Continuing to work on the "100 Classic Hikes in Arizona" book I took advantage of this BEAUTIFUL day and hit up the good old Barnhardt Trail. In the book it is listed as the "Matazal Peak Loop" and I did it counter clockwise as listed in the HAZ description by Fritzski. I almost forgot what a great trail and hike the Barnhardt Trail is! Wow the views and the changing landscape put me on sensory overload! Only thing missing was the waterfalls and even at that there was a small trickle at one of them. The trail was in superb shape and to my amazement there was nobody on it but me. In fact I only saw one person all day and that was on the Divide Trail
Now the Divide Trail was beautiful as well but somewhat overgrown in areas. All in all it was an easy go most of the way up to the turn for the Y Bar Trail. Since the weather was so perfect and I had made good time up to this point I decided to continue on the Divide Trail for another mile or so just to check it out. I want to do Mount Peeley to Barnhardt sometime in the future so this was a chance to take a better look at what I would be facing. I would say that the Divide Trail got more difficult almost immediately after the turn for the Y-Bar. There was more over growth and there were several fallen trees. After scouting things out a bit I decided to turn back and head down the Y Bar Trail.
The sign at the turning point is somewhat in tact but parts of it are clearly missing. The Y-Bar made the Mazatzal Divide Trail look to be in great shape by comparrison. It was littered with fallen trees, and overgrown in several areas. This slowed me down considerably as did the rocky trail. Luckily the path down is well carined which made the route finding much easier. I saw one white tailed deer and a couple cows. I found the Y Bar to be interesting and scenic but a whole lot of work for what you get in return. The Barnhardt combined with the Divide and the Y Bar made for a great day and a really cool hike!