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Saddle Mountain to Plateau Overlook Pt, AZ

Guide 14 Triplogs  1 Topic
  4.3 of 5 
no permit
88 14 1
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 15.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,900 feet
Elevation Gain 980 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,600 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 8-9 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 33.1
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
20  2015-04-12
Saddle - Thicket - West Fork - Cornucopia
10  2013-10-05
Saddle Mountain #91
7  2011-02-12 te_wa
5  2010-05-01 BobP
15  2010-05-01 Tortoise_Hiker
4  2010-03-07 JoelHazelton
32  2010-03-06 Pathfinder Aaron
25  2008-03-08 gpsjoe
Page 1,  2
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 45
Routes 480
Photos 8,779
Trips 542 map ( 5,391 miles )
Age 75 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Sep, Oct, Jun
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:53am - 6:59pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

..Be Remote in The Mazatzals..
by Grasshopper

Summary: This "in and out" hike in our Central Mazatzal Wilderness starts at the Mormon Grove TH and takes you five miles into this wilderness area via 3.0mi on the scenic Saddle Mtn Trail#91 and another 2.0mi on the historic Sheep Creek Tr#88 BEFORE connecting with remote inner trail- The Copper Camp Tr#87 for another 2.53mi to a Plateau Overlook Point at 4680' elev to view the rugged/remote and scenic Southwest Mazatzal Wilderness with its deep & distant drainages to Bartlett Lake and beyond to the Verde River.

Note: For the first five miles of this hike, see details of HAZ Hike "Saddle Mountain via Mormon Grove TH".

Hike: Five miles in from the Mormon Grove TH, at the intersection of the Sheep Creek Tr#88 in Squaw Flats, the published 7ml one way Copper Camp Tr#87 begins at 5200' elev as it makes it way WNW through the Central Mazatzals to its terminus point on FR477 (close to the Verde River) at 2600' elevation.

From this above starting point with the Sheep Creek Tr#88 at Squaw Flats, the Copper Camp Tr#87 begins as an easy to follow trail with a steady uphill through large Gamble Oaks, Sumac, and healthy Cedars to ridgeline overlooks with grand views of Bartlett Lake, Saddle Mtn, Sheep Mtn, and Mt. Peeley as you parallel the Mazatzal Divide Tr#23 over to the Northeast. The ridgeline "high point" of your hike on this Copper Camp Trail is at 5475' before you start the continuous downhill portion. At 1.61mi in on this TR#87(at 5310' elev), you will round a corner to the left and VIEW (at approximately 11:O'Clock location) in the distance, your hike ending point at the large "off trail" Plateau Overlook Point at 4680' elevation. Now continue hiking Tr#87 downhill, looking closely for trail cairns to mark the trail way until you reach the 2.2ml distance at GPS coordinates: N33 57.829 W111 32.836 at 4800' elevation.

Key: Stop here and turn left at N33 57.829 W111 32.836 to begin your 0.33mi off trail hike: First skirt around the small hill- then you will clearly view the Plateau Overlook Ending Point ahead of you at 4680' elevation. This is a rocky, grassy yet relatively flat and easy short off trail. It's an 0.33mi/~15 minute hike to a very nice ending overlook. Here you'll witness some of the most remote views and drainage sections of our rugged Mazatzal Wilderness Areas... Enjoy!!

At this recommended ending point, you are now 7.53mi in from your beginning TH. Reverse your route from the way you came in and head back to your beginning Mormon Grove TH.

Referenced on the map:
o 91/88 Trail intersections for Trail#91 & Trail#88
o MINE1 Old Mercury Mine cave hole/audit across creek bed at intersection of Trail#88 & Trail#95
o 88/87 Trail intersections for Trail#88 & Trail#87
o 004 Hike exit point "off trail" to Plateau Overlook Point

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-11-13 Grasshopper
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    guide related
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

To Mormon Grove Trailhead
Driving from Phoenix, take the Beeline Highway (87) North toward Payson. Take the Sycamore Creek exit (just past mile marker 222), turning left across the divided highway and down the paved road 'Old Highway 87' for 1.2 miles to FR201.

Turn right over the cattle guard onto the gravel road (FR201) and proceed 1.2 miles to cross another cattle guard just before a split in the road at FR25. Take the sharp left turn downhill (FR25) and proceed 2.6 miles to a Y in the road. Stay left again and downhill on FR25 (the right leg takes you onto FR25A). Proceed uphill for 2.2 miles (switchbacks) to the Mormon Grove Trailhead.

Both FR201 and FR25 are gravel roads - FR25 is slow/rough- loose & hard packed rock, steeper climb up/down than FR201.

The Mormon Grove Trailhead is not signed but is obvious since it is where FR25 ends at an old wooden corral.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 66.6 mi - about 1 hour 21 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 164 mi - about 2 hours 42 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 145 mi - about 3 hours 10 mins
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