and passes several scenic campsites and springs. BLM Information Center maps. 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. I kept my eye out for Chilson Spring and didn't see anything. I was feeling pretty good about the hike so far. Thank you so much, Jacob. The Mazatzal Wilderness Area is true wilderness, once you leave the area of the Barnhardt Mesa parking lot. A long view west to Table Mountain and Horseshoe Basin beyond. This smooth bluff of rock is called Cactus Ridge. That pack of women from earlier today had mentioned this campsite and also a nearby Bear Spring, which was not marked on my map. I pushed quickly down the trail, taking advantage of the downhill grade and doing my best to ignore the encroaching vegetation coming up. Reaching the summit of Mazatzal Peak is no easy task. This route starts in the Barnhardt Canyon along a creek. I had two liters of water, more than enough to last me until Chilson Camp some four or so miles away, as long as I didn't dawdle or sip it away. 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. A longing look back towards Y-Bar junction. With full water capacity again I pushed forward on the trail. It was surprising just how much I had climbed so far. USGS Topographic Maps: Boulder Mountain, Reno Pass, Lion Mountain and Mazatzal Peak. Details. 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. I had just drained one of my three 1-liter bottles and could use a refill. The Y-Bar Trail loops around the southeast, Divide the west, and Barnhardt the north side. From the Cut Bank trailhead, follow the Cut Bank Pass and Triple Divide Trails along Atlantic Creek (which drains … I had heard that it was rocky and was worried about rolled ankles and unsteady ground yet had no troubles. This trail (also known as Shake Tree) circles around and climbs the south flank of Mazatzal Peak. Closed a pull request at shutterstock/public-api-javascript-sdk. 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. 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”. I looked around a bit, trying to get a feel for the area. The vegetation did not ignore me. 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. After polishing off that liter of fortified water I creaked back up and pushed forward. 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. 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. It was easy to make out even over the miles of distance, something that gave me confidence about the condition of it. Y-Bar Trail was just the beginning of my weekend. That huge ugly hill, the one that looked more dirt than grass or rock, was right along the way. It climbs up to the highest trail-accessible point (over 7100!) The Park of Mazatzals: North of Hopi Spring, The Park of Mazatzals: Retreat down Barnhardt. Hiking, web development, best practices, and general awesomeness. 38 Mazatzal Divide Trail 176. 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. The gain is worth it. Most of the 252,500-acre Mazatzal Wilderness rises to the east of the river. Sheer bluffs plunging down from Cactus Ridge. The Y-Bar Trail loops around the southeast, Divide the west, and Barnhardt the north side. Even the temps were cooperating - it couldn't have been more than sixty out yet. This is a loop hike beginning at the Barnhardt Trailhead. I tumbled down into the wash and found a good spot to drop my pack next to the deep pools. Other high peaks in the Mazatzals include the 7,657' Browns Peak, and the 7,128' Mount Ord. Climbing it from here didn't seem completely crazy any more, maybe just a little loony. There were a few tricky parts to the trail here. ... - Thicket Spring Loop Hot. It may have been the elation of visiting a new area or the fantastic views around me. During wet months, you may see a waterfall there. 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. And that was just the first day. 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. There wasn't much of a drop or climb on these. There was a mention of pools in Deadman Creek from a triplog and that was it. 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. Hiking, web development, best practices, and general awesomeness. > ATA Passage 23 Mazatzal Peak Loop. Other than that there was just the easy trail all the way to the Barnhardt Trail junction. I drank my water, let my feet breath, and tried to figure out where to go next. Mazatzal Peak Loop is a popular hike that circles the base of spectacular Mazatzal Peak. Speaking of this trail - it was hot. Sure, I had expected Davenport to be a challenge. The sun felt good. Other features found on this map include: Coconino National Forest, Fossil Springs Wilderness, Horseshoe Reservoir, Humboldt Mountain, Mazatzal Wilderness, Mogollon Rim, New River Mountains, North Peak, Pine Mountain Wilderness, Prescott National Forest, Tonto National Forest. NEWS CATEGORIES. A well deserved pause. Talk about a plant thriving and on a mountain, there are 2 … Continue reading Mazatzal Peak – Central AZ (12.30.15) → That part of the Verde River that flows along the edge the Mazatzal Wilderness is Arizona's only Wild and Scenic River Area. I was hit with two related thoughts. Once I finished rounding the base I got my first good view of Shake Tree Canyon and was pleasantly surprised. 31 Browns Peak 146. My tight schedule was looking good as well. The van was parked at Barnhardt Trailhead, an hour's drive from Phoenix, right on the edge of the eastern Mazatzals. The highest point of Mazatzal Wilderness, Mazatzal Peak, is surrounded by a triangle of trails. How far I had come compared to the cliffs of the Peak was impressive. None were serious, though all would sting as I continued to sweat under the hot sunlight. Be warned: Three days allows only a small sample of the area's 250,000 rocky and tangled acres. At 4000' it was a bit chilly up here - the van's thermometer claimed it was only a few degrees above forty. I was not doing the popular loop, or at least was not planning to. This article comprises three sortable tables of major mountain peaks of the U.S. State of Arizona.. The 'basic' loop is still 15 miles long and has a ton of exposure and elevation difference. 