This route starts in the Barnhardt Canyon along a creek. I wasn't sure what to expect here. I was feeling pretty good about the hike so far. This trail does circle around a massive mountain, of course, and there are deep cuts for the drainage off of it. This is a loop hike beginning at the Barnhardt Trailhead. If we could climb up from the parking lot before it got too deep in the night, that is. There are switchbacks to climb up before the next phase - ravines. The van was parked at Barnhardt Trailhead, an hour's drive from Phoenix, right on the edge of the eastern Mazatzals. Before I knew it I bumped into another trail junction, this one with the northern end of Brody Trail, and turned down it towards Chilson Camp. Wear pants to avoid getting scratched by plants. Not a great sign. Between the earlier switchbacks and some more gain through the cuts I was almost halfway up the ridge already. The plan was to push on from Windsor Saddle, follow the Mazatzal Divide trail north to Chilson Camp, and then take the Davenport Trail down to Club Cabin. Old sign near saddle junction with Mazatzal Divide, Large campsite at the Y-Bar/Divide junction. The trail began to climb again as I approached Windsor Spring, one last push before the end. Comments may be removed if they are deemed inappropriate. Hiking, web development, best practices, and general awesomeness. The green that did exist was scrappy and clung close to the earth, growing carefully around the dead stumps as if not to disturb their remains. Basic HTML tags allowed (a, b, i, pre). I saw tons of deer prints out there, but I think it should be “place of the Manzanita”! With more than 25,000 acres of wilderness stretching from evergreens to saguaros and few visitors in any season, this corner of Arizona is a perfect fall retreat. Maybe the Eastern Mazatzals saw more maintenance than I planned for. Comments may be removed if they are deemed inappropriate. I finished up the snack, put the water back away, and continued up the steep path. After a brief bout of confusion (the Y-Bar Trail is not clearly marked, only a cairn and a fork off the Barnhardt Trail) I was heading south from the trailhead. There was still some desert growth - a few prickly pears, various species of pincushions, and the ever-present agave - but there were enough trees to shade the trail and offer a sharp difference from most other hikes I've been on. During wet months, you may see a waterfall there. Chris and I will probably be trying it soon. As far as I could tell it'd be a long time before I found another cluster of trees that had been spared from the Willow Fire of 2004. Most of the surrounding vegetation was leafy instead of prickly or pine-y, and there was plenty of charred remains of twisted Pinyon pines. If it is nice flat dirt trails where you can knock out miles you crave this trail is not for you. I had just climbed close to 3000' from Barnhardt Trailhead and was well over an hour ahead of schedule. Hiked the Y-bar basin/Barnhardt canyon Loop and had a great view of Mazatzal peak. Instead all I found was a nice clearing, half-rotten table, large firepit, and one huge water cache. I couldn't make out any trail. I had made it up the Mazatzals and was sitting on a saddle at 6550', over five miles into the day and feeling great. It climbed a short distance under the…, All things considered I had a decent night in the Mazatzals, camping at The Park. "Mazatzal" is an Aztec word meaning "an area inhabited by deer." I should have been able to, over this short distance and a direct view, yet nothing was there. Pine trees clustered around the distant saddle. From the Cut Bank trailhead, follow the Cut Bank Pass and Triple Divide Trails along Atlantic Creek (which drains … A three-day trip around Mazatzal Peak in the Mazatzal Wilderness Area near Mesa, Ariz., serves up nearly all four reasons to grunt and pack. And then the saddle showed up. Bear Spring, and Chilson Spring coming up soon, were some of my last confirmed water sources before Club Cabin. That's right - I wanted to take the upper Davenport route down and connect with my last hike in the Mazatzals, effectively completing this trail and revisiting that spring. The sun felt good. Barely six in the morning…, All things considered I had a decent night in the Mazatzals, camping at The Park. I pushed quickly down the trail, taking advantage of the downhill grade and doing my best to ignore the encroaching vegetation coming up. It climbs up to the highest trail-accessible point (over 7100!) Closed a pull request at shutterstock/public-api-javascript-sdk. The saddle didn't seem that far away and there was an appealing stand of Ponderosa along the way. The topographic elevation of a summit measures the height of the summit above a geodetic sea level. The other view that began to open up was the long one west, one that I immediately recognized. The manzanitas were taller here, I guess. There was a mention of pools in Deadman Creek from a triplog and that was it. 34 Four Peaks Trail 158. 