Backpack the Cabin Loop Trail



19 miles

Route Type


Added by Breanne McNitt

Hike through the lush forests in Northern Arizona on this two day, 19 mile, backpacking trip.

People think Arizona is all just desert, but this hike will show you otherwise.  Up on the Mogollon Rim, this trail takes you past old cabins, through lush forest, and near many creeks.

Day 1:  (10 miles) Drive on Rim Road to the General Springs Trail Head.  The cabin marks the start of the trail, which also happens to be part of the Arizona Trail.  This section of the trail is also called the Fred Haught Trail and will take you over flat terrain, through forests and meadows, until you reach the intersection with the Houston Brothers Trail, which Pinchot Cabin is located.  This is a great lunch stop, so find some shade under the trees and take a quick nap.  Then you'll only have a few miles left until your reach the nights campsite.  Aspen Springs may seem like the ideal place to camp, but it is a very popular spot so if you want a campsite to yourself keep hiking another half a mile.  You will reach a campsite in the trees, but on the other side of the trail is a perfect star gazing meadow.  After setting up hammocks in the trees for the night, you may just decide to drink spiked cider, star gaze, and fall asleep in the meadow (that's what we did).

Day 2: (9 miles) After waking up in the meadow and taking down the hammocks you didn't end up sleeping in, the trail continues on into the forest.  This day will see a little more elevation change than the first day, but the up and down hill section add some nice variation to the hike.  Eventually the trail ends at Rim Road, and you will just hike on this dirt road for a while.  Although dirt road hiking usually isn't ideal, the views from the edge of the rim are well worth it and distract you from the road you're walking on.  After a few miles of road hiking, you will end up back at the trailhead, finishing off the casual two day loop.

This two day hike will take you on the eastern loop of the Cabin Loop Trail.  If you're looking for a bit of a longer hike, the full Cabin Loop is also an option and covers 26 miles.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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