of just above 22 degrees. Chilly for sure. Woke up pretty early and headed back to General Springs in the morning. Probably could have pushed this one a little harder but there is always next time. Didn't see any wildlife on this trip.
_____________________
Embrace the suck.
May 16 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 82
 Routes 690
 Photos 16,038
 Triplogs 1,613

48 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Bear Canyon 2, AZ 
Bear Canyon 2, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 16 2021
chumley
Hiking5.00 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   2 Hrs   33 Mns   2.27 mph
800 ft AEG      21 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
John9L
Mave1878
patrickakabird
After a pleasant canyon hike on Saturday, we decided we wanted more so Sunday we headed out to our exit point the day before and dropped back in to continue downstream. It was another day of splashy pools, geology, grassy meadows and pleasant temperatures typical of rim country at this time of year.

We hit Fred at the flood-eroded 95 crossing and climbed up and over to Pinchot before heading up Houston to Aspen and calling it a day.

At this end of the loop we opted to make our escape from the rim via 95 and the choice was rewarded with a speedy, smooth, and traffic-free exit to pavement.
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
_____________________
33s over 45s
May 15 2021
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 371
 Photos 8,224
 Triplogs 996

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar May 15 2021
BiFrost
Run/Jog16.20 Miles 1,562 AEG
Run/Jog16.20 Miles   5 Hrs   5 Mns   3.19 mph
1,562 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Car camped with Chumley and 9L on the rim. They went and did another hike and I decided to attempt trail run of the Cabin Loop. We were camped out on the ridge between west and east Bear Canyon so I had to off trail to the Cabin Loop. It was fun but not fast. Once on the Cabin Loop it was a nice run with quite a few backpackers and day hikers on the loop. I did the eastern half crossing Barbershop, Dane canyons, and following U-Bar Trail. On the north end of Cabin Loop I followed road over to Houston Brothers Trail before off trailing back to camp. Still nice on the rim with water in all the drainages!
_____________________
1 archive
May 15 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 82
 Routes 690
 Photos 16,038
 Triplogs 1,613

48 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Bear Canyon, AZ 
Bear Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 15 2021
chumley
Hiking8.82 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking8.82 Miles   5 Hrs   7 Mns   1.81 mph
1,200 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners partners
dyellab
Goldentrailz
jillyonanadventure
John9L
Mave1878
patrickakabird
We spent the weekend camped on the rim and decided to duck into Bear Canyon for a few miles to stretch our legs on Saturday. The water was pleasant and the terrain was fairly easygoing. None of the boxes required swimming, with just one where tippytoes couldn't keep the boys dry. The ladies turned around and headed back while the rest of us continued downstream. The geology was superior after our group split, but we learned later that the girls won the day with a canyon namesake sighting and a short standoff with one of the dogs :o

We climbed out at a spot that in real life didn't quite match up with how easy it looked on the topo. We dropped down to Aspen Spring for a snack and headed up the trail for a couple of easy miles before making another steep canyon crossing to get back to our camp.
Flora
Flora
Mountain Parsley
_____________________
33s over 45s
2 archives
May 14 2021
Nobody01
avatar

 Routes 4
 Photos 315
 Triplogs 26

male
 Joined Sep 13 2019
 
Houston Brothers Trail #171Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar May 14 2021
Nobody01
Backpack4.00 Miles
Backpack4.00 Miles   3 Hrs      1.33 mph
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I met the wife at the intersection of FR139A/B to complete a short backpacking trip down to Pinchot Cabin for the night. Her first time seeing the cabin(s) along the way and log dog (Charlie) was able to join us.

Started the hike where 171 crosses FR139A and made our way north to Pinchot Cabin. Shortly down the trail we came across a herd of four cow elk which appeared to be headed west toward 139A, a porcupine just before McFarland Spring, and lots of birds and squirrels.

Expected to see more people on the trail but surprisingly pretty quiet for a Friday afternoon. The hike to the cabin was a bit warm but not too bad. Cruisy single track forest paths which make for easy hiking, a perfect for a beginner backpack or something easy for a quick overnight get away. If you're doing the east or west loop this is the perfect time to slow down, take your time, and enjoy this section of trail. All of the campsites along the way were very clean with exception to some some of the areas around Pinchot Cabin but it wasn't too trashed as I suspected it to be.