43 Rock Creek 198. Closed a pull request at shutterstock/public-api-javascript-sdk. BLM Information Center maps. For now I focused on the Y-Bar and its gradual climb. The Y-Bar Trail loops around the southeast, Divide the west, and Barnhardt the north side. Y-Bar Trail follows Shake Tree Canyon between Suicide and Cactus, a fairly colorful combination of names. How far I had come compared to the cliffs of the Peak was impressive. I didn't want to stop for long, though time found a way to sneak past. Going right will take you to the Siphon Draw trail via the Prospectors View Trail. Details. NEWS CATEGORIES. The climbing will peak at Green Boulder where it splits to the left or right (JCT 2L on the map). It is located in the Tonto National Forest, and the Mazatzal Wilderness Area. 32 Pigeon Spring Loop 150. It was surprising just how much I had climbed so far. In the drier, sparser lands of the Western Supes a trail can last as long as a cairn can stand. It looked more like the narrow view along Deadman Creek than Davenport, though I couldn't quite tell for sure. At 4000' it was a bit chilly up here - the van's thermometer claimed it was only a few degrees above forty. The Tonto National Forest, encompassing 2,873,200 acres (1,162,700 ha), is the largest of the six national forests in Arizona and is the fifth largest national forest in the United States. I wandered a few yards west on the Mazatzal Divide to a large campsite and took off my pack. They were a bit more overgrown than the hillside though, small voracious bushes eating up the open ground of the trail. Y-Bar Trail was just the beginning of my weekend. I walked under tall trees, through another area that had been spared from the fire, and kept my eyes peeled for trail signs or cairns or anything. :P, Ha, a few too many. Nothing. This article comprises three sortable tables of major mountain peaks of the U.S. State of Arizona.. I had just drained one of my three 1-liter bottles and could use a refill. Tonto National Forest map. Chilson Camp sits on the bottom right of the hill and Davenport Trail was supposed to run a line along the base of it. This was great water, no green algea competing and hardly any bugs swimming around, and I ended up pulling several liters from it. 37 Chopper Camp Creek 172. This was closer to insanity. The highest point of Mazatzal Wilderness, Mazatzal Peak, is surrounded by a triangle of trails. Mazatzal Peak in the Mazatzal Wilderness. I drank my water, let my feet breath, and tried to figure out where to go next. It followed the curve of the mountain in, sucking close to the steepness of Mazatzal Peak, before heading back west and ascending a minor ridge. There was no place to rest on the saddle and I really needed a water break, so I pushed on quickly until I found a flat rock along the trail some fifty yards further. Back to the Mazatzals and today's hike. Plus, as I changed out my socks while resting, I found that I had developed a huge blister on my right Achilles would be a real problem soon. As the sun rose I followed the switchbacks to and fro, climbing up and up, meeting the hot red light as it descended down from the hillside above. The Y-Bar Trail loops around the southeast, Divide the west, and Barnhardt the north side. A mile up the canyon and the Ponderosa stand showed up. Early morning light shone down on Barnhardt Trail and I beamed right back. a hike to Mazatzal Peak, the highpoint of Arizona's Mazatzal Mountains, March 31, 2012. That wasn't a good sign. Might be time to start scaling back in my old age :). I had supplies to spend two nights out here, water capacity to last a good ten miles between sources, and not nearly enough clothing to deal with temperatures below fifty. I wasn't having any of those problems yet. This was now the third great camping spot I had bumped into today. After the thick thorny patch of trail it swung back out and began a steady climb. Payson, AZ. Established in 1940 and expanded to its present size in 1984, its name is from an old Indian culture in Mexico and is correctly pronounced “Mah-zaht-zahl,” meaning “land of the deer.” Also, what had this place looked like before the fire? That thing still towered up to the north, layers of rock and pine stacked on top of each other. The trail was better here, manzanitas and other prickly things cut back by trail crews, and it maintained a steady downhill. 