Explore the most popular nature trips trails near Happy Jack with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

awsome views!!! lots of mud today!!!

nice short hike

Very beautiful hike, definitely easy but we went early started the hike at 8:00 a.m. Saw ALOT of wild life, which Is why I gave this hike 4 stars.
1 Turkey
1 Grey fox
A herd of 50+ Elk
5 Deer
4 Antelope
Beautiful weather 76° in the middle of June.

Did the whole 21 miles. There are several maps on Alltrails with portions of this trail, use those. This map will try to take you in the forest when you should be on a road. Speaking of roads, this hike consists of too many. I don't want to hike to places very easily accessible by car.

This is NOT a trail! There was a path to follow for only about a half mile then it was total guess work. We went through two phone batteries and didn’t dare stop to rest. You hike the bottom of the dry canyon and then head up a creek bed full of huge rocks, downed trees and sticker bushes. The end was a vertical climb of three ridges. Make sure you have the app running or you may never get home!

hiking
4 months ago

We took the left trail to start the loop clockwise. My husband and I brought our 2 year old dog and and 3 month old puppy. My husband is quite afraid of heights. we got to the edge of the reservoir where the cliff edge hugs where the water would be. It was dry. We decided to turn back the trail is very narrow along the cliff. I may try this again without the dogs and my husband, I would love to see this when the water is flowing. It has been an extremely dry winter for us. I rated a 2 because I haven't finished it.

Hiked this one last year fantastically beautiful scenery! Spread out enough so it’s not too hard

paddle boarding in the Resivouir

hiking
5 months ago

Nice quiet trail

The trail is nice, one of my favorite places to do a one nighter and backpack through the trees. I have only done the western half, which is nice to start at General Springs and go clockwise. The general crook/rim road portion is brutally boring, and even more miserable going counter clockwise.

Also, a word of caution, you cross several dry creek beds and washes, however if it rains heavily, they will turn into rivers, and are uncrossable. No danger of a flash flood sweeping you away. But I did get stranded for an extra night bc the water cut me off. I knew it was going to rain and had gear, just wasn’t anticipating getting stuck. And I’m not exaggerating, the creek beds got deeper than waist height, and we’re flowing close to 10mph, I tried crossing y several points but between hidden boulders and trees below the water, and the current, it was pulling me over before I got even a third of the way across. So, double check the weather report.

The biggest recommendation I have for this trail is a map or GPS. The trail itself is very hard to stay on. Some parts are obvious but others can be very tricky. I read a lot of hiking blogs that helped because they gave turn by turn directions. But I still could not finish the trail because I kept losing it. And I needed to turn back before night. The dirt road to the trailhead is also very easy to get lost on. There is no cell phone service so be aware of that. I was able to drive the trail with the sedan but it got really bumpy. Very peaceful hike. Really in the middle of nowhere.

hiking
9 months ago

So I went up there this weekend. I actually went to take some fall photos; I’m a bit of a photography buff. I did note that we were literally the only ones on the trail; my dad and I came across nobody else, unless you count the squirrels. The scenery is amazing, too, though I was a bit disappointed that most of the trees had already lost most of their leaves. I realize that the path isn’t clearly marked... In fact, I only found the trailhead through this app... Yet I think that makes the trail more private, like a hidden gem. Plus, with this app you really can’t get lost; just follow the bright red line.

backpacking
10 months ago

Great trail I was going to do the whole thing but decided to cut it in half by taking Houston brothers. Awesome trail, a little depressing seeing all the burnt trees.

backpacking
Monday, May 29, 2017

My husband and I started out to do the cabin loop trail but ended up cutting through at Pinchot. So glad we did. It was truly beautiful at aspen springs. We did make it to lower barbershop canyon and set up camp there in the meadow along the spring. Simply gorgeous through there as well. On our way back to general crook cabin we weren't able to stay on the trail as it was barely visible so we just walked along the road on rim road which was nice to see the overlook of the canyons.
Nice weekend trip, spent 2 nights and 3 days here. Plenty of brooks, springs or creeks to get your water bladders filled up.

backpacking
Sunday, May 07, 2017

My husband and I did a two day/one night backpacking trip in early May and hiked the Cabin Loop Trail. This "Loop" is actually a series of 5 trails that lead to some beautiful meadows and canyons as well as the historic forest service cabins. We started at General Springs Cabin and headed North on the Fred Haught Trail. This is a great trail for backpacking, however it is not well marked in many areas and you can easily wander off trail if you don't look out for trail blazes, rock cairns, etc.