Great night, very quiet, and chilly temperatures in the AM.
Flora
Flora
Pine Thermopsis
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Lots of dandelion, some large lush patches of pine pine thermopsis, and a few other types of flower I was not able to identify.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Aspen Spring Dripping Dripping
Barely a trickle from what I observed.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Houston Draw Head Quart per minute Quart per minute
Light flow in the drainage from Apsen Spring down and past Pinchot Cabin.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Pinchot Spring Dripping Dripping
Like Aspen, there was not much going on here.
_____________________
Embrace the suck.
May 10 2021
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 60
 Routes 562
 Photos 7,880
 Triplogs 509

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Pinchot Cabin, AZ 
Pinchot Cabin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 10 2021
DixieFlyer
Hiking13.40 Miles 1,775 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles   6 Hrs   2 Mns   2.90 mph
1,775 ft AEG   1 Hour   25 Mns Break
 
I decided to head up to the Rim for a couple of days of hiking and one night of car camping at Camp Grasshopper Site #2. After setting up camp, we hiked over to Pinchot Cabin and back. When we got back to the campsite we decided to climb up the ridge to the west of the campsite and check out the Merritt Draw Riparian Area.

It was a nice day to be hiking up on the Rim. We saw a mountain biker at Pinchot Cabin, but did not see anyone else all day. At Pinchot Cabin we started hiking on the Houston Brothers Trail, thinking that we might go back to the campsite that way. However, after a bit of reflection, I figured that route would be longer than I wanted, so after a short distance on the Houston Brothers Trail, we turned around and went back the way that we came.

The Merritt Draw Riparian Area was really nice and is worthy of some more exploration.

The campsite was clean except for some TP that some moron had left not too far from the fire ring. You'd think that people could do better than that, but I guess not.

This is a nice area, and I hope to get back there later in the summer.
Named place
Named place
Pinchot Spring
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
May 02 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 82
 Routes 690
 Photos 16,038
 Triplogs 1,613

48 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Barbershop Trail #91Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 02 2021
chumley
Hiking15.81 Miles 3,134 AEG
Hiking15.81 Miles   6 Hrs   7 Mns   2.81 mph
3,134 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
With perfect weather in the forecast and both of us looking to knock out a good mileage day that wasn't a straight mountain climb, we headed for the east loop. It was a tit nipply with a brisk wind as we got started and we found some lingering snow almost immediately. :y:

There was a little bit of water flowing in most of the drainages, but definitely not as wet as I've seen at this time of year before. I had forgotten how much up and down there is on the east side. Fred was lazy. Babe was not!

After climbing out of Barbershop on the north end and hit 139G, we decided to clip the corner and knock a couple miles off our loop by skipping Pinchot and instead headed directly toward Aspen Spring and reconnecting with the trail there. We passed three separate pairs of hikers between Aspen and our start point, the only others we saw on the day.

For an old standby, this one rarely disappoints.
_____________________
33s over 45s
1 archive
Apr 29 2021
LJW
avatar

 Photos 882
 Triplogs 214

27 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
East Cabin Loop, AZ 
East Cabin Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 29 2021
LJW
Hiking21.70 Miles 2,961 AEG
Hiking21.70 Miles   7 Hrs   36 Mns   3.17 mph
2,961 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Looking for a day in the cold as the temperature climbs into the 90s in Phoenix, settled on this one. Started from a campsite on the edge of The Rim near the Houston Bros TH and went clockwise.

Rim classic that took me a while to get to. Coming back I'd do the same deal only in reverse. Houston Bros through the nice forest up on the ridges and down in the canyons and draws. Little snow, no mud. Wind in the trees, high 30s. Some deadfall, nothing bad. Watershed exclosures make the canyon feel not so far away. Aspen Spring area probably my favorite bit along the way.

Pinchot Cabin in that heavenly corner of The Rim. Fred Haught is washed out, signage urges hikers to use U - Bar and Houston for looping the time being. U - Bar my favorite trail of the day. Out of the predominant fir and into the open pine. Diverse scenery along the way, ridgetop forests, Dane + Barbershop Canyons.

Barbershop back round. Interesting trail that stitches together a track between the many roads. More diverse forest and great weather. Barbershop Canyon back up. Use trail pretty much the whole way, not that it's needed. That portion was basically a long, long meadow with water trickling down. Really scenic way to end the day. Up to a road and through the forest back to 300. Didn't see anyone, even cars on the hike. Temps high 30s-60s.