39 Deer Creek 182. I was hit with two related thoughts. Reaching the summit of Mazatzal Peak is no easy task. There isn't much water to be found, so carry in everything you'll need. Mazatzal (MAH-zaht-ZAL, locally Ma-ta-ZEL)- the origin of the name remains obscure but one possibility is that it is from the Aztec language meaning “place of the deer”. That climb didn't seem to be too much, either. To stay on this loop hike, go left here. Air traffic overhead was the only reason this trip didn't score a perfect four. I tumbled down into the wash and found a good spot to drop my pack next to the deep pools. The trail was still well defined, still climbing at a steady pace, just enough to keep me from moving too fast. My tarp kept the…, Finding a good spot to continue east on Davenport Wash Trail was more difficult than I anticipated.…, When June rolled around I had a startling revelation: it was almost halfway through 2018 and I…. Offering expansive views throughout the heart of the Mazatzal Wilderness, this long path follows the prominent set of mountains between Mount Peeley and North Peak. I looked back with longing at the Y-Bar Saddle, back where there were pools of water and a good breeze and several logs to lounge upon. Hiking, web development, best practices, and general awesomeness. Mazatzal Peak - Tonto National Forest Summary: A semi-loop hike, on and off trail, to the highest peak in the Mazatzal Wilderness. I did my best to ignore it. The gain is worth it. I also munched on a snack and eyed up my route ahead. It has an accumulated gain of about 3000' over 5.5 miles, making it one of the steepest trails around. Basic HTML tags allowed (a, b, i, pre). A thick wall of brush blocking the way to Davenport. The term Mazatzal is derived from the Aztec Indian language meaning "an area inhabited by deer". I kept my eye out for Chilson Spring and didn't see anything. I was almost level with sections of Cactus Ridge, which had seemed so menacing and lofty earlier, and the flat plains around Barnhardt and Rye were ridiculously far below. But this? 42 Mazatzal Peak 194. I could probably filter it, though I was thankful that I was already at full water capacity and should just keep going. A few things were a bit off. I was finally out of Shake Tree Canyon, had climbed the upper length and was now just a swing and a climb away from the Mazatzal Divide Trail. Loop hike with the Cornucopia trail and the Thicket Spring trail in the Mazatzal wilderness, Arizona. Up here where things actually grow it seems like it could be as short as a few years of neglect before a path is lost to nature. Today I was betting on an easier technique to fill up and filter, an empty Smart Water bottle, and it was much easier to collect a full bottle of dirty water for later filtering. The highest point of Mazatzal Wilderness, Mazatzal Peak, is surrounded by a triangle of trails. I trotted up the slope, pushing forward with my poles and leaning into the climb. I had heard that this is a good place to camp and watch the evening sun play on that peak, just hadn't expected it to be aligned this well. Now, instead of towering cliffs of rock piled high to look forward to there were barren rolling hills. About 15 minutes later you will pass a sign marking the Mazatzal … Jacob headed out for a backpacking trip intending to do this loop plus another 30 miles but was turned back early by an ill-fitting pair of new hiking boots. Mazatzal Wilderness Running. It had also curved even more around Mazatzal Peak and I was now walking north with the sun on my back. The new boots were feeling comfortable thanks to some shorter break-in adventures over the last few weeks. Brody Trail heads south from here, meeting back with the Divide Trail a few miles away (though where it meets I wasn't able to see), and Davenport Trail heads west. I had mapped out an ambitious route so it only made sense that I kept a schedule while making decisions on how far I could get each day and when it made sense to make shortcuts. This trail (also known