Hike of the Week: Cabin Loop

Mare CzinarAugust 23, 2023
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Cabin Loop, Coconino National Forest

One of the best long-distance hikes on the Mogollon Rim is the Cabin Loop System.  Cool, high-country forests, plenty of water and historic fire lookout cabins make this 25-mile classic a must-do for Arizona hikers. While the entire circuit length might be intimidating, it’s easy to customize shorter, easier treks. The route is actually two connected loops made up of the Houston Brothers, Barbershop, U-Bar, Fred Haught (also part of the Arizona Trail Passage 28) and a section of the General Crook trails.

Five trailheads provide myriad options for making multi-day backpack trips or day hikes using the primitive paths that link a system of decommissioned log cabins.

  • LENGTH:  Up to 25 miles for both loops
  • RATING: moderate
  • ELEVATION: 6,892 – 7,906 feet
  • BEST SEASON: May – October
  • FACILITIES: none

GETTING THERE: Barbershop/Buck Springs Trailhead.

  • From Payson, go 29 miles east on State Route 260 to Rim Road (Forest Road 300 at the Woods Canyon Lake sign).
  • Turn left and go 22.8 miles on FR300 to FR137, turn right and continue 3.4 miles to the Barbershop Trail sign.
  • Hike begins on the west side of the road at a small wooden sign.
  • Dirt roads are sedan friendly.