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 3 out of 5water less than max Barbershop canyon creek Medium flow Medium flow

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 McFarland 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
4 archives
Dec 25 2020
AugustWest
avatar

 Photos 451
 Triplogs 88

47 male
 Joined Mar 16 2019
 Phoenix
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 25 2020
AugustWest
Hiking17.49 Miles 2,311 AEG
Hiking17.49 Miles   6 Hrs   20 Mns   3.31 mph
2,311 ft AEG   1 Hour   3 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
The kids are spending the holiday weekend with their mom so I was afforded an opportunity to get out with a dog friendly version of the Cabin Loop.

I started at the intersection of FR 139 and Barbershop Trail at 8:30 AM and decided to go counter-clockwise. It was cold the first half of the hike at right about freezing. For a colder hike like this I will typically start with three layers and I didn't take my soft shell outer layer off until midway through U-Bar.

I could go on and on about how amazing this loop is but I feel like most everyone on HAZ, has been out here. Nonetheless, if you haven't then put it high up on your list. This is a very hiker/backpacking friendly area as there is water everywhere, at least there is right now.

The highpoint of the day for me was the first 2/3 of U-Bar. The open pine glades remind me of the east side of the cascades around Bend. Oregon.

I burned through my battery about 2 miles from my truck. The mobile charger I had with me didn't work. Those last 2 miles had a lot of deadfall which I hadn't seen all day and also enough snow to make route finding tricky. I lost the trail, but popped out on FR 139 right at my truck.

I didn't see anyone or even tracks in the snow of anyone. There are a ton of deer droppings and I think I saw an Elk bolting up the side if Barbershop Canyon. I'll be back soon to complete the Fred Haught and General Crook sections.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Barbershop canyon creek Light flow Light flow
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Frozen over but available to filter in spots

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Coyote Spring Dripping Dripping
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Dane Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Really flowing

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pinchot Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Flowing nicely
_____________________
Wildflower seed in the sand and wind
May the four winds blow you home again
Oct 17 2020
jillyonanadventure
avatar

 Routes 9
 Photos 1,672
 Triplogs 145

40 female
 Joined Jan 21 2019
 Scottsdale
Barbershop Houston loop, AZ 
Barbershop Houston loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 17 2020
jillyonanadventure
Hiking9.68 Miles 1,617 AEG
Hiking9.68 Miles   4 Hrs   27 Mns   2.24 mph
1,617 ft AEG      8 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
jharvey33
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Wanted to get back and explore further into an area we liked last weekend. Someone had their camper parked at our prior entry place, so we opted to drive down FR 139 and drop in over there. There are pockets of fall colors on little side canyons too, so we explored around where we saw the colors. There was a ton of bear scat but we did not see any wildlife. We headed back via the barbershop 91 trail before connecting with the Houston Brothers trail to complete the loop. There was some nice colors along both of those trails. There was a tiny bit of water flowing on the Houston brothers trail. We only saw 4 people total during this hike! Got back to camp in time to enjoy a beautiful sunset!
Flora
Flora
Bigtooth Maple
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Extreme
Fall colors seem at peak here!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Restless between adventures...
Aug 11 2020
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 60
 Routes 562
 Photos 7,880
 Triplogs 509

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Pinchot Cabin from Camp Grasshopper, AZ 
Pinchot Cabin from Camp Grasshopper, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 11 2020
DixieFlyer
Hiking13.10 Miles 1,411 AEG
Hiking13.10 Miles   4 Hrs   59 Mns   2.76 mph
1,411 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I was wanting to check out a couple of cabins on the Cabin Loop that I had not been to, so I decided to camp at the excellent Camp Grasshopper #2 site on the rim, and hike for a couple of days.

This was day 1, so I drove in and set up my tent, and then I decided to hike to the Pinchot Cabin. I went north on FR 139C until it ended, and then made an off-trail descent down to a spring where Barbershop Canyon and Merritt Draw meet. There I picked up the U-Bar Trail and took it to Pinchot Cabin. This was a very nice trail to hike on. The cabin was nice to check out, but it sure needs a new roof.

