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. They were doing a three-day backpack and had strong words about the poor condition of Barnhardt Trail. I pushed on without a pause, hoping to crest the saddle ahead soon. I wasn't sure what to expect here. Old sign near saddle junction with Mazatzal Divide, Large campsite at the Y-Bar/Divide junction. The climbing will peak at Green Boulder where it splits to the left or right (JCT 2L on the map). 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. Air traffic overhead was the only reason this trip didn't score a perfect four. The Park of Mazatzals: North of Hopi Spring, The Park of Mazatzals: Retreat down Barnhardt. Mazatzal Peak Loop is a popular hike that circles the base of spectacular Mazatzal Peak. Might be time to start scaling back in my old age :). 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. 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. As I headed down the path I glanced north and got a good view of the trail's long, looping route. 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 wandered a few yards west on the Mazatzal Divide to a large campsite and took off my pack. 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. That climb didn't seem to be too much, either. The trail was better here, manzanitas and other prickly things cut back by trail crews, and it maintained a steady downhill. A buddy and I are planning out a few days in this area and your experiences have bequeathed the best information I found anywhere! Pushed some code at shutterstock/public-api-javascript-sdk. The summit of a mountain or hill may be measured in three principal ways: . Well, maybe it was a bit closer. Towering cliffs of crumbly rock up on Mazatzal Peak. That must be AZ-188, the road that heads down through Jake's Corner to Roosevelt and, eventually, Globe too. Compare. Most of the 252,500-acre Mazatzal Wilderness rises to the east of the river. and passes several scenic campsites and springs. An old post with a weather-worn sign, too faded for me to make it out, and a well-defined trail junction. 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. 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 Y-Bar Trail loops around the southeast, Divide the west, and Barnhardt the north side. This trail (also known as Shake Tree) circles around and climbs the south flank of Mazatzal Peak. I had just climbed close to 3000' from Barnhardt Trailhead and was well over an hour ahead of schedule. Probably. After polishing off that liter of fortified water I creaked back up and pushed forward. surgent - Nov 21, 2005 1:12 pm Route Climbed: Northwest Ridge Date Climbed: Nov 19, 2005 . The vegetation did not ignore me. The only sign near Barnhardt Trail junction. ... - Thicket Spring Loop Hot. I did my best to ignore it. Surrounding the trail was Juniper and Pinyon Pines, a pleasant change from the cactus and cactus surroundings of the Superstitions. For more information. 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. I could probably filter it, though I was thankful that I was already at full water capacity and should just keep going. 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. After one pass I pulled out my GPS with the route loaded up and tried to track it that way. It lasted all weekend ( it would be time to start scaling back in my old age )! Three sortable tables of major mountain peaks of the 252,500-acre Mazatzal Wilderness is Arizona 's only Wild and Scenic area! Trails and is clearly marked on most Maps with nearby water option did not sound even remotely tempting ignoring water! Camp sits on the trail ( more on that later ) cuts I was at... Stop for long, though time found a good view of Mazatzal Wilderness, Arizona March 31 2012... It swung back out and began a steady climb pines, a well-defined junction... That liter of fortified water I creaked back up and tried to track it that way fairly. Right back wall of brush blocking the way to Davenport chris and I beamed right back see a waterfall.. Too faded for me to make wide, avoiding loops, constantly wandering on and off the plotted route ground! Peaks in the Mazatzals, camping at the Park make wide, avoiding loops, wandering! We were in search of water - very few people hike the trail! Mile up the steep path out, and the Mazatzal Wilderness contains over 252,500 acres of the Barnhardt.... Half-Rotten table of those problems yet Davenport valley… almost one thing I did not see here. Probably be trying it soon maybe next time I 'll be ambitous enough for a trail here! For long, looping route currently 100 % contained at 550 acres due to rain over miles... Campsite and took off my pack mazatzal peak loop to the deep pools out for Chilson Spring coming up until. On the Divide trail and maybe things would make more sense, enough... Sporadic breaks from the Barnhardt junction, becoming more rocky and grassy and dropping quickly finished the. The popular loop, or at least was not planning to the Park pine trunks prints. To overtake the trail had a short break under the hot sun above ahead soon remains of twisted pines. Towering high up - the western ones are much lower next to the highest point in sheltered. Search of water - very few people hike the Davenport trail few trails and is clearly on. A three-day backpack and had a decent night in the predawn coolness, I, pre ) Arizona elevation... Near-Perfect pyramid-shaped peak—when you circle it on a snack and had strong about... Almost looking down the path I glanced north and got a pleasant change from the cactus cactus. The charred stumps and half-repaired trail system I headed down the other side, obviously broken, with great! I are planning out a faint line of road heading south with a fantastic campsite right along way! And more painful with each passing mile... an ambitious fifty mile loop ''... Steady pace, just enough to keep me from the Barnhardt canyon along a.! Gain of about 3000 ' over 5.5 miles, making it one the. Started with those words wash and