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Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site, AZ

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Guide 20 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson W
3.9 of 5 by 7
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Trailhead Elevation 6,076 feet
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3  2019-06-20
Gold Ridge Trail #47
2  2018-01-04
Mount Peeley Summit
11  2017-09-03 BEEBEE
14  2017-07-08
South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop
9  2017-03-22
Mazzie Swingset
6  2017-03-11
South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop
15  2016-03-05
South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop
20  2013-08-23
ScenicDrv to Mt PeeleyTH & FR3348 C/Site
Page 1,  2,  3
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   May, Oct, Sep, Apr
Sun  6:10am - 6:31pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!

Author Full Detail Guide
Overview: Please see below comments under "Driving Directions" for additional information regarding this nice first come, first serve vehicle camping area up and off of FR201(the Mount Peeley Road) on FR3348 (FR3348 intersection at FR201 is 2.5 miles before reaching the end of FR201 at the Mount Peeley TH);

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

    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.

    Most recent of 14 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site
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    Mazzie Swingset
    I've been wanting to get little Nick up to the swingset since my first visit. Short hike, gradual climb & the reward at the end made it perfect. We went up the night before and stayed at Camp Grasshopper. It's gotta be the quickest way from the valley to a secluded camp spot in pines. We saw nobody the entire trip. We explored the ridgeline and Gold Ridge Trail briefly in the a.m. while waiting for Minkis. We loaded up with snacks at set out for the swingset. I'd imagine it's been a long time since a child actually played on the set. We all had a blast.
    Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site
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    Headed back into the Mazatzal for an interesting loop. Kyle and I fought our way up South Fork a couple of years ago and were forced to turn around due to time constraints. We wanted to return and this was the day. Chumley joined us for the hike.

    We started with Gold Ridge and it was a grind. The trail is in good condition as it makes a steep climb. With much effort we topped out and took a lunch break at Camp Grasshopper. This would be a great spot to car camp. From there we walked the road for a short ways and started down the South Fork trail at the trail sign.

    The hike down South Fork is a mixed bag. We did fairly well at following trail tread whenever it was present. It completely disappears at times and you have to fight your way down canyon. There was a good flow of water and the upper canyon is very scenic. There were two solid waterfalls but they are heavily overgrown and the mid afternoon sun cast too many shadows for good pics. The lower half of trail had some trail maintenance & is fairly easy to follow.

    I'm really glad we knocked out this loop. It's much better going down South Fork. Thanks Kyle for driving!
    Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site
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    Have never even been to this trailhead before! :o

    Gold Ridge is meh. The lower part is steep and seems to have forgotten about switchbacks. The upper part is actually pretty nice, but would have been a whole lot nicer pre-fire.

    I took a short side-trip up to the Gold BM. It took a minute to find as it had been protected by a few rocks piled above it. There was some wire from a survey structure or height of light that made me look for it in the right spot. Didn't see any obvious reference marks, but didn't search too hard either.

    South Fork offers nicer scenery but more challenging routefinding. I enjoy finding old trail tread, though there were times that it didn't seem logical. The leaves are just sprouting so it was still a little bit gray and bare. Plenty of water from the very top to the very bottom. Some pools plenty deep for full immerson, though not really large enough to actually swim. It got warmer on the way down and I considered taking a dip but ultimately decided to just hoof it back to the car.

    It was nice to meet 9L. :sweat: Thanks to Kyle for driving.
    Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site
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    I decided to give this loop another shot with the advice from Grasshopper to do it as a one-night backpack. I was in need of a night under the stars. Started up Gold Ridge just after 1PM. It was a good little workout during the warmest part of that day with zero shade. All remnants of snow are gone and the trail is dry and in good shape. Passed a group of 4 as they were headed down. Stopped and chatted for 2 mins, that was my only break. The lower elevations of Gold Ridge are a wildflower show. Lots of colors and a great floral smell in the air. Arrived at Camp Grasshopper with plenty of afternoon left to gather firewood, set up camp & pick up trash/glass. Enjoyed a nice fire and a very comfy night of sleep as the wind died down just in time for bed. I was back on the trail at 845AM and running low on water so I was looking forward to being creekside. Took the most adventurous route possible down South Fork, staying next to the creek the entire time. I slipped and busted my pumpkin a few times. I came out of the brush and scared the hell out of a group of 4 lady day-hikers on their way up. They were hoping to complete the same loop and had a few questions. I told them to keep a lookout for my self-inflating camp pillow I lost in the brush. Still plenty of water in the creek and Wildflowers in the lower elevations of South Fork trail. Overall a very enjoyable trip with an awesome camp site. Personally, this is my kind of hike. From desert to pines to riparian zone with half of the hike on a ridgeline with scenic views and the other half in a rugged canyon with running water.