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. The topographic elevation of a summit measures the height of the summit above a geodetic sea level. I did my best to ignore it. I kept a close eye on these cuts and looked for any sign of water. Instead I pushed forward on the Divide Trail and got a pleasant surprise. That must be AZ-188, the road that heads down through Jake's Corner to Roosevelt and, eventually, Globe too. I pulled out a water bottle and a snack and had a short break under the heating morning sun. Surrounding the trail was Juniper and Pinyon Pines, a pleasant change from the cactus and cactus surroundings of the Superstitions. The first table below ranks the 20 highest major summits of Arizona by elevation. Basic HTML tags allowed (a, b, i, pre). I had made it up the Mazatzals and was sitting on a saddle at 6550', over five miles into the day and feeling great. This fire was lightning caused and is currently 100% contained at 550 acres due to rain over the last few days. Mazatzal Peak Loop, Mazatzal Wilderness, AZ Only 50 miles from Phoenix, the Mazatzal is at once easily accessible and astonishingly remote. As I headed down the path I glanced north and got a good view of the trail's long, looping route. The saddle didn't seem that far away and there was an appealing stand of Ponderosa along the way. 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. I wasn't having any of those problems yet. There were no cairns, no path or trodden grass, to show where that trail was supposed to continue on. Cussing like a sailor I pushed through the thicket and made it back into a clear stretch, bleeding from a half-dozen tiny wounds. That wasn't a good sign. Closed a pull request at shutterstock/public-api-javascript-sdk. “ One of the trails that forms the Mazatzal Peak Loop. This trail does circle around a massive mountain, of course, and there are deep cuts for the drainage off of it. 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. Marked by only a metal stake and an AZT symbol, the Barnhardt junction was not that impressive. Mazatzal Peak - Tonto National Forest Summary: A semi-loop hike, on and off trail, to the highest peak in the Mazatzal Wilderness. I finished up the snack, put the water back away, and continued up the steep path. It has been rather dry as of late and there was little snowfall on these mountains, something that many of the creeks and springs depend heavily on during the spring. I was looking down the eastern border of that huge triangle, down the length of Tonto Basin, though Theodore Roosevelt Basin wasn't visible from this angle. One thing I did not see over here was Brody Trail. If it is nice flat dirt trails where you can knock out miles you crave this trail is not for you. ATA Passage 23 Mazatzal Peak Loop. An always impressive view of Mazatzal Peak's cliffs, Some barren hills around Barnhardt junction. Pine trees clustered around the distant saddle. Mazatzal Peak in the Mazatzal Wilderness. Going right will take you to the Siphon Draw trail via the Prospectors View Trail. The only sign near Barnhardt Trail junction. Pushed some code at shutterstock/public-api-javascript-sdk. Might be time to start scaling back in my old age :). 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. Hot morning sun lighting up Suicide Ridge. :P, Ha, a few too many. I found a good spot and filled up. I pushed on and was surprised to bump into a pack of women coming from the north. It takes the Barnhardt Trail to about the 4 mile point, freestyle your way to the top, then a fairly direct route down to the Y Bar Trail for the return. It is located in the Tonto National Forest, and the Mazatzal Wilderness Area. The one thing that didn't get any closer was Mazatzal Peak and Suicide Ridge. I wasn't sure what to expect here. A few miles along this trail and maybe things would make more sense. I saw tons of deer prints out there, but I think it should be “place of the Manzanita”! 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. The trail began to climb again as I approached Windsor Spring, one last push before the end. 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. The manzanitas clogged up everything and forced me to make wide, avoiding loops, constantly wandering on and off the plotted route. I had hoped for more. 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. Time slipped away as I relaxed near the junction of Y-Bar and Mazatzal Divide Trails. Devastating post-fire views of Y-Bar Basin. The highest point of Mazatzal Wilderness, Mazatzal Peak, is surrounded by a triangle of trails. 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. 43 Rock Creek 198. This was now the third great camping spot I had bumped into today. 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. It had also curved even more around Mazatzal Peak and I was now walking north with the sun on my back. Striking cliff faces thrusting out from Mazatzal Peak. Unfortunately, the stand didn't last long. Oh, I was disappointed to not see any sort of sign or fork at the Brody Seep Trail, which is supposed to branch off here and provide a shortcut to Chilson Camp. 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. The high point of the range is Mazatzal Peak, and with almost 4000′ of prominence, is one of the most prominent summits in the Arizona. I trotted up the slope, pushing forward with my poles and leaning into the climb. 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. Pushed some code at shutterstock/public-api-javascript-sdk. 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. That thing still towered up to the north, layers of rock and pine stacked on top of each other. 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. If we could climb up from the parking lot before it got too deep in the night, that is. 