16825 E Shea Blvd, Fountain Hills, AZ
*Please note: This hike is designed for advanced (read as quick footed with a very high aptitude for route finding). This hike is not a leader lead hike unless you can keep up with the leader meaning you will complete around 3+ miles every hour with minimal breaks :).
On Sunday August 4th at 8:00 am (at trailhead) we will start the East section of the Cabin Loop up on the Mogollon Rim outside of Payson, one of my favorite trainer hikes. We will meet at Dane Spring trail off of FR 321 north of FR 300 (General Crook/Rim Trail). Parking is available above the spring and detailed driving instructions will follow. I may be be camping in the area Saturday night so anyone who wants to come up and camp can join me--just email or call and we can set up a meeting location.
If you are training for a Rim Cubed hike this hike is a very good hike as the terrain is mixed between flat and elevated trail.
The Cabin Loop is a series of cabins set up by the forest service decades ago as a route to communicate fire information on the Rim. Rangers would travel the loop from cabin to cabin to relay vital information regarding fire advancement in the area. Aspen Springs cabin is a private cabin that provided housing for a family that farmed and raised live stock in the area. Most cabins are in decent condition with the exception of Dane Springs that has been vandalized. General Springs Cabin, at the head of the Fred Haught Trail section, has been restored and is fully accessible to the public. The loop offers dense pine forest, rolling hills, grassy meadows, and a few small stream laden canyons. The loop is also home to many creatures including deer, elk, and bear.
The East section is about 17-19 miles in total length and is a moderate/difficult hike. The loop is comprised of the Barbershop trail and the U-bar trail--Houston Brothers trail will not be used on this loop. The cabins you will see are Dane Spring, Pinchot, and Aspen Spring. Buck Springs cabin is an extra half mile off the Barbershop for anyone who wants to visit that cabin. This is a trail you will spend very little time looking down as just about all the trail markers are blazes found in the trees which means there is route finding on this hike.
Target parking lot in Fountain hills 5:30 am departure
Trailhead: Take Hwy 87 north through Payson. Take 260 East towards Show Low. Near Woods Canyon Lake you will take a left and drive FR 300 to FR 321 where you will take a right--trail is on the left a few miles up the road and should be marked. FR 300 is an unpaved road accessible by any vehicle.
What you should bring:
There is water on trail from springs that needs to be filtered or treated but the water is far in-between. I recommend at least 4 liters of water for the entire trail whether you carry it all or filter/treat. A headlamp should always be in your pack, and you will need a lunch and snacks. This trail is expected to take 6-7 hours to complete (including the breaks/stops) so if you think you will need a jacket you may want to bring one along.