    Several different blooms in the lower elevations.
    Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site
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    ScenicDrv to Mt PeeleyTH & FR3348 C/Site
    Three years ago yesterday, GPSjoe, Sun_Hiker, and I celebrated GPSjoe (Joe Domin's) 68th Birthday where he wanted to be this special day, on the summit of Mount Antero, CO, at 14,269ft.. and

    Yesterday would have been Joe's 71st Birthday. Today I wanted to pay my respects to Joe, a good friend, a good traveling and hiking companion with my drive this morning to the Mazatzal Wilderness- Mount Peeley TH that for many years Joe so enjoyed hiking out-of.

    A sunny, blue sky with a refreshing breeze as I spent some private time checking-out the status of the Tonto NF "Information Board" related to our placed November'10 GPSjoe Missing Person Poster to see if it needed to be replaced today. I am happy to report that it is still in good condition, secured well, and still easily readable. I also spent some time clearing a large amount of the dreaded New Mexico Locust thorn bushes that were badly encroaching on the front approach to the "Information Board". I took a few updated pics today of my drive in and the TH area to post.

    After my visit to the TH area, I enjoyed a short drive back down FR201 at FR3348 for a shaded lunch visit to the FR3348 Campsite Area of our enjoyable April'11 HAZ Mazatzal Group Camp.. Good Memories! :) Updated pics of my Campsite Area visit are also included.

    Regarding FR201 and FR3348 present "Road Driving Status":
    FR201 was surprisingly dry with few rocky rough spots-ruts and is easily navigable by high-clearance 2WD. Sedans are still not recommended.
    FR3348 Due to one rough-loose-rocky-steep spot to reach the .45 mile road end at the main campsite area, FR3348 is only recommended for high-clearance stock 4WD vehicles.
    Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site
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    I've had a personal need for sometime now to hike the "off-trail" ridgeline route to try and summit Sheep Mountain Peak-6996, to have some private time there on the summit, and personally sign-in to my friend and hiking/travel partner- GPSjoe's dedicated summit register.

    I knew that I needed to start early for this one and thought that my camping only a three mile drive to the TH would give me the extra time I needed for this more difficult out and back hike. I guess it might have if I could manage to arrive at the TH before 8:40am, but I could not.. even with having my hiking pack ready to go the night before, up at 6am, and having a quick breakfast the morning of.. :roll:

    It was still very rewarding to be in and on this Sheep Mountain ridgeline area that Joe so loved to be. On this beautiful blue sky hiking day I made my way along the ridgeline route successfully to summit Peak 6910 at around 12:noon. With great views of Sheep Mountain Peak from Peak 6910, I was satisfied that I had come close enough to experiencing some of the remoteness and challenge that must have continued to keep GPSjoe coming back for more.

    For my personal files and to share I felt rewarded to capture in pics the essence of this area that will forever provide me with lasting personal memories- some sweet and some bittersweet.
    Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site
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    At sunrise Clark Norgaard arrives at Chez Schulhauser's and we load up his 4WD Ford Expedition to join others at Camp Grasshopper for Sunday breakfast. With this being my first visit to the Peeley TH at the end of FR201 -- let's just say we had difficulty locating Camp Grasshopper...

    Undeterred, we broke out the BBQ and made breakfast at the Peeley TH - bacon, eggs, toast, juice (forgot the Prickly Pear Vodka) and great conversation. We hoped to cross paths with somebody from Camp Grasshopper, but did unexpectedly find Wally Farak on the trail, speed hiking towards Sheep Mountain. Wally gave us some vague instructions on how to find Camp Grasshopper. Clark and I agreed to give it a look after we tackle Mount Peeley Summit.

    We find the double cairns along the trail indicating the cut-off to Mount Peeley Summit. This is more or less some non-trail scrambling up the slopes to the summit. You do come across a cairn or two along the way to give you a little confidence you are on the right track.

    What can I say about Mount Peeley Summit -- totally unexpected spectacular 360 degree views!

    Speed trek back to the TH for some refreshments and onto Camp Grasshopper. Clark and I walk in along the side FR and find Hank the Pyro tending fire in anticipation of some frigid temperatures tonight.

    Hank gives Clark the complete background story about Joe Domin's disappearance before we head back home for dinner. Good to see Hank and sorry we missed the others at Sunday breakfast!

