..Be Remote in The Mazatzals..
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
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.