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Mazatzal Divide TH to Wet Bottom Creek, AZ

Guide 17 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.3 of 5 
no permit
128 17 0
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 18.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,438 feet
Elevation Gain 2,795 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,959 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 8.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 38.5
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Possibly Connect
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11  2019-04-07 te_wa
9  2018-03-31
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9  2018-03-31
City Creek TH to Pete's Pond loop
15  2017-03-26
City Creek Loop
26  2015-03-28 FOTG
4  2012-04-27
Mazatzal Divide Trail to Knob Mountain
5  2010-10-30
Red Hills - AZT #24
20  2009-03-22 DarthStiller
Page 1,  2
author avatar Guides 14
Routes 114
Photos 4,615
Trips 2,575 map ( 38,770 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Winter to Spring
Sun  5:43am - 7:20pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 Willow 2004117.2 mi*
🔥 2004 Willow Fire120k
🔥 2004 Willow117.2 mi*
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

The never ending climb
by topohiker

I started at 9:20 am from the City Creek TH. The elevation is of the TH is 3480. The trail begins across the road from the TH. There are no signs for the trail. The trail starts to climb and climb. You follow the ridgelines.

At about 5.5 miles into the hike, you hit the Red Hills trail. Interestingly, this is part of the AZ trail, and there's no sign indicating that. By this point, you've climbed about 2,500 feet! This near your high point of 6275. The Mazatzal divide trail was easy to follow. There are a couple of minor overgrowth spots, but nothing too bad. There are a couple of fallen trees here and there. The trail more or less flats out for about a mile. You go through a significant downfall area, and the trail gets obscured. Just keep going straight. There's a couple of downs and up's but nothing like the climb up. You go through another significant downfall area, keep going in a straight direction, and you should be fine.

A little past the 8-mile mark, you'll see the trail go down into a creek area. This is the Wet Bottom creek. About a 1/4 mile from the North Peak Trail, there's another major downfall area. I got messed up here. The trail makes a significant change in direction before the downfall area, but it's not obvious at all. I went through the downfall. My GPS had the trail on its base map, so I used that to help me through this. (HINT, the tail is to the right of the significant downfall area)

I made it to the North Peak trail intersection. My GPS also called this area "The Park." There was a nice campsite here with a garbage can. There was also some trail maintenance tools here :) I was just a short distance from the Wet Bottom creek, so I decided to check it out. It was bone dry, but it so deep that if it was full, my bottom would have been wet! Just past the Wet Bottom creek is the Willow trail, but the Mazatzal divide disappeared once I crossed the creek. This was another major downfall area. It was past my turn around time, so I decided to come back another day (via the North Peak trail). (After I got home and mapped out my GPS route on the maps, It looks like the Mazatzal divide trail changed direction at the Wet Bottom creek. It moves about 100 feet to the right after it crosses the creek. I'll verify this another day.) I headed back, and this time I followed the trail out, and I still got a little messed up by the downfall area. It would help out if you download my GPS track to guide you through this section.

The views on this hike were great. In a short amount of time, you're in the middle of the remote Mazatzal mountains. You have some great views. This part of the trail is almost 100% exposed. The higher elevations help out with the heat.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.

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

2008-05-26 topohiker
    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 hike
    From Highway 87 in Payson, take Main Street west. Pavement ends after a couple of miles, and the road becomes FR 406. About 9 miles from the end of the pavement, City Creek trailhead and parking are on the right. If you come to a ranch house and outbuildings beside the road, you've gone about a quarter mile too far.
    page created by topohiker on May 26 2008 11:20 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

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