I had thought about doing a loop by taking the Houston Brothers Trail south to the Barbershop Trail, and then taking FR139 and FR139C back to Camp Grasshopper. That would have added 2+ miles to the hike, and it was getting a bit late, so I decided to just retrace my steps back. Of course, I missed a turn to the trail and walked on a forest road longer than I should have. So I checked out my map and GPS track and went off-trail for a ways to FR139 just below the U-Bar Trail, and then took it back to U-Bar. I don't think that my mistake added more than 1/4 mile to the hike.

This is a nice area to hike in, and I imagine that I will go back there sometime for some more exploration. It did not look like anyone had been to Camp Grasshopper since my one-night stay there the previous week.
Fauna
Fauna
Garter Snake
Named place
Named place
Pinchot Spring
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
Aug 07 2020
rmartin
avatar

 Photos 32
 Triplogs 3

51 male
 Joined Sep 03 2011
 Anthem, az
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 07 2020
rmartin
Backpack18.70 Miles 2,398 AEG
Backpack18.70 Miles2 Days         
2,398 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I started around noon on Friday from the Houston Draw parking cutout and made my way to Pinchot cabin to start the east side Cabin Loop going clockwise. Starting mid-day on the exposed section of the U-Bar was not my brightest move of the day. Just before FR139, I saw the only other person of the day, a mountain biker going counter-clockwise. He gave me a heads-up about the joys Barbershop Canyon but it didn't quite register until my knees were barking at the stairstep boulders on the trail into the canyon. It was absolutely gorgeous down there with Barbershop Creek flowing pretty well. After climbing out then going down and up in Dane Canyon, I made my way to Dane Spring for a well needed refill of my water supply. Sitting for a couple minutes and eyeing the campsites, I decided I was done for the day. The spring and cabin remains made it a very memorable campsite.

I ran into many groups going CCW on Saturday as I finished the loop. The only trouble I had with route finding was when I ran into car campers on the U-Bar that had their easy-up next to the trail sign. I had missed it as I tried to avoid their campsite. The stretch of Barbershop Trail by Coyote Springs was very pleasant with a good amount of water in the drainage. I stopped for lunch at Barbershop spring and regretted not bringing a scoop to get water out of the pools. Had I not been spoiled by the flowing water at the other sources, I would have thought Barbershop spring was a good source. As that was not the case, it was mildly frustrating. The rollers from where Houston Brothers meets Barbershop to where Houston Bros starts the long downhill section reminded me how much I enjoy heavy roots on the trail. The coast from where the rollers stop to Aspen Springs was wonderful with plenty of water and hip high ferns. I had not been to Aspen Springs since 2012 so I was saddened to see the hay barn is in much worse shape though it is still a cool site along the trail.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Barbershop canyon creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Dane Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Great flow from the pipe.

dry McClintock Spring Dry Dry
Either dry or I couldn't find it.
_____________________
2 archives
Jul 31 2020
adenium
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 60
 Photos 191
 Triplogs 326

47 male
 Joined Jul 05 2008
 Gilbert, AZ
Barbershop Trail #91Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 31 2020
adenium
Backpack19.72 Miles 1,095 AEG
Backpack19.72 Miles2 Days         
1,095 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Spent a couple of days doing the eastern half of the Cabin Loop. Temps were in the mid-80s when I started, but clouds moved in and made it more enjoyable. I think my pre-lockdown fitness has evaporated... this trail seemed so much harder than it should have. Scoped out a few campsites along Barbershop Trail that I could use to introduce my kid to backpacking. Just far enough a walk to earn your dinner, but not so far that he never wants to do that again. Arrived at my campsite in Barbershop Canyon early and relaxed in the hammock before heading up canyon to see what was there... turns out it's ferns. Lots of them. I turned back when the going became inconvenient. I rose early on the second day, having been awoken every couple of hours by uncooperative bedding in my hammock. The trip across the pines was pleasant in the morning air. Made it back to the Jeep before lunch. The last section on Houston Bros Trail was cruel. So many hills right at the end.
_____________________
3 archives
Jul 25 2020
adenium
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 60
 Photos 191
 Triplogs 326

