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Sunday, October 6, 2013

FALL COLOR UPDATE: Mogollon Rim, October 5, 2013


U-BAR TRAIL
Pinchot Cabin to McClintock Draw

Barbershop Canyon, Oct. 5, 2013

Anchoring the east end of the Mogollon Rim’s iconic Cabin Loop system of trails, U-Bar #28 cuts an undulating path through rugged canyons, meadows and coniferous woodlands.  Although hiking the entire loop is a rigorous, multi-day endeavor, day-trippers can sample the remote north end by hiking from Pinchot Cabin to McClintock Draw. In October, brilliant fall foliage seems to melt out of the edgy topography. Gambel oaks peppered throughout the area’s pines and spruce glow like randomly-strung lights. Streamside boxelders and willows shine at the bottom of Barbershop Canyon while seas of frost-tinged brackens colonize every sodden, humus packed crack in the limestone terrain.
This sensory smorgasbord mitigates the pain of the trail's constant dips, climbs and the challenge of following a primitive tree-blazed route.


Gambel oak, Oct. 5, 2013

HIKE DIRECTIONS:
From the trailhead, hike the old roads to Pinchot Cabin.  Here, a sign points to the start of U-Bar trail heading up the ridge behind the cabin. The route is marked by tree blazes—follow them and you’ll be fine. At the top of the ridge, pass a gate and continue on the road to a “T” intersection with FR95B and FR139G.  Go RIGHT here and follow the road to a stock tank off to the right. Just beyond it, the road splits with the trail heading off between the forks marked by a hiker sign and cairn. Now the trail is a distinct footpath. Continue past a large rusted water tank on the left. About 150 feet beyond the tank, turn RIGHT where the trail forks.  There’s a tree blaze with arrow here.  At 2.3 miles, cross FR139 and begin steep descent into Barbershop Canyon followed by a climb out to McClintock Ridge. At 3.0 miles, cross FR145 and follow FR9616A into McClintock Draw. See "more photos" below for pictures of critical junctions.


LENGTH: 8 miles  as described here including access detour
RATING: moderate
ELEVATION: 7,000' - 7,620' (1500’ accumulated gain)
GETTING THERE:
From Payson, travel north on AZ87to just before milepost 300 and turn right onto FR95.Go 6.5 miles on FR95 to a bridge over East Clear Creek and veer right to stay on FR95.  Continue 4.5 miles to FR139A (a few yards past a sign for Houston Draw), turn left and go 0.2 mile to the trailhead marked by a sign for Fred Haught Trail.   NOTE: as of September 2013, FR 95 is closed between FR139G and 139A. To get to the Fred Haught trailhead, park at the roadblock and hike 0.5 mile on FR95. Roads are good gravel/dirt with winding mountain grades—sedans okay.

INFO: Mogollon Rim Ranger District, Coconino National Forest, 928-477-2255
MORE PHOTOS:

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