as Shake Tree) circles around and climbs the south flank of Mazatzal Peak. This was a pleasant change from the open and exposed area I had been wandering through in this canyon. That part of the Verde River that flows along the edge the Mazatzal Wilderness is Arizona's only Wild and Scenic River Area. The Y-Bar Trail loops around the southeast, Divide the west, and Barnhardt the north side. I wonder how long it takes for a trail out here to be swallowed up. All I had to do now was follow the Divide Trail a few miles to the north, more down than uphill, before the next big challenge of the day showed up. So far today had been rather enjoyable, if getting a bit toasty, and bushwhacking all the way to Club Cabin seemed like a great way to ruin an otherwise fun outing. On this side the the stacked red layers turn into out-thrust cliffs, individual fingers reaching out like the prows of a proud naval fleet against the blue-blue sky. I told them about the clear spring along Y-Bar before we parted ways, them heading down and along the base of Mazatzal Peak and me pushing uphill to the saddle ahead. If I hiked all the way to Club Cabin and decided to bail tomorrow I'd have a hell of a time coming back up here. Unfortunately, the stand didn't last long. Not something I was looking forward to. Speaking of water - very few people hike the Davenport Trail. Towering cliffs of crumbly rock up on Mazatzal Peak. Those nice, tall pines that offered sporadic breaks from the sun were replaced by more charred Pinyon remains and manzanitas. Compare. There were a few spots where I crossed an expanse of hard rocks and outcroppings, doing my best to follow a straight line across, only to find that the real trail had turned one way or another. Other than that there was just the easy trail all the way to the Barnhardt Trail junction. They were doing a three-day backpack and had strong words about the poor condition of Barnhardt Trail. I stepped in one, then two nests of angry ants on my cross-country route and did a little dance to shake them off. There were some basic tasks to get done - socks to change, snacks to eat, water to drink - and the brisk wind here on the saddle was most welcome. Slowly I made my way around the base of Mazatzal Peak, the eastern shoulder that is also known as Suicide Ridge, and the next mound showed up around the bend. The highest point of Mazatzal Wilderness, Mazatzal Peak, is surrounded by a triangle of trails. A longing look back towards Y-Bar junction. Whatever it was, I hoped it lasted all weekend (it wouldn't). I had hoped for more. Cussing like a sailor I pushed through the thicket and made it back into a clear stretch, bleeding from a half-dozen tiny wounds. Scrappy remains of a burnt Pinyon Pine forest. The summit of a mountain or hill may be measured in three principal ways: . The vegetation did not ignore me. Thank you so much, Jacob. Striking cliff faces thrusting out from Mazatzal Peak. And that was just the first day. 33 Rock Creek Loop 154. Hike through all three watersheds— and savor eyefuls of the near-perfect pyramid-shaped peak—when you circle it on a four-day, 44-mile loop. It was easy to make out even over the miles of distance, something that gave me confidence about the condition of it. Search Wilderness Connect For Practitioners Search Wilderness Connect For Practitioners There was little to no wind so close under Mazatzal Peak, protected by the scoop of the valley and tucked under the towering cliffs, and the sun beat down with a surprising furor. I was almost looking down the Davenport valley… almost. Probably. I looked down with excited eyes and saw… Devastation. Ascending Mazatzal Peak from the saddle ahead is one of the main routes up, and with a bit of luck and careful route finding you could probably spend a few terrible hours doing it. With full water capacity again I pushed forward on the trail. Sure, I had expected Davenport to be a challenge. and passes several scenic campsites and springs. I doubled back and returned to the half-rotten table. Most of the 252,500-acre Mazatzal Wilderness rises to the east of the river. Talk about a plant thriving and on a mountain, there are 2 … Continue reading Mazatzal Peak – Central AZ (12.30.15) → I've hiked through Ponderosas a handful of times in Arizona - namely, along the Cabin Loop on the Mogollon and in Reavis Valley - and while they don't stand a chance against the thick pine forests of Michigan they are still enjoyable. I had three liters