That huge ugly hill, the one that looked more dirt than grass or rock, was right along the way. 42 Mazatzal Peak 194. The minor bout of route finding here was an annoying distraction when I was so close to the saddle. 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. It was easy to make out even over the miles of distance, something that gave me confidence about the condition of it. 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). The first table below ranks the 20 highest major summits of Arizona by elevation. One thing I did not see over here was Brody Trail. 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. 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. 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. 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. 41 Y Bar Basin 190. Well, maybe it was a bit closer. 38 Mazatzal Divide Trail 176. None were serious, though all would sting as I continued to sweat under the hot sunlight. BLM Information Center maps. Marked by only a metal stake and an AZT symbol, the Barnhardt junction was not that impressive. Probably. You got this. That climb didn't seem to be too much, either. I wasn't sure what to expect here. Reaching the summit of Mazatzal Peak is no easy task. Bear Spring, and Chilson Spring coming up soon, were some of my last confirmed water sources before Club Cabin. :P, Ha, a few too many. 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. The topographic elevation of a summit measures the height of the summit above a geodetic sea level. I was feeling pretty good about the hike so far. Mazatzal Peak in the Mazatzal Wilderness. Even the temps were cooperating - it couldn't have been more than sixty out yet. Most of the surrounding vegetation was leafy instead of prickly or pine-y, and there was plenty of charred remains of twisted Pinyon pines. I doubled back and returned to the half-rotten table. After one pass I pulled out my GPS with the route loaded up and tried to track it that way. 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. Worried I doubled back, swooping to the west, looking for any evidence of Davenport Trail. 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 kept a close eye out for the promised deep, sandy pools, which showed about a half-mile further on the trail. The Bull Fire located on the Bull Mesa Flat in the Mazatzal Wilderness, 15 miles west of Payson and started on 8/16/2020. If it is nice flat dirt trails where you can knock out miles you crave this trail is not for you. Devastating post-fire views of Y-Bar Basin. The term Mazatzal is derived from the Aztec Indian language meaning "an area inhabited by deer". The trail had a few small dips yet stayed surprisingly level throughout. I kept a close eye on these cuts and looked for any sign of water. 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. After polishing off that liter of fortified water I creaked back up and pushed forward. 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. Talk about a plant thriving and on a mountain, there are 2 … Continue reading Mazatzal Peak – Central AZ (12.30.15) → 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. 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. The Park of Mazatzals: North of Hopi Spring, The Park of Mazatzals: Retreat down Barnhardt. 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. You got this. Search Wilderness Connect For Practitioners Search Wilderness Connect For Practitioners After the thick thorny patch of trail it swung back out and began a steady climb. 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. A few hundred feet of climb at most. The one thing that didn't get any closer was Mazatzal Peak and Suicide Ridge. This article comprises three sortable tables of major mountain peaks of the U.S. State of Arizona.. An old post with a weather-worn sign, too faded for me to make it out, and a well-defined trail junction. No more shade. There were no cairns, no path or trodden grass, to show where that trail was supposed to continue on. Instead of fire-damaged trees and shrubby recovery growth there was a stand of Pinyons with a fantastic campsite right along the trail. A longing look back towards Y-Bar junction. Not a great sign. Downed trees began to show up as I left the camp and forced me to clamber over or make even wider loops. For the most part they sucked in with the cuts and did a good job with preserving elevation. Instead I pushed forward on the Divide Trail and got a pleasant surprise. Also, what had this place looked like before the fire? Surrounding the trail was Juniper and Pinyon Pines, a pleasant change from the cactus and cactus surroundings of the Superstitions. The Passage Steward; Tonto National Forest, Mesa Ranger District, 5140 E. Ingram St, Mesa, AZ 85205 (480) 610-3341. In the drier, sparser lands of the Western Supes a trail can last as long as a cairn can stand. This was great water, no green algea competing and hardly any bugs swimming around, and I ended up pulling several liters from it. Maybe the Eastern Mazatzals saw more maintenance than I planned for. Mazatzal Peak Loop 15.1 mi 24.4 km • 2,868' Up 874.13 m Up • 2,841' Down 865.98 m Down. 