47 male
 Joined Jul 05 2008
 Gilbert, AZ
Houston Brothers Trail #171Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2020
adenium
Hiking3.51 Miles 306 AEG
Hiking3.51 Miles   1 Hour   17 Mns   2.74 mph
306 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Spent a lovely couple of days camping up above the rim. This was our more substantial hike. Lots of little walks in the woods to random spots and lonely geocaches, but this was the one that merits a nod on Hike Arizona.
_____________________
Jul 13 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 13 2020
azbackpackr
Backpack22.10 Miles 2,603 AEG
Backpack22.10 Miles1 Day   23 Hrs   2 Mns   
2,603 ft AEG   5 Hrs   40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
This was my first backpacking trip in a couple of years. I went by myself, camping two nights. I had never been to the area before. Believe it or not, I'd never been on Road 300, except maybe way over by Heber. The closest I'd been to this area (other than driving 87 and 99) was car camping at Rock Crossing and also kayak camping at Blue Ridge reservoir.

I didn't take my better camera, just the little waterproof Fujifilm, so the images suffer. I really need to get myself a better pocket camera, maybe a Canon Powershot, or a Nikon waterproof.

Day 1: Parked at General Springs cabin. This cabin has been restored to the standard that all the others SHOULD be restored to, lest they fall down pretty quick. The fastest way to destroy a log building (other than by forest fire) is to let it have a leaky roof. I think I am going to write a letter to the Supe. There are volunteers who will do this work. John Azar comes to mind, but there are others as well. (I seem to recall a certain Hazzer did a restoration on one of them, without permission?? Can't remember who. This was quite a few years ago?? Is this person still around? PM me if so.)

I started up the AZT/Fred Haught trail. Didn't meet any hot Freds, alas, but eventually, not far from the washed-out part, I met a backpacker named James, who said it was his very first backpacking trip. He was doing fine with it. Very nice guy. We chatted a while. He gave me good advice about crossing the gully where the bridge washed out.

Once I had settled into hiking with the big pack again, I started feeling happy with the hike, with the terrain, the plants, trees and singing birds. The trail tread was good, and the trail's followability, if that's a word, was easy. Even after the AZT peels off, the Fred trail is easy to follow. This kind of surprised me, as I seem to recall reading that route-finding skills might be needed. I did have it loaded into my GPS, but didn't need that. I also had the Guthook for the AZT in my cell phone, which I peeked at occasionally. The pack wasn't too bad, less than 30 pounds, but not much less. Water is heavy, and I did carry some. I don't have the SUL thing quite dialed in, though. But I do have a Nemo Hornet 2, a sub 2 pound freestanding tent, so la-di-da!

Meeting James on his first trip made me think. I don't know how many backpacking trips I have done, but the first one was about 49 years ago, in the spring of 1971, as I recall, with my good friend Ray (who is still my friend). We went to Alder Canyon in Anza-Borrego. That trip resulted in many blisters on my feet, plus bruises on my hips and shoulders, but I couldn't wait to go again. At that time I had a Camp Trails blaze orange aluminum frame backpack, a Sierra Designs sleeping bag, and a Svea white gas stove. I was 18, if I have the date right. (It might be 48 years/1972/19 years old. Ray doesn't remember, either.)

Meanwhile, back on the Fred trail, I reached the place where the bridge is washed out. It was not difficult to follow the "hiker workaround" to cross it. After hiking around 8 miles, I made camp across the creek from the Pinchot Cabin. This cabin is in dire need of a new roof. If a roof is not installed, the cabin will rot, and this nice little piece of our heritage will just become a crumbling pile of logs. Please do write to the superintendent about this, and the other cabins. I intend to do so as well.

My camp was very nice and flat, next to the stream. I made my little home in the woods as comfy as possible.

I had brought only a Steripen, which worked fine. It was the first time I had ever tried one. I am not convinced it's such a great thing, however. But it works fine in clear water. I used my cup to fill my Nalgene bottle, so that I wouldn't contaminate the rim of the bottle with untreated water. This is the bad thing about the Steripen. You definitely don't want to dip the bottle into the creek, and then use the pen in it. You have to have one container you are willing to contaminate, in order to fill the one you are going to treat. I carefully poured water from my cup into the bottle, then treated it. I wasn't worried about the metal cup, because I would not be using it until I cooked dinner in it, killing any germs. I'm thinking about getting a different water treatment. I have one of those squeeze bag things, don't like it. I have a Katadyn, which is big and heavy, I use for kayak trips. I have an old Hiker Pur, too heavy as well. How about an MSR miniworks? Any recommendations?