    Photos to follow...
    Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site
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    See my triplog for info about getting to Camp Grasshopper. It is a wonderful place with a spectacular view and all sorts of cool people drop by. I practiced my cold weather camping, still a work in progress.

    Bob and John for transporting us to and from the TH.
    Steve for deciding a bonfire was in order.
    Hank for an incredible dinner & getting Tonto to the TH safely.
    Bob and Richard and those that helped build the fire.

    It was a wonderful 2-nite stay in the Mazatzals. Next time, could you order a little warmer temps OR less wind... that would be even better. ;)
    Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site
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    From our Camp Grasshopper location off FR201-up FR3348, we departed in two vehicles to make the 3 mile drive to the Mount Peeley TH to start our hiking day. Steve(nonot) had arrived at the TH earlier in the morning and was already on the trail heading for Ravine#7 for his planned search hike.

    It was a busy morning when we arrived at the Peeley TH. Soon after our group start, Bob(rlrjamy) shifted into 3rd gear and passed us all on his way up and over Mount Peeley to join Steve on the Sheep Mountain Ridgeline to search hike down rugged/heavy vegetation Ravine#7 (GPSjoe's 11/16/09 bailout route) in our continuing efforts to locate a clue in GPSjoe's 11/8/10 disappearance. Another long and difficult off-trail hike for them with no clues found.

    The rest of our group of five headed for the Mount Peeley Summit at 7030 feet. I had not hiked this one since Sept'07. It was good to summit once again and to be able to see first hand the huge and rugged Mazatzal Wilderness area encircling this peak and Sheep Mountain area to better understand the daunting task it is to adequately search hike this area.

    See Angela's (tibber) detailed trip log for our full day (AM and PM) :) ..
    Camp Grasshopper - Mazatzal Main C/Site
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    On 11/1/10 GPSjoe and I hiked this very difficult to navigate loop, our last hike together..

    Today on the way back to Camp Grasshopper I hiked a short .25ml exploratory on this Davey Gowan TR48 to checkout how well GPSjoe and my 11/1/10 Survey Route Taping of this TR48 is holding-up; I am very sorry to report that it now appears that possible all our 11/1 efforts to correctly tape route this very difficult to follow trail to its ending intersection with Deer Creek TR45 (for at least the .25ml distance I hiked in), has all been removed;

    With no TH signage at the parking location for sometime now and probable confirmation of the route taping being removed, I'm guessing that the responsible Tonto NF ranger district must now consider this TR#48 to be decommissioned. My posted 11/1/10 default GPS track for this loop hike is the correct hiking track and will now be a required download by most who choose to on-trail hike this TR48;

    Permit $$

    Map Drive

    To car camp trip
    From the Phoenix area: Take the Beeline Hwy 87 north to signed turnoff for Sycamore Creek approx .50 mile north of Mile Post 222; Turn left across divided highway onto paved Old Hwy 87 (at GPS coordinates N33.92158 W-111.45527) and follow this paved road to dirt road on right (FR201) at 1.20 miles; Turn right and cross over the cattle-guard and drive 1.2 miles to the fork of FR25 and FR201; Veer slightly right and continue following FR201 up hill for an additional 6.0 miles to the easy to miss but signed FR3348 right turn-downhill (at GPS coordinates N34.00235 W-111.44238); On this .45 mile FR3348 to its end at GPS coordinates N34.00722 W-111.43726, there are four(4) nice vehicle camping/campsite locations that will accommodate a large number of vehicle campers: Campsite locations #1 and #2 are accessible from the FR201 turn off by 2WD High Clearance vehicles when dry; Campsite locations #3 and #4(what I call the "main/largest" camping area at FR3348 .45ml road end) are accessible from the FR201 turn off by "only" 4WD High Clearance vehicles with upgraded tires recommended;

    Please Note: If there is a large group of vehicle campers with a limited number of 4WD High Clearance vehicles, and easier access campsite areas #1 and #2 fill up, then 4WD vehicle shuttle arrangements can be made to shuttle campers equipment the short distance to a suitable camping location at campsite area #3 and the largest, most Pine Tree shaded area #4 at 6105ft elevation; All four of these campsite areas are suitable for either in vehicle, hammock, backpack, or tent camping; Please also see posted 8.8mile GPS Driving Track for your reference, download, and following (this 8.8ml track starts at the turn off of Hwy87 at Mile post 222.5 and stops at the end of FR3348 at above referenced Campsite #4; Please also see posted 3/31/11 photo sets for additional information regarding FR3348 and campsite areas 1-4;
    page created by Grasshopper on Mar 31 2011 10:53 pm
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