And there wasn't many cairns out here. 33 Rock Creek Loop 154. An unnamed spring flowing across the trail. Other than that there was just the easy trail all the way to the Barnhardt Trail junction. 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…. A few hundred feet of climb at most. Loop hike with the Cornucopia trail and the Thicket Spring trail in the Mazatzal wilderness, Arizona. The manzanitas were taller here, I guess. As I headed down the path I glanced north and got a good view of the trail's long, looping route. Unfortunately, there was no water running in the cuts. Climbing it from here didn't seem completely crazy any more, maybe just a little loony. After a switchback climb of a thousand feet I began heading south with intent and dealt with one ravine after another. Reaching the summit of Mazatzal Peak is no easy task. This article comprises three sortable tables of major mountain peaks of the U.S. State of Arizona.. The trail was better here, manzanitas and other prickly things cut back by trail crews, and it maintained a steady downhill. April 20, 2020 Aaron Seifert. With full water capacity again I pushed forward on the trail. Devastating post-fire views of Y-Bar Basin. You got 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 camp sits near the junction of a few trails and is clearly marked on most maps with nearby water. Between the earlier switchbacks and some more gain through the cuts I was almost halfway up the ridge already. I wasn't having any of those problems yet. The Y-Bar Trail loops around the southeast, Divide the west, and Barnhardt the north side. That part of the Verde River that flows along the edge the Mazatzal Wilderness is Arizona's only Wild and Scenic River Area. This route can be made into a loop with the addition of the Y Bar Trail. I finished up the snack, put the water back away, and continued up the steep path. 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. A longing look back towards Y-Bar junction. 36 Squaw Flat 168. I trotted up the slope, pushing forward with my poles and leaning into the climb. Below me was more twisted, charred remains of Pinyon, and in the distance was rows upon rows of straight dead pine trunks. Tweeted | @brad_frost Thank you for sharing. Sheer bluffs plunging down from Cactus Ridge. The one thing that didn't get any closer was Mazatzal Peak and Suicide Ridge. Some manzanitas did attempt to overtake the trail here. 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. This was now the third great camping spot I had bumped into today. Tonto National Forest map. I kept a close eye on these cuts and looked for any sign of water. That wasn't a good sign. I was glad to get going and leave the views of the burned-out Y-Bar Basin behind, though I was still walking between charred ruins of Pinyon Pines. Unfortunately, the stand didn't last long. It climbed a short distance under the…, All things considered I had a decent night in the Mazatzals, camping at The Park. 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. Strong hikers can easily walk around the peak in two fairly easy days. I wandered a few yards west on the Mazatzal Divide to a large campsite and took off my pack. Those nice, tall pines that offered sporadic breaks from the sun were replaced by more charred Pinyon remains and manzanitas. Nothing. 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. I stepped in one, then two nests of angry ants on my cross-country route and did a little dance to shake them off. 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. 41 Y Bar Basin 190. 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. 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. 31 Browns Peak 146. 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. I pushed on without a pause, hoping to crest the saddle ahead soon. Mazatzal Peak Loop, Mazatzal Wilderness, AZ Only 50 miles from Phoenix, the Mazatzal is at once easily accessible and astonishingly remote. How far I had come compared to the cliffs of the Peak was impressive. This trail does circle around a massive mountain, of course, and there are deep cuts for the drainage off of it. Ignoring the water bottles I pushed on past the table and firepit, eager to see if there was anything else. Talk about a plant thriving and on a mountain, there are 2 … Continue reading Mazatzal Peak – Central AZ (12.30.15) → Basic HTML tags allowed (a, b, i, pre). 34 Four Peaks Trail 158. Early morning light shone down on Barnhardt Trail and I beamed right back. A long view west to Table Mountain and Horseshoe Basin beyond. I kept my eye out for Chilson Spring and didn't see anything. 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.” Much of the burn area was within the Mazatzal Wilderness, which explains all of the charred stumps and half-repaired trail system. This hike was steadily getting more and more painful with each passing mile. A breeze would have been great. After thirty minutes of this I checked in on my progress. I saw tons of deer prints out there, but I think it should be “place of the Manzanita”! 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. The only sign near Barnhardt Trail junction. Even the temps were cooperating - it couldn't have been more than sixty out yet. Going right will take you to the Siphon Draw trail via the Prospectors View Trail. Back to the Mazatzals and today's hike. Whatever it was, I hoped it lasted all weekend (it wouldn't). "Mazatzal" is an Aztec word meaning "an area inhabited by deer." It is located in the Tonto National Forest, and the Mazatzal Wilderness Area. 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. Read more. 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. I didn't want to stop for long, though time found a way to sneak past. 35 Marion Spring 165. Thank you so much, Jacob. 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. It climbs up to the highest trail-accessible point (over 7100!) And that was just the first day. I wonder how long it takes for a trail out here to be swallowed up. I had made it up the Mazatzals and was sitting on a saddle at 6550', over five miles into the day and feeling great. 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 pushed on and was surprised to bump into a pack of women coming from the north. Worried I doubled back, swooping to the west, looking for any evidence of Davenport Trail. 43 Rock Creek 198. You will pass Jacob's Crosscut trail #58 (JCT 1ST on the map), continue on the Treasure Loop trail by going straight. Y-Bar Trail follows Shake Tree Canyon between Suicide and Cactus, a fairly colorful combination of names. I drank my water, let my feet breath, and tried to figure out where to go next. Closed a pull request at shutterstock/public-api-javascript-sdk. "... an ambitious fifty mile loop ..." -- how many Jake adventures have started with those words? 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. This fire was lightning caused and is currently 100% contained at 550 acres due to rain over the last few days. There were no cairns, no path or trodden grass, to show where that trail was supposed to continue on. I was almost looking down the Davenport valley… almost. An old post with a weather-worn sign, too faded for me to make it out, and a well-defined trail junction. The gain is worth it. I could be back in the car and in Phoenix before dinner if I turned now. The path crossed a small, rocky creek (again, dry), climbed up with sudden haste, and then re-entered a land of mixed trees and low brush. Not something I was looking forward to. 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