Pro's: Many water sources along the way, nice scenery

Con's: 4.5 mile road walk as part of the last leg of the trail; trail is not well marked on many sections

Sunday, March 26, 2017

it was an amazing hike just a little hard to find the trails.

backpacking
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Would have been a beautiful, peaceful, secluded backpacking adventure if not for 2 unexpected things.

I am used to the elevation down in the valley. So my mother and I hop around the mountains here without much difficulty. We can hike a good 13 miles in a morning with no problem. So we planned to do the whole loop in a weekend. We figured out pretty early on that wasn’t happening.

Totally different world up here. I’ve never had issues before, but had only ever done day hikes at this elevation. Felt great the first few miles. Started at General Springs and made our way to Pinchot. By mile 6, my lungs burned. I’m pretty sure I got a mild form of altitude sickness. Couldn’t drink water most of the day because I was nauseous. Dizzy. Great times! By the time I realized I wasn’t feeling well, we were already pretty far back.

So we camped not far from the Pinchot cabin along the Houston Brothers trail (it’s the one that runs right down the middle of this loop) with plans to hike back down the next day after I recovered. There were no really good camping spots near the trail. Camp in the little meadow by Pinchot or hike off trail out of the canyon to a flat spot.

But the most interesting part was next morning when we ditched the trail system altogether, moving up to road 139A (runs parallel to the Houston Brothers Trail.) We figured a flat road would be easier for me to deal with than a trail that had several ups and downs to go. Even that morning, after waking up feeling much better, any moment I would get out of breath would make me feel sick again.

So 2 hours or so on this road, there was no car or camper in sight. The last person we saw at this point was miles back and that was about 14 hours ago. So as my mother and I hobbled our way down the road…out from the woods darts a HUGE bear. We WERE walking near “Bear Canyon” according to the map…so that was probably a hint. But we still never expected to see one. In all my adventures, I’ve never seen one out here. He didn’t pay much attention to us, but we could not tell where he went once he left the road…and we had to walk next to the section of forest he just ran into. We stayed put for a minute, made some noise in case he was still hanging around(thinking it would scare him off) then made our way down the road. We read all the “what to do”s online about bears and mountain lions. But until you are 50 ft away from a bear bigger than you thought they got in AZ, it’s hard to explain what goes through your brain. Even though we didn’t hear or see anything, I checked around us the whole way back. Now that we are out of the situation, it’s kinda cool that we saw him. He seemed fat and healthy and was super-fast and quiet. It was like he appeared on the road then just vanished. So we’ve named him Gordo the Ghost Bear. And yes, that is an important part of this review.

Eventually made it back to the truck, feeling like this was the first trail in a long time that kicked our backsides. Probably wouldn’t have been as bad if I felt better, but I still think the full loop would have been too much for us.

Pros: Beautiful, good leg workout, you can cut the loop in half by taking Houston Brothers trail, lots of water along the way (if you happen to run out), not a lot of people, bears

Cons: Not good if elevation makes you sick, long, not a lot of people, bears.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Love this trail!

hiking
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We used the General Crook Trail on our loop from Houston Brothers Trail to Fred Haught Trail. I rated this trail 3 stars only because the views right on the rim are beautiful. However the trail itself is very difficult to distinguish on this part of the route. We actually abandoned the trail and followed FR 300 through a majority of the way as it follows along side the trail and is literally on the rim. However, take note that there is a lot of vehicle traffic on FR 300, which was the only bummer on this route.

hiking
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My husband and I hiked this trail this past weekend. The trail itself would have been easy enough to follow, blazes marked the way and the footpath was very distinguishable. Lucky for us, it was also marked with orange flags the entire route for an upcoming trail run event, which made the task of staying on course very easy. However, on a few occasions, without those flags I can imagine it would be difficult to follow the trail, as it creeps in and out of some very dense forestry and tall grasses.
The landscape was beautiful. You pass by Pinchot cabin and Pinchot Spring, both worth a picture or two.
We used Houston Brothers trail to connect to General Crook trail where we camped for the night. The views along General Crook are breathtaking, right on the rim! From there we continued the loop up Fred Haught.
It is also worth a note that we passed by two groups of hikers within the first 45 minutes of our hike. Both groups were returning to the trailhead. And from there we didn't encounter another human soul.

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