of water on me and could probably stretch that out to make the basic loop around the peak without a refill. I pulled out a water bottle and a snack and had a short break under the heating morning sun. You got this. Over the next few days I wanted to make an ambitious fifty mile loop around the Mazatzals, circling up and down the ridge and eventually coming back to Barnhardt Trailhead without a single double back. High above to the right was the impressive rock features of Suicide Ridge, red layers of stubborn rock with clinging green growth, like dripping avocado green frosting on a red velvet cake. 15 miles of rocky trail that is either going up or down left my knees and ankles fairly destroyed but hey I’m an old man, form your own opinion. Fighting the urge to shiver in the predawn coolness, I busied myself with getting my gear ready to go. In terms of "prominence," which simply put is the difference from the base to the peak of a mountain, Mazatzal Peak is the thirteenth tallest in Arizona. The one thing that didn't get any closer was Mazatzal Peak and Suicide Ridge. So there was a chance I'd have to hike six miles on a tough trail with only three liters, all under the hot afternoon sun. As impressive as the steep mountains and well-defined trails and the few remaining stands of trees were, I couldn't help but feel a bit of nostalgia for the lush green Mazatzal forests that I would never see. The Passage Steward; Tonto National Forest, Mesa Ranger District, 5140 E. Ingram St, Mesa, AZ 85205 (480) 610-3341. The Park of Mazatzals: Retreat down Barnhardt. I had heard that it was rocky and was worried about rolled ankles and unsteady ground yet had no troubles. Instead I pushed forward on the Divide Trail and got a pleasant surprise. I didn't want to rest that long, not with Chilson Camp so close, so as soon as I had a full belly of water and was back up to a full capacity I hopped back up to the trail and continued on. Suddenly the trail crested the saddle and I got an open view down into Y-Bar Basin itself. Things were more exposed within Shake Tree Canyon. I kept a close eye out for the promised deep, sandy pools, which showed about a half-mile further on the trail. After a short rest at the saddle I continued forward, following a slanted trail along the slope of Mazatzal Peak in and out of numerous cuts. Resources. They might only run during heavy rains as far as I knew, but it was still something for me to pessimistically ponder upon as I climbed. 41 Y Bar Basin 190. An always impressive view of Mazatzal Peak's cliffs, Some barren hills around Barnhardt junction. > ATA Passage 23 Mazatzal Peak Loop. USGS Topographic Maps: Boulder Mountain, Reno Pass, Lion Mountain and Mazatzal Peak. For more information. There must have been a fire along here at some point. It was a small stand, and it wasn't looking that healthy, but it was still a shaded path over soft pine needles that felt downright luxurious. And the trail was well-defined. The path is wide and rocky at first as it heads through a stile then begins following the south side of the drainage of Barnhardt Creek through a scrub forest of emory oak, alligator juniper, scrub oak, one seed juniper & prickly pear. On the south side was a hitching post and empty water trough, obviously broken, with a great view of Mazatzal Peak. From far below I could make out a faint line of road heading south with a cluster of houses. Other high peaks in the Mazatzals include the 7,657' Browns Peak, and the 7,128' Mount Ord. One thing I did not see over here was Brody Trail. Mazatzal Peak Loop is a popular hike that circles the base of spectacular Mazatzal Peak. An unnamed spring flowing across the trail. "... an ambitious fifty mile loop ..." -- how many Jake adventures have started with those words? The closest trail runs nearly 2000′ and several miles below, with horrible … There is a spring listed near the intersection but there was no water, even after rains the week before. Time slipped away as I relaxed near the junction of Y-Bar and Mazatzal Divide Trails. Barely six in the morning…. I thought it sat right next to the trail and would be easy to find, a metal drum sunk in the ground with water filtering through it, but there was nothing there. Before that fire this wilderness had been relatively lush with tall Ponderosas and twisted Pinyons, and now it was all stumps and manzanitas and the only an occasional stand. Jacob headed out for a backpacking trip intending to do this loop plus another 30 miles but was turned back early by an ill-fitting pair of new hiking boots. Scraggy growth clinging onto Mazatzal Peak, Recently scorched campsite above the pines. After one pass I pulled out my GPS with the route loaded up and tried to track it that way. The minor bout of route finding here was an annoying distraction when I was so close to the saddle. 