I spent the afternoon playing my ukulele, singing badly, and reading a memoir about bicycling across the US. I have Kindle loaded onto my phone, and it always serves me well on camping trips. I fell asleep about 7, and didn't get up until 6 a.m. This is a very long sleep for me! I slept great.

Day 2: I lazed about camp, and as I recall, I didn't get started hiking the second day until about 9 a.m. or so. First, I walked back over near the cabin, and got onto the Houston Brothers Trail. I had in mind I would check out McFarland Spring as a possible camping spot, but when I got there, it was too early in the day, and I had not covered enough ground. I reasoned I might be dry camping that night, so I filled up my bottles, making my pack a bit heavy, and waddled on. There was one cabin I passed that didn't have a sign with a name for it. It was at Aspen Spring, as I recall. It also is being left to rack and ruin, although at least it has a metal roof. There are so many people with skills who would love to volunteer time to fix these cabins, it just boggles my mind it hasn't been done. There are people with pack mules who would help bring supplies in, just for the fun of it.

There was another backpacker camping at Aspen Spring. I had seen him pass my camp the evening before. We never did speak. I saw him a total of 3 times, always at a distance.

I passed a couple of day hikers, going the opposite direction. We stopped to chat briefly. They were car camping near Pinchot Cabin. I didn't see anyone else the rest of the day.

Eventually, the Houston Brothers trail leaves the riparian area and starts cutting across the grain of the land. So, you go up and down and up and down and up and down. Uhhhhhhh. And up and down and up and down... Not having a topo map (both my and my daughter's printers are on the blink) but only the GPS route, I had a hard time really visualizing what was coming up. I just figured I had better hike at least 6 miles or more. I passed the junction with the Barbership Trail. Since Covid-19 is happening, I am doing my own hairdressing, (with frightening results), so I opted out of looking for a haircut, and soldiered on along the Houston Bros. trail.

I'd stopped earlier to treat a blister. I was tired, it was kind of hot, and I decided, around 2 p.m. or so, to look for a flat spot with lots of shade to camp. I ended up in a copse of Gambel Oaks, a place where elk had bedded down, next to a fenced-off area. There are a number of these areas, fenced to keep the elk and cattle out, to allow the land to recover. It was not a great campsite, but I made do. I saw no one else that day. It was really early, but I was tired. I kept myself busy, reading, writing in my notebook, and scaring the bears away with my singing and playing the uke.

Little did I know, if I had only hiked up another small hill I would have found a much better campsite. Oh, well. I made that place work for me.

Day 3: I have a peculiar form of insomnia. I wake up at 2 or 3 a.m., and cannot get back to sleep. This actually serves me well on camping trips if I want an early start, and I did. I got up at 3 a.m., set up my Luci Lite, donned my headlamp, and started taking the camp down, making coffee, etc. I didn't hurry. I read a bit, drinking my coffee, and by the time I was ready to go, I could see my feet without the headlamp on. I started hiking at 5 a.m. I reached Road 300 near 6 a.m. I had thought there might be a portion of what @Jim_H calls the "Generally Crooked Trail" to follow, but I did not see it. I walked along the road. Very soon I saw Milepost 16. I was also seeing lots of great views. I saw no vehicles at all for some time, not even people camping. About Mile 14 I noticed that the Crook Trail was paralleling the road, so I walked on it. It has recently been worked with a little machine in that section, one of those mini-tractors, I'd guess. Soon, it crossed 300, went along for a bit, but then led back to 300 and disappeared. Eventually I ran into a big crew of people from Arizona Conservation Corps, out of Flagstaff, who are working on the trail. They directed me to a new section of it that goes toward General Springs Cabin. They were working that section with hand tools. I complimented them on their work.

The ACC camp was set up at General Springs Cabin area, which was where Wanda the Honda (2006 CR-V) was waiting for me. As always, at the end of a hike, I just want to go home and take a shower. So, I did.

Yes, and of course, I now want to go back and do the other half of the Cabin Loop, to include the U-Bar and Barbershop trails. I may start at the north end for that loop. I am not sure when I'll have time to do it, but I'm hoping to go in August or September.

Thanks to all who posted info and GPS tracks for this hike. I hope my rambling essay is helpful as well.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
2 archives
average hiking speed 2.47 mph
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 7  Next

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.

help comment issue

end of page marker