Houston Brothers Trail No. 171


Cabin at Aspen Spring on Houston Brothers Trail (2003)For much of its length the Houston Brothers Trail wanders along the bottom of Houston Draw, a picturesque little valley through which a spring-fed perennial stream flows. The scenery here is mostly pastoral with a few photogenic rock outcrops and aspen groves to remind you that you're in Rim country.

This trail served a number of purposes during a heyday that stretched over most of the first half of this century. The Houston brothers were ranchers who used it for moving livestock from one part of the range to another. The Forest Service used the trail to move fire guards into isolated forest cabins where they were on twenty-four hour duty during times of high fire danger. Evidence of both of these pages out of the trail's history is visible at a number of locations, including a cabin site which Gifford Pinchot, father of the U. S. Forest Service singled out for its peaceful beauty. Today this trail is part of the Cabin Loop trail system, which provides an opportunity for Forest visitors to relive an aspect of Forest history while they enjoy the area's natural beauty.

At a Glance

Open Season: April
Usage: Medium
Closest Towns: Happy Jack, AZ
Operated By: Mogollon Rim District - 928-477-2255

General Information

General Notes:

Rating: Moderate

Hiking time: 3 hours


  • No motor vehicles. Be prepared to follow blazes, the path is faint and hard to see in places.
  • A small stream provides water at one point on this trail.
  • FH 3 (Lake Mary Road) and AZ 87 are paved. FR 95 is graveled and suitable for passenger vehicles except during winter when it is closed.


Location: 65 miles (about 2 hours) south of Flagstaff in the cool pines of Mogollon Rim country.


  • Northern Trailhead: Drive about 55 Miles south of Flagstaff on Forest Highway 3 (Lake Mary Road). Drive north 9 miles on AZ 87 to FR 95. Turn south (right) about 11 miles to FR 139A. Turn left on 139A and go 0.2 (2 tenths) mile to a large trail sign with Fred Haught Trail. Also near the large sign is a small oak sign (on the east side of road) that has Pinchot Cabin on it. Road is obliterated to the cabin but once you hike down to the cabin there are signs with Houston Brothers Trail on them.
  • Southern Trailhead Drive about 55 Miles south of Flagstaff on Forest Highway 3 (Lake Mary Road). Drive north 9 miles on AZ 87 to FR 95. Turn south (right) about 9 miles and turn left on FR 139. Continue 9 more miles on FR 139 and turn right (west) on FR 300. Go 0.1 (1 tenth) mile to Houston Brothers Trailhead sign.

GPS - Northern Trailhead at Pinchot Cabin (Map): 34°30'23.5"N 111°11'40.1"W



Click map thumbnail for a larger view.

Houston Brothers Trail Map Detail map of the Cabin Loop Trail System


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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  Area/Length : 
7 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
7774 at south trailhead