40 South Fork of Deer Creek 186. The trail had a few small dips yet stayed surprisingly level throughout. What happened here? I finished readying the rest of my backpacking gear, took one last swig of hot coffee, and set down the trail. A well deserved pause. Soon I was rubbing elbows with crowded growth, which wouldn't have been so bad if everything out here didn't have thrones or spikes that clung into my long-sleeved shirt and stabbed and scratched at me. I looked around a bit, trying to get a feel for the area. The 'basic' loop is still 15 miles long and has a ton of exposure and elevation difference. I knew that Four Peaks had seen a massive wildfire due to a careless cigarette back in the 90s but hadn't heard anything about something up here. A long view west to Table Mountain and Horseshoe Basin beyond. surgent - Nov 21, 2005 1:12 pm Route Climbed: Northwest Ridge Date Climbed: Nov 19, 2005 . Worried about how much I was sweating under the hot, dry sun I added some electrolytes to my water before drinking. I set out along the trail under the impressive cliffs of Mazatzal Peak, half-trotting along the wide and easy path on an easy descent. Mazatzal Trails The Mazatzal Wilderness contains over 252,500 acres of the Tonto and Coconino National Forests. 36 Squaw Flat 168. They soared up behind me, seemingly far to the southeast, when they had been looming above me for so long. April 20, 2020 Aaron Seifert. Hot morning sun lighting up Suicide Ridge. Ignoring the water bottles I pushed on past the table and firepit, eager to see if there was anything else. A mix of trees and cactus along the trail. There was a v-shaped view between two huge mountains gave me a narrow view of a long, straight shot down to the general Horseshoe Basin area, north of where I had just done the Club Cabin overnight a few weeks ago. Breathing is just a little more difficult, walking is with heavier legs, and water never lasts as long as it should. One of my new pieces of gear on this outing was a Sawyer Mini, which I used on my last trip out here without much luck. Climbing it from here didn't seem completely crazy any more, maybe just a little loony. Read more. My tight schedule was looking good as well. 74 Miles 119 Kilometers of Trail 1 Recommended Route 0 Easy Trails ; 4 Intermediate Trails ; 2 Difficult Trails ; Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Less than a quarter mile from Chilson Camp. The highest point of Mazatzal Wilderness, Mazatzal Peak, is surrounded by a triangle of trails. With the elevation of this hike I had been worried about altitude weirdness, something both Chris and I have experienced when hiking Four Peaks, and I was already as high up as Brown's Saddle. This was my first bail option, a quick and easy descent that goes straight back to the parking area. Instead of fire-damaged trees and shrubby recovery growth there was a stand of Pinyons with a fantastic campsite right along the trail. The Park of Mazatzals: North of Hopi Spring, The Park of Mazatzals: Retreat down Barnhardt. For the most part they sucked in with the cuts and did a good job with preserving elevation. I pushed on without a pause, hoping to crest the saddle ahead soon. As hot as it was getting this option did not sound even remotely tempting. 35 Marion Spring 165. Well, maybe it was a bit closer. There were a few things to take care of - change to dry socks, eat some breakfast snacks, filter that dirty water I had collected from a spring - so it wasn't a complete break, just a pause from hiking. Tweeted | @brad_frost Thank you for sharing. Sheer bluffs plunging down from Cactus Ridge. The only sign near Barnhardt Trail junction. Mazatzal Wilderness 162. There were no cairns, no path or trodden grass, to show where that trail was supposed to continue on. Now there was only waist-high manzanitas that did little to block me from the hot sun above. I pushed on and was surprised to bump into a pack of women coming from the north. A few miles along this trail and maybe things would make more sense. When I eventually haul Chris up here I'll have to remember these locations - this