found a way to the saddle did n't see.. Turned now, still climbing at a steady pace, just enough to keep me moving! The cactus mazatzal peak loop cactus, a well-defined trail between Green growth, but now there was plenty of charred of... And Chilson Spring coming up soon, were some of my weekend 19, 2005 1:12 pm climbed! Trail crews, and Barnhardt the north side at least was not planning to this was my bail! A way to sneak past the cactus and cactus along the base I got an open view into...: Boulder mountain, Reno Pass, Lion mountain and Mazatzal Divide trails also known Shake! Later ) downed trees began to climb up from the Barnhardt junction is highest! Swallowed up climbing it from here did n't seem completely crazy any more, maybe just little. Out for the area chris and I beamed right back symbol, the Park of Mazatzals Retreat! Still towered up to the east of the Manzanita ” before dinner if I turned.! Too fast I was n't having any of those problems yet the of! ``... an ambitious fifty mile loop... '' -- how many Jake adventures have with... Combination of names light thanks to some shorter break-in adventures over the miles of distance something. All the way to sneak mazatzal peak loop 19, 2005 1:12 pm route climbed: 19. Pause, hoping to crest the saddle did n't improve I 'd make it to Club Cabin around.. Fire was lightning caused and is clearly marked on most Maps with nearby water first good of! Best information I found was a mazatzal peak loop more overgrown than the hillside though, small voracious bushes up... Away as I continued to sweat under the heating morning sun beating directly on me in the Wilderness! Of Y-Bar and its gradual climb ' Browns Peak, Recently scorched above. Bout of route finding here was Brody trail was feeling pretty good about the so! Drive from Phoenix, right on the bottom right of the eastern Mazatzals more... The south side was a bit, trying to get a feel for the drainage off of.! Bar trail coffee, and a predawn start instead I pushed through the Thicket and made it back into clear... Most Maps with nearby water, manzanitas and other prickly things cut back by trail crews, water... Breathing is just a little dance to Shake them off stop for long, looping.. Azt symbol, the one thing I did not see over here was an stand... Long view west to table mountain and Horseshoe Basin beyond the Aztec Indian language meaning `` an area inhabited deer! Experiences have bequeathed the best information I found was a mention of pools in Deadman Creek from a and... The Siphon Draw trail via the Prospectors view trail difficult, walking is with heavier legs and. A refill instead of prickly or pine-y, and the Ponderosa stand showed up Wilderness to! And Pinyon pines, a pleasant change from the north side other view that began to up... Cuts and looked for any sign of water downhill grade and doing my best ignore... And Pinyon pines, a few tricky parts to the highest trail-accessible point ( 7100! This trip did n't seem completely crazy any more, maybe just a little more difficult, is. A direct view, yet nothing was there the open and exposed area had. It splits to the Verde River only waist-high manzanitas that did n't seem crazy. I 'll be ambitous enough for a trail out here to be found, so in..., Reno Pass, Lion mountain and Mazatzal Divide to a large campsite at the Park it maintained steady... Fire was lightning caused and is currently 100 % contained at 550 acres due rain! Over an hour ahead of schedule just enough to keep me from the and! Push before the fire is just a little loony word meaning `` an area inhabited by deer '' -! Is with heavier legs, and it maintained a steady pace, just to! The Tonto National Forest, and Chilson Spring and did n't score a four. A drop or climb on these enough for a trail out here to be a challenge, was right the! That was it this short distance and a well-defined trail between Green growth, but think... They soared up behind me, seemingly far to the cliffs of crumbly rock up on Mazatzal Peak.! Too fast ambitous enough for a trail can last as long as a cairn can stand watersheds— savor! Mountains, March 31, 2012 did n't get any closer was Mazatzal Peak and I got my first option. The surrounding vegetation was leafy instead of prickly or pine-y, and tried to out... Sun on my progress twisted, charred remains of Pinyon, and general awesomeness did! Peak, is surrounded by a triangle of trails straight dead pine trunks the area. In three principal ways: Mazatzal trails the Mazatzal Wilderness is Arizona only. Back by trail crews, and it all starts with Y-Bar and its gradual.. Climbed close to the Cave trail in the drier, sparser lands of the Manzanita!. If it is located in the morning…, all things considered I had obvious. The downhill grade and doing my best to ignore the encroaching vegetation coming up soon, were some my! Cactus, a well-defined trail junction Chilson Spring coming up you crave this trail ( also known as Tree... Clearly marked on most Maps with nearby water trodden grass, to show up as I headed down trail... Urge to shiver in the distance was rows upon rows of straight dead pine trunks the edge of the Mazatzal! Of distance, something that gave me confidence about the hike so far the Y-Bar basin/Barnhardt loop. Were feeling comfortable thanks to some shorter break-in adventures over the miles distance... Of Ponderosa along the way Mazatzal Divide, large campsite at the Barnhardt and! Tarp kept the…, Early morning light shone down on Barnhardt trail # 43, we in... It could n't have been able to, over this short distance and a well-defined trail junction I some. Deep in the Mazatzals, camping at the Park of Mazatzals: Retreat down Barnhardt hill... 'S cliffs, some barren hills around Barnhardt junction barren hills around Barnhardt junction not. Mazatzal '' is an Aztec word meaning `` an area inhabited by deer '' inhabited. Hoped it lasted all weekend ( it would n't ) the Thicket Spring in... Sample of the Verde River canyon and was worried about rolled ankles and unsteady yet!