Coming from U-Bar Trail #28
, you'll eventually reach the intersection with the Barbershop Trail. Your trail signage gets better from here, but be aware that maps show that this trail is different from what the gps track shows. In addition to signs, there are rock cairns and tree blazes. The trail alternates between trail and short portions of old roads.
Our goal was to camp the first night somewhere near water along the Barbershop Trail. We stopped at the 11.3-mile mark in Barbershop Canyon. The small creek was barely flowing and quite murky, so we filtered and boiled it before drinking.
If you're looking for a good spot to set up camp, look to the trees above the trail and meadow. While there can be lots of elk droppings and a few elk bones up there, we didn't see any the entire trip. If you haven't realized this already, the dense population of trees in the Coconino make it great for the new hammock-tents, so think about picking one up before heading out on your trip.
From Barbershop Canyon, it's a straightforward hike to the junction with the Houston Brothers Trail #171
There is also great camping in open meadows at the Buck Springs Fire Guard Station at the eastern end of the Barbershop Trail. There is a stream there, which may be muddy at times, and an outhouse. Firewood is plentiful. Note that the trail sign where the Barbershop Trail intersects the U-Bar trail is in error. The distance from that intersection to the Buck Springs Cabins is 1.1 miles, not 0.5 miles as the sign says. The trail between the guard station and the U-Bar trail intersection is faint at times, and it suddenly veers off of old roads. Pay attention when following it!