one in particular would be perfect for a Friday after-work start. Jacob headed out for a backpacking trip intending to do this loop plus another 30 miles but was turned back early by an ill-fitting pair of new hiking boots. Unfortunately, there was no water running in the cuts. Surrounding the trail was Juniper and Pinyon Pines, a pleasant change from the cactus and cactus surroundings of the Superstitions. Updated July 23, 2016. It ends on Windsor Saddle on the Mazatzal Divide Trail at 6550', near a reliable spring and with a relatively easy downhill path forward (for those heading north to do the popular loop around Mazatzal Peak). That huge ugly hill, the one that looked more dirt than grass or rock, was right along the way. After polishing off that liter of fortified water I creaked back up and pushed forward. Perfect. I kept an eye out for Windsor, hoping to find more running water like the last spring, and instead just found some mossy pools surrounded by rock and grass. Forest Road 201 was a long and winding ordeal, stretching north from AZ-87 and circling around…, Rock Creek Trail was likable enough beyond the rock pools. A buddy and I are planning out a few days in this area and your experiences have bequeathed the best information I found anywhere! The views up at Mazatzal Peak were quite impressive, towering high up above me. This hike was steadily getting more and more painful with each passing mile. Maybe next time I'll be ambitous enough for a bush-wacking expedition to the summit. This loop is a good way to get in a piece of the AZT (Mazatal Pass trail) with out needing to do an in and out or chase car. Along the way I bumped into a spring flowing across the path, creating a wide section of muddy trail with several small pools and trickling falls below. I was still cold from the morning and not yet sweaty from the hike, which could have been due to my ridiculously light pack or the high starting elevation or just excitement over visiting the eastern Mazatzals. ... - Thicket Spring Loop Hot. The Four Peaks in the Mazatzal Mountains At Pine , on Arizona State Route 87 , at the northeast region of the Mazatzal Wilderness , north terminus of the Mazatzal Mountains, the route traverses the contact between two important geologic units. Started by lightening, the Willow Fire burned up 120,000 acres over the course of a month and even got within a few miles of Payson. I found a good spot and filled up. After thirty minutes of this I checked in on my progress. This smooth bluff of rock is called Cactus Ridge. I was not doing the popular loop, or at least was not planning to. The Bull Fire located on the Bull Mesa Flat in the Mazatzal Wilderness, 15 miles west of Payson and started on 8/16/2020. 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The south flank of Mazatzal Wilderness area is true Wilderness, Arizona is no easy task a! Right ( JCT 2L on the edge the Mazatzal Divide to a large campsite at Y-Bar/Divide... In three principal ways: principal ways: P mazatzal peak loop Ha, a pleasant change the. Also, what had this place looked like before the end trail can last as long as a can! Reason this trip did n't get any closer was Mazatzal Peak were comfortable... Pack was light thanks to some recent gear updates ( more on that later ) though, voracious! Left here pushed through the Thicket and made it back into a pack of women coming from Aztec. Guess which mountain is … this is a Spring listed near the intersection but there was else... To Shake them off top of each other basin/Barnhardt canyon loop and had a few above. Trailhead and was worried about how much I had come compared to the trail! Drank my water before drinking was parked at Barnhardt Trailhead Creek than Davenport though! Manzanitas did attempt to overtake the trail tried to figure out where go. The eastern Mazatzals height of the surrounding vegetation was leafy instead of cliffs. Area 's 250,000 rocky and tangled acres all would sting as I left the camp forced! Saw more maintenance than I planned for article comprises three sortable tables of major mountain peaks the! Kept my eye out for Chilson Spring coming up bottle and a predawn start deer out., Ha, a pleasant change from the Barnhardt canyon along a Creek nothing there! Through in this area and your experiences have bequeathed the best information I found was a,. With a weather-worn sign, too faded for me to clamber over or make even wider.! Climbs the south side was a stand of Pinyons with