Treehouse Cabin

Total Miles
16.6

Elevation

1337.71 ft

Duration

Hours

Technical Rating

5

Moderate

Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

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Trail Overview

This Jeep trail takes you high into the Dripping Springs Mountains. Tour several mines and visit an old cabin built with a tree through the roof. Distant views of Hayden smelter and tailings piles. We do not know the history of the cabin, but it might have been associated with the New Year Mine because it is close by. We like to start from Highway 77 on the east side of this loop, so this is how the trail is described. It can be driven in either direction, but this gets the bumpy part out of the way first and the trip home at the end is on a graded road. Note: There is a gate on the west graded road leg of this trail. We have not found it to be locked, but it is always possible. You might think about starting on this end to see if the gate is locked. Unless you enjoy running a trail backward the same day. The first part of the run alongside O'Carroll Canyon has a few eroded spots and rocky areas to add a bit of interest. The main trail goes straight through to the cabin, but the route featured on this website turns off and follows less used roads up loose rocky climbs to high spots with great views in all directions. Continue on the less-used road and head for the cabin. Look east to see where the Gila River comes down from the San Carlos Reservoir. Leave the cabin, drop down into a wash then climb to a ridge above the San Bernardo jr Mine. There is a short spur to the remains of a headframe and the entrance to a vertical shaft. It is a long way down. Drive a short loop for great views of Highway 77, then drop downhill by entrances to many shafts of the San Bernardo Jr Mine. The one pictured is the fourth one you will come to. Continue down on your way to the Chilito Mine. There is a ledge with veins of chrysocolla and azurite just as you reach the upper limits of Chilito Mine. There are many small pieces throughout the tailings. Chilto Mine road takes you to around 2,500 feet in about 3 miles. With great views of the valley, you start in. The bonus is that it gets a little tougher at the Chilito Mine area, with several roads to explore in the area. Be sure to get a State Trust Permit as there are some areas that are on State Trust land.Visit in the spring to see brilliant displays of brittlebush. There is a semi-graded road from the core shack to Highway 177. This is the road with the gate

Difficulty

Intermediate

Technical Rating

5