Hiking to Rickey Cabin

Back in October we decided to go to the Sonora Junction area to see some of the Fall colors in the mountains. Since we didn’t have a lot of time that day, we picked the elusive Rickey Cabin as a destination. The cabin is not far from the Molybdenite Canyon Trailhead at the Obsidian Campground, but I had never really figured out how to get there on previous outings in the area.

Hike to Rickey Cabin
Molybdenite Canyon Trail

With the cabin as our specific destination this time, I had its map coordinates plugged into my GPS. We started up the Molybdenite Canyon Trail as usual, but this time I paid close attention to where the map showed trails leading off southwest and west to the cabin. No real trace of either trail could be found on the ground, though.

Hike to Rickey Cabin
Molybdenite Creek

Near where the map shows the southerly route to the cabin, we began hiking a cross-country route where the Molybdenite Canyon Trail enters a grove of pine trees. Instead of hiking where the GPS said the trail should be, we followed the path of least resistance. It’s a maze of thick brush in this area.

Hike to Rickey Cabin
Cross-Country Route

Hike to Rickey Cabin
Backtracking from the Spring

We finally got to a meadow east of the cabin that provided easy hiking. On the west side of the meadow, we entered a grove of trees by the spring. This turned out to be a poor route. In addition to getting wet boots trying to cross the spring, we got walled up in the aspens. The cabin was just a stone’s throw away, but we could neither see it, nor did it look easily accessible without crawling through thick trees, downfall, and brush.

Rickey Cabin
Rickey Cabin

Hike to Rickey Cabin
Another view

We backtracked to the meadow, then went north just a bit more. From there we found access to Rickey Cabin, located just into the aspens. It’s a small dwelling, a bit drafty, but otherwise mostly intact. The interior is full of junk and rodent evidence, so we only entered as far as the doorway. It’s not a place you’d want to go in unless you were seeking emergency shelter. Nearby to the south is a little outhouse. A trail left the cabin uphill to the west, but it soon fizzled out. The cabin may have once had a better view, but is now rather concealed in the trees.

We attempted to find the trail leaving the cabin to the northeast, but there was no trace of it on this end either. More bushwhacking ensued until we were able to rejoin the Molybdenite Canyon Trail. From there it was an easy walk back to the car. I estimate our hike was about three miles, but it was slow going with the cross-country hiking.

Hike to Rickey Cabin
Leaving the cabin to the northeast

Hike to Rickey Cabin
Almost back to the Molybdenite Canyon Trail

Hike to Rickey Cabin
Hiking Out

Video from the hike

The Aspens were already past their peak Fall colors, but we had a great hike anyhow. Finding Rickey Cabin was a fun navigational challenge, almost like finding a Geocache. It’s more of a one-time destination, though, once you’ve seen it. It’s not real easy to access, and not really on the way to see something else either. I could not find any history of the cabin, but being nearby the big meadow, I would guess that it belonged to a sheep or cattle herder. Further up Molybdenite Canyon is McMillan Cabin. This may be another fun site to find. I’ve passed by this site as well, but didn’t see it from the trail.


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