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. I kept a close eye out for the promised deep, sandy pools, which showed about a half-mile further on the trail. This was closer to insanity. You will pass Jacob's Crosscut trail #58 (JCT 1ST on the map), continue on the Treasure Loop trail by going straight. If the path didn't improve I'd make it to Club Cabin around midnight. 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. The Y-Bar Trail loops around the southeast, Divide the west, and Barnhardt the north side. After a switchback climb of a thousand feet I began heading south with intent and dealt with one ravine after another. You got this. 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. Below me was more twisted, charred remains of Pinyon, and in the distance was rows upon rows of straight dead pine trunks. 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. I really appreciate your well articulated insights. Not something I was looking forward to. I could be back in the car and in Phoenix before dinner if I turned now. Air traffic overhead was the only reason this trip didn't score a perfect four. There is a spring listed near the intersection but there was no water, even after rains the week before. Unfortunately, there was no water running in the cuts. Strong hikers can easily walk around the peak in two fairly easy days. 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. "... an ambitious fifty mile loop ..." -- how many Jake adventures have started with those words? 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. Back to the Mazatzals and today's hike. 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. Well, maybe it was a bit closer. To stay on this loop hike, go left here. 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. There must have been a fire along here at some point. Less than a quarter mile from Chilson Camp. Ignoring the water bottles I pushed on past the table and firepit, eager to see if there was anything else. After thirty minutes of this I checked in on my progress. Basic HTML tags allowed (a, b, i, pre). The trail had a few small dips yet stayed surprisingly level throughout. Bear Spring, and Chilson Spring coming up soon, were some of my last confirmed water sources before Club Cabin. Maybe the Eastern Mazatzals saw more maintenance than I planned for. 35 Marion Spring 165. Mazatzal Wilderness 162. 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. Now there was only waist-high manzanitas that did little to block me from the hot sun above. 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. 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. Breathing is just a little more difficult, walking is with heavier legs, and water never lasts as long as it should. 40 South Fork of Deer Creek 186. The views up at Mazatzal Peak were quite impressive, towering high up above me. After one pass I pulled out my GPS with the route loaded up and tried to track it that way. 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've heard bad things about overgrown trails out here and had a bad experience on Davenport a few weeks earlier; however, everything today was clear and easy so far. 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. 41 Y Bar Basin 190. 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. This camp sits near the junction of a few trails and is clearly marked on most maps with nearby water. Worried I doubled back, swooping to the west, looking for any evidence of Davenport Trail. Compare. Not a great sign. 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. The manzanitas were taller here, I guess. And then the saddle showed up. Comments may be removed if they are deemed inappropriate. A mix of trees and cactus along the trail. It looked more like the narrow view along Deadman Creek than Davenport, though I couldn't quite tell for sure. Whatever it was, I hoped it lasted all weekend (it wouldn't). surgent - Nov 21, 2005 1:12 pm Route Climbed: Northwest Ridge Date Climbed: Nov 19, 2005 . It was a hot, exposed business, the morning sun beating directly on me in the sheltered and windless Y-Bar Basin. Those nice, tall pines that offered sporadic breaks from the sun were replaced by more charred Pinyon remains and manzanitas. This was a pleasant change from the open and exposed area I had been wandering through in this canyon. Tonto National Forest map. Chris and I will probably be trying it soon. Wear pants to avoid getting scratched by plants. A buddy and I are planning out a few days in this area and your experiences have bequeathed the best information I found anywhere! Search Wilderness Connect For Practitioners Search Wilderness Connect For Practitioners 42 Mazatzal Peak 194. An unnamed spring flowing across the trail. Scrappy remains of a burnt Pinyon Pine forest. You got this. "Mazatzal" is an Aztec word meaning "an area inhabited by deer." I could probably filter it, though I was thankful that I was already at full water capacity and should just keep going. This was great water, no green algea competing and hardly any bugs swimming around, and I ended up pulling several liters from it. Up until now everything had been obvious, a well-defined trail between green growth, but now there was hard rock to deal with. That climb didn't seem to be too much, either. But this? 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. This hike was steadily getting more and more painful with each passing mile. Since we were on a loop trip and started from the Barnhardt Trail #43, we were in search of water. The Divide Trail got interesting as it curved and descended from the Barnhardt junction, becoming more rocky and grassy and dropping quickly. Worried about how much I was sweating under the hot, dry sun I added some electrolytes to my water before drinking. Fighting the urge to shiver in the predawn coolness, I busied myself with getting my gear ready to go. I finished readying the rest of my backpacking gear, took one last swig of hot coffee, and set down the trail. 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