My goal for this hike was to see the burned down club cabin off of the Davenport trail. The plan was to hike Barnhardt to the Mazatzal divide, to the Davenport, then cabin and return the same way. I made it to the Chilson camp in good time. I found the Fisher trail first, then the Davenport. The Davenport is a route finder special. The grass covers the trail and it makes it tough to follow.
The first two miles was OK. I used my Spidy sense to stay on the trail. Then the trail drops down into the South Fork of the Deadman creek. The trail drops 800 feet in .6 of a mile. The trail is very hard to follow is this area. My Spidy sense didn't cut it for this section. I had to use both of my GPS's to stay on this so-called trail. I accidently found a cairned spur trail to a scenic overlook of the creek
. I almost gave up until I saw the real trail about 100 feet above to the west. I bushwhacked up and over. I managed to follow the trail down to the creek. I took a small break and studied my maps and the terrain. I was at 4,200 feet and had to climb over a nasty ridgeline that topped out at 5,000 in about a half mile. The terrain looks nasty with the trail disappear into tall grass. It was 12:30 and my turn around time was 1:30. I knew it would take me at least an hour to get over this ridgeline and I had another creek / ridge to cross BEFORE hitting the cabin. I may do crazy hikes, but I do know my limits. I was not going to be hiking on the Davenport trail in the dark. I turned around. I'll have to hit the cabin from the gently western side of the Davenport trail next fall/winter.
I headed up the nasty 800 foot climb and returned to the Chilson camp. I then decided to go check out the Fisher trail. The Fisher trail started out like an old jeep road, very wide and rocky. The Fisher trail drop about a 1,000 feet and has some nice shade. There's a little bit of overgrowth and catsclaw. I got really close to the Mazatzal divide trail and then the trail disappeared into a big drainage with a sea of fallen trees. Both my GPS's confirmed that the trail went across the drainage, through the deadfall. I also noticed that if I hiked up for ~500 feet, I was only about a third of a mile from a camp site on the Mazatzal divide trail. I picked my poison and headed towards the camp site. The climb was steep, but at least it was free of fallen trees and I avoided the catsclaw. The Mazatzal Divide trail felt like a two lane freeway once I hit it.
I then did the Mazatzal peak loop counter-clockwise. I meet a big group of teenagers setting up camp at the Y-Bar / Mazatzal intersection. I also came across a couple of backpackers with their dogs near the Y-Bar saddle. The Y-Bar trail was free of fallen trail back in 11/2009, but now there's a bunch of new fallen trees. The trail seems like it's grown since then as well
. I got back to my Jeep right at night fall.