register help

Y Bar Trail #44, AZ

no permit
1 new
995 115 4
Guide 115 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson W
2.8 of 5 by 30
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 5.55 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,200 feet
Elevation Gain 2,356 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,994 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.53
Backpack Yes & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
16  2018-11-10 david_allen_3
9  2018-10-28
Mazatzal Peak Summit
24  2018-10-28
Mazatzal Peak Summit
13  2018-10-27
Mazatzal Peak Summit
19  2018-10-04
Mazatzal Peak Summit
21  2018-03-29
Mazatzal Peak Summit
4  2018-03-18 KBKB
2  2018-02-18
Mazatzal Peak Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 10
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  7:31am - 5:39pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
32 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
Barnhardt - Sandy Saddle Loop
Barnhardt - Sandy Saddle Loop
same trailhead
15.0 mi
4,735 ft
Barnhardt Canyon
same trailhead
6.0 mi
2,000 ft
Barnhardt Trail #43
Barnhardt Trail #43
same trailhead
12.4 mi
2,132 ft
Club Cabin
Club Cabin
same trailhead
34.5 mi
Half Moon Trail #288
Half Moon Trail #288
same trailhead
4.1 mi
552 ft
Mazatzal Peak Loop
Mazatzal Peak Loop
same trailhead
15.0 mi
3,200 ft
Mazatzal Peak Summit
Mazatzal Peak Summit
same trailhead
11.8 mi
4,400 ft
Shake Tree Trail # 44
Shake Tree Trail # 44
same trailhead
5.4 mi
2,350 ft
Horse Camp Seep - Mazatzals
0.0 mi away
19.3 mi
3,754 ft
North Fork Falls of Deadman Canyon
North Fork Falls of Deadman Canyon
0.0 mi away
18.0 mi
3,169 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Stuck on a Stairmaster
by Fritzski

Note: Page stats reflect one-way.

If you're really into working up a good sweat, then the Y Bar (aka Shake Tree) is the trail for you. As far as a climb goes, it blows the barn doors off the Barnhardt Trail, its northerly neighbor. Unfortunately, it's not quite as scenic as Barnhardt. So unless you're lucky enough to find "Ron and John's Secret Swimming Hole(s)" or just want a killer workout, its not the most rewarding hike in the area (boy, have I ever gotten spoiled!).

The hike goes from Barnhardt Trailhead and proceeds mostly uphill for 5.5mi through Y Bar Basin and on up to the intersection with the Mazatzal Divide Trail at Windsor Spring.

The trail is well worn and quite easy to follow. It doesn't waste any time with a warm up. You start with a gradual to moderate climb through desert scrub and then begin a turn to the south continuing to climb along the contours of Suicide Ridge. The trail tends to be very rocky so pay close attention to your footing. You'll pass through about four or five ravines before you turn once again to the west climbing along the north side of Shake Tree Canyon where you'll notice some nice rock formations on the other side. As you continue to gain elevation, you'll go from Prickly Pear to Juniper and Pinon, then to Ponderosa and even some Douglas firs.

At about 3.75mi/6300", Cactus Saddle is a good place to take a breather. In his book "Hiking Arizona's Superstition and Mazatzal Country", Grubb suggests a climb to the top of Maz Peak by following the ridgeline up from this point. To say that it looks a bit imposing would be the understatement of the year. When I get a chance to give it a try, I believe I'll try an alternate route.

As you begin to descend into Y Bar Basin you will be rewarded with great views of the west face of Mazzie Peak. At about 4.5mi, Y Bar Tanks is a seep spring you will encounter at the bottom of the basin. Continue to bear to the right and the trail will once again begin a rather arduous climb to Windsor Saddle and the Maz Divide Trail at 5.5mi/6550'. Fortunately the area is well forested and shade is abundant.

My partner and I happened to stumble upon the most awesome complex of cascading swimming holes while exploring the area. As any hiking photographer will testify, these pictures just can't do the heights and depths any justice. The water was so deep in spots that we didn't touch bottom even when jumping in from about 15 feet. It took some tricky climbing and a creative route to get down to one and then the other.

Although I'm sworn to an oath of secrecy in regard to the location of Ron & John's Swim Holes, with a little tenacity they shouldn't be too hard to find. One clue: there is definitely no trail or sign of any recent use. One reason may be that the "price of admission" to get there is so steep (get it? :)


    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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 Barnhardt Trailhead
    From the corner of SR87 & SR260 in Payson go south on SR87 for 14.5 miles to the signed turnoff for Barnhardt trailhead (forest road 419). Follow FR419 5 miles to its end. The parking area is fairly large. Barnhardt trailhead is located at the west end of the parking area. From Phoenix take SR87 north out of Mesa to Payson. The turnoff to the trailhead is 4mi north of the 188 intersection. (think rest stop)

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 83.4 mi - about 1 hour 45 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 182 mi - about 3 hours 4 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 126 mi - about 2 hours 31 mins
    help comment issue

    end of page marker