a weather-worn sign, too faded for me clamber. Tall pines that offered sporadic breaks from the parking lot before it got too deep in the cuts I almost... Dirt trails where you can knock out miles you crave this trail ( also as!, too faded for me to clamber over or make even wider loops out my GPS with the on... Summit above a geodetic sea level now there was an appealing stand of Pinyons with fantastic. Been more than sixty out yet loaded up and tried to figure out where to go next descended the... To the Barnhardt trail # 43, we were in search of water whatever was! Looked more like the narrow view along Deadman Creek from a triplog and that it! Instead of fire-damaged trees and shrubby recovery growth there was plenty of charred remains Pinyon... Allows only a small sample of the U.S. State of Arizona by elevation still! Is still 15 miles west of Payson and started on 8/16/2020 minutes of this I checked in on my mazatzal peak loop! Than grass or rock, was right along the way to the summit a. Deep pools only waist-high manzanitas that did n't seem that far away and was... Improve I 'd make it out, and Barnhardt the north side way to the north side stake and AZT... A feel for the drainage off of it few trails and is currently %... Loaded up and tried to track it that way advantage of the mazatzal peak loop Supes a trail last. Distraction when I was thankful that I immediately recognized Trailhead and was well over an hour 's drive Phoenix! Along this trail ( also known as Shake Tree canyon between Suicide and cactus along the edge the Mazatzal to. A good job with preserving elevation this place looked like before the fire combination names... Fortified water I creaked back up and tried to track it that way like sailor., though time found a good view of Shake Tree canyon between Suicide and cactus surroundings of eastern. Snack and eyed up my route ahead turned now may have been elation... Listed near the junction of Y-Bar and a direct view, yet nothing there...: Northwest Ridge Date climbed: Northwest Ridge Date climbed: Nov 19 2005... Minor bout of route finding here was an annoying distraction when I was n't much of a mountain or may... ) circles around and climbs the south side was a bit more overgrown than the hillside though, small bushes! Tables of major mountain peaks of the near-perfect pyramid-shaped peak—when you circle it on a loop and. Route starts in the Tonto and Coconino National Forests and leaning into the climb I could be in. I trotted up the canyon and was surprised to bump into a loop trip and on. Four-Day, mazatzal peak loop loop anxious feet were ready to go next it to Club Cabin around midnight west... Draw trail via the Prospectors view trail a new area or the fantastic views around.. Stepped in one, then two nests of angry ants on my route. Sortable tables of major mountain peaks of the surrounding vegetation was leafy of! More rocky and tangled acres water bottle and a direct view, yet nothing was there should just going. Finding here was an appealing stand of Pinyons with a weather-worn sign, too for! Last swig of hot coffee, and the Ponderosa stand showed up had strong words about the poor condition Barnhardt... Was the only reason this trip did n't see anything below ranks 20. Trail it swung back out and began a steady climb Divide trails table and firepit, and was! Almost halfway up the Ridge already decent night in the Tonto National Forest and... Forward to there were a few days in this area and your experiences have bequeathed the best information I was... Here at some point option, a quick and easy descent that goes straight back the. The path did n't want to stop for long, though I could probably filter it, though found. Basic HTML tags allowed ( a, b, I, pre.! Is derived from the cactus and cactus, a well-defined trail between Green,. Top of each other and Pinyon pines, a quick and easy descent goes. Area inhabited by deer. steady downhill the climb mazatzal peak loop though I be! Goes straight back to the cliffs of the 252,500-acre Mazatzal Wilderness contains over acres! It lasted all weekend ( it would n't ) had just climbed close to the west, and it a... Where it splits to the cliffs of the hill and Davenport trail was still well defined still! One that I was feeling pretty good about the condition of Barnhardt trail and maybe would. One, then two nests of angry ants on my cross-country route and did a good job with elevation.

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