The Y-Bar Trail loops around the southeast, Divide the west, and Barnhardt the north side. Instead I pushed forward on the Divide Trail and got a pleasant surprise. I was feeling pretty good about the hike so far. This was a pleasant change from the open and exposed area I had been wandering through in this canyon. 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. The first table below ranks the 20 highest major summits of Arizona by elevation. In the drier, sparser lands of the Western Supes a trail can last as long as a cairn can stand. I finished readying the rest of my backpacking gear, took one last swig of hot coffee, and set down the trail. The vegetation did not ignore me. The manzanitas were taller here, I guess. I did my best to ignore it. It is located in the Tonto National Forest, and the Mazatzal Wilderness Area. 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. Hiking, web development, best practices, and general awesomeness. 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. The trail had a few small dips yet stayed surprisingly level throughout. Those nice, tall pines that offered sporadic breaks from the sun were replaced by more charred Pinyon remains and manzanitas. Mazatzal Peak is the highest point in the Mazatzal Mountains. 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. If we could climb up from the parking lot before it got too deep in the night, that is. Speaking of this trail - it was hot. The gain is worth it. I pushed quickly down the trail, taking advantage of the downhill grade and doing my best to ignore the encroaching vegetation coming up. The Park of Mazatzals: Retreat down Barnhardt. Mazatzal Peak Loop, Mazatzal Wilderness, AZ Only 50 miles from Phoenix, the Mazatzal is at once easily accessible and astonishingly remote. Maybe the Eastern Mazatzals saw more maintenance than I planned for. 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. Sure, I had expected Davenport to be a challenge. Scraggy growth clinging onto Mazatzal Peak, Recently scorched campsite above the pines. 32 Pigeon Spring Loop 150. I pushed on and was surprised to bump into a pack of women coming from the north. Things were more exposed within Shake Tree Canyon. There wasn't much of a drop or climb on these. Payson, AZ. Reaching the summit of Mazatzal Peak is no easy task. There are switchbacks to climb up before the next phase - ravines. I tumbled down into the wash and found a good spot to drop my pack next to the deep pools. ... - Thicket Spring Loop Hot. After thirty minutes of this I checked in on my progress. 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. 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. 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”. Y-Bar Trail follows Shake Tree Canyon between Suicide and Cactus, a fairly colorful combination of names. Up until now everything had been obvious, a well-defined trail between green growth, but now there was hard rock to deal with. 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. Bear Spring, and Chilson Spring coming up soon, were some of my last confirmed water sources before Club Cabin. I saw tons of deer prints out there, but I think it should be “place of the Manzanita”! 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. I had made it up the Mazatzals and was sitting on a saddle at 6550', over five miles into the day and feeling great. 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. It's nice that these trailheads start high up - the western ones are much lower next to the Verde River. Tweeted | @brad_frost Thank you for sharing. 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. 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. 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. Updated July 23, 2016. The Park of Mazatzals: North of Hopi Spring, The Park of Mazatzals: Retreat down Barnhardt. Marked by only a metal stake and an AZT symbol, the Barnhardt junction was not that impressive. The Y-Bar Trail loops around the southeast, Divide the west, and Barnhardt the north side. To stay on this loop hike, go left here. a hike to Mazatzal Peak, the highpoint of Arizona's Mazatzal Mountains, March 31, 2012. Breathing is just a little more difficult, walking is with heavier legs, and water never lasts as long as it should. This fire was lightning caused and is currently 100% contained at 550 acres due to rain over the last few days. 37 Chopper Camp Creek 172. Between the earlier switchbacks and some more gain through the cuts I was almost halfway up the ridge already. Pushed some code at shutterstock/public-api-javascript-sdk. I really appreciate your well articulated insights. Can you guess which mountain is … Barely six in the morning…. That wasn't a good sign. Pushed some code at shutterstock/public-api-javascript-sdk. Mazatzal Peak in the Mazatzal Wilderness. The term Mazatzal is derived from the Aztec Indian language meaning "an area inhabited by deer". The one thing that didn't get any closer was Mazatzal Peak and Suicide Ridge. 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. Comments may be removed if they are deemed inappropriate. This was now the third great camping spot I had bumped into today. 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. Closed a pull request at shutterstock/public-api-javascript-sdk. Speaking of water - very few people hike the Davenport Trail. This hike was steadily getting more and more painful with each passing mile. Unfortunately, there was no water running in the cuts. A breeze would have been great. 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. "Mazatzal" is an Aztec word meaning "an area inhabited by deer." It climbed a short distance under the…, All things considered I had a decent night in the Mazatzals, camping at The Park. Pine trees clustered around the distant saddle. What happened here? 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. There is a spring listed near the intersection but there was no water, even after rains the week before. There were no cairns, no path or trodden grass, to show where that trail was supposed to continue on. A longing look back towards Y-Bar junction. Also, what had this place looked like before the fire? 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. I should have been able to, over this short distance and a direct view, yet nothing was there. The sun felt good. 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 kept a close eye on these cuts and looked for any sign of water. And the trail was well-defined. 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. 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. Even the temps were cooperating - it couldn't have been more than sixty out yet. Nothing. Chris and I will probably be trying it soon. The only sign near Barnhardt Trail junction. This camp sits near the junction of a few trails and is clearly marked on most maps with nearby water. 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. Devastating post-fire views of Y-Bar Basin. 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. That climb didn't seem to be too much, either. A few miles along this trail and maybe things would make more sense. Hiking, web development, best practices, and general awesomeness. After one pass I pulled out my GPS with the route loaded up and tried to track it that way. 40 South Fork of Deer Creek 186. A mile up the canyon and the Ponderosa stand showed up. With full water capacity again I pushed forward on the trail. It climbs up to the highest trail-accessible point (over 7100!) As hot as it was getting this option did not sound even remotely tempting. 42 Mazatzal Peak 194. 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. Mazatzal Peak Loop 15.1 mi 24.4 km • 2,868' Up 874.13 m Up • 2,841' Down 865.98 m Down. A buddy and I are planning out a few days in this area and your experiences have bequeathed the best information I found anywhere! It had also curved even more around Mazatzal Peak and I was now walking north with the sun on my back. I wonder how long it takes for a trail out here to be swallowed up. Basic HTML tags allowed (a, b, i, pre). They were doing a three-day backpack and had strong words about the poor condition of Barnhardt Trail. Fighting the urge to shiver in the predawn coolness, I busied myself with getting my gear ready to go. A few hundred feet of climb at most. 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