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!) > ATA Passage 23 Mazatzal Peak Loop. Scraggy growth clinging onto Mazatzal Peak, Recently scorched campsite above the pines. I could be back in the car and in Phoenix before dinner if I turned now. 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. My pack was light thanks to some recent gear updates (more on that later). But this? Strong hikers can easily walk around the peak in two fairly easy days. 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. 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. ATA Passage 23 Mazatzal Peak Loop. 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. The views up at Mazatzal Peak were quite impressive, towering high up above me. 37 Chopper Camp Creek 172. I looked down with excited eyes and saw… Devastation. 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. 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. It has an accumulated gain of about 3000' over 5.5 miles, making it one of the steepest trails around. Forty minutes was long enough before my anxious feet were ready to go. This was my first bail option, a quick and easy descent that goes straight back to the parking area. Pushed some code at shutterstock/public-api-javascript-sdk. 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. Going right will take you to the Siphon Draw trail via the Prospectors View Trail. 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. The gain is worth it. I was not doing the popular loop, or at least was not planning to. My tight schedule was looking good as well. There were a few tricky parts to the trail here. I pushed on without a pause, hoping to crest the saddle ahead soon. The trail began to climb again as I approached Windsor Spring, one last push before the end. During wet months, you may see a waterfall there. USGS Topographic Maps: Boulder Mountain, Reno Pass, Lion Mountain and Mazatzal Peak. 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. The Y-Bar Trail loops around the southeast, Divide the west, and Barnhardt the north side. 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. They soared up behind me, seemingly far to the southeast, when they had been looming above me for so long. 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. As hot as it was getting this option did not sound even remotely tempting. That must be AZ-188, the road that heads down through Jake's Corner to Roosevelt and, eventually, Globe too. Y-Bar Trail follows Shake Tree Canyon between Suicide and Cactus, a fairly colorful combination of names. Hiked the Y-bar basin/Barnhardt canyon Loop and had a great view of Mazatzal peak. I did my best to ignore it. 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. 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. It climbed a short distance under the…, All things considered I had a decent night in the Mazatzals, camping at The Park. 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. Towering cliffs of crumbly rock up on Mazatzal Peak. Tweeted | @brad_frost Thank you for sharing. I wonder how long it takes for a trail out here to be swallowed up. Details. Mazatzal Peak is the highest point in the Mazatzal Mountains. The Park of Mazatzals: Retreat down Barnhardt. Once I finished rounding the base I got my first good view of Shake Tree Canyon and was pleasantly surprised. This route can be made into a loop with the addition of the Y Bar Trail. And the trail was well-defined. Loop hike with the Peralta trail to the Cave trail in the Superstition wilderness, Arizona. Speaking of water - very few people hike the Davenport Trail. 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 manzanitas were taller here, I guess. Perfect. The highest point of Mazatzal Wilderness, Mazatzal Peak, is surrounded by a triangle of trails. 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 only sign near Barnhardt Trail junction. A mix of trees and cactus along the trail. I kept my eye out for Chilson Spring and didn't see anything. They were a bit more overgrown than the hillside though, small voracious bushes eating up the open ground of the trail. 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”. Things were more exposed within Shake Tree Canyon. Might be time to start scaling back in my old age :). Suddenly the trail crested the saddle and I got an open view down into Y-Bar Basin itself. Early morning light shone down on Barnhardt Trail and I beamed right back. 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. Most of the 252,500-acre Mazatzal Wilderness rises to the east of the river. And that was just the first day. 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. It's nice that these trailheads start high up - the western ones are much lower next to the Verde River. 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. Compare. A thick wall of brush blocking the way to Davenport. Mazatzal Wilderness 162. Other high peaks in the Mazatzals include the 7,657' Browns Peak, and the 7,128' Mount Ord. This trail (also known as Shake Tree) circles around and climbs the south flank of Mazatzal Peak. 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