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Mazatzal Divide to The Park, AZ

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18 12 0
Guide 12 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson W
Rated
3.2
3.2 of 5 by 5
 
2
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 18 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,458 feet
Elevation Gain 2,834 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,165 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 38.83
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9  2018-03-31
MDT - Pete's Pond - Pole Hollow Canyon Loop
joebartels
9  2018-03-31
City Creek TH to Pete's Pond loop
The_Eagle
15  2017-03-26
City Creek Loop
jacobemerick
19  2017-03-09
City Creek Trail Mazatzal Divide South
markthurman53
14  2017-02-11 BiFrost
4  2012-04-27
Mazatzal Divide Trail to Knob Mountain
mazatzal
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   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov
Sun  6:13am - 6:24pm
Official Route
 
4 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
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Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Note
This is a moderately difficult hike.





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2012-03-13
  • book
    area related
  • 100 Classic Hikes - 2007
    area related
    100 Classic Hikes - 2007
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 Triplog Reviews
Mazatzal Divide to The Park
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
City Creek TH to Pete's Pond loop
Driving in, I noticed the development at the end of the pavement, where the two covered arenas are, were up for sale.
HAZ retreat? https://www.landwatch.com/Gila-County-A ... /326742102

First time hiking from the City Creek TH. Guess I never realized this is where the northern terminus for the MDT #23 was. The trail is a steady climb for 6 miles but in great shape. Great views all around. At the top, back on the AZT again after passing the Red Hills trail. We rollercoastered southbound on the MDT to the intersection with North Peak Trail. We passed and talked to one AZT'er going Northbound from San Diego. His shoes did not look like he was going to make it much farther, but he was not concerned.

My goal for the day was hitting some new trails, as well as a stop at Pete's Pond. We went off trail westish at the the North Peak Trail junction, and made our way to Petes Pond. (Who is this Pete Guy?) . Petes was a great place for lunch as long as you don't mind being photographed by the two game cameras that are there.

After Lunch we headed down the North Peak trail. As others have noted (which I read after the hike) the western .5 - .75 miles of this trail are hard to follow in spots. a GPS track is great to keep you in the vicinity of the "Trail". Once you drop off the top, the route finding is a piece of cake. It is a steep loose bugger in many spots.

just North of the Mineral Creel TH we followed an old two track/creek bed in Pole Hollow Canyon. This was the gem of the day.

It's obvious is gets traffic from both game and humans and at one time was cleared, cutting out some of the bends in the canyon.
All of the human sign was within 1-2 miles of the Northern TH.

Great weather on the day.

Fauna on the day
1 Elk, 1 Deer, 4 javelina, 1 squirrel, 1 Teva.
Mazatzal Divide to The Park
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
MDT - Pete's Pond - Pole Hollow Canyon Loop
Mazatzal Divide - AZT #23
Well maintained. Glad it exists. My least favorite segment of #23. Nice chat w/~28yo NOBO thru hiker named something like trailpants, transplant or transcript. From San Diego, started Mar 9th, previously completed PCT.

Pete's Pond
We crawled 4.5 hrs to the pond. Great lunch break spot!

The Park
Nice to return to one of the few places I've camped.

North Peak Trail #24
Good luck finding the western 0.5 mi end. Great views heading East. That said I'd rather only hike this trail west due to loose footing on steep grades.

Pole Hollow Canyon
Pleasant surprise. The most continuously interesting hiking segment of the day. Much easier to negotiate the terrain than anticipated. Likely most enjoyable descending. Minor route finding and lack of maintained trail will keep the masses out.

Wildflowers
blue dicks, strawberry hedgehog, two white petal onion varieties
Mazatzal Divide to The Park
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Pretty nice loop from City Creek trailhead - up MD #23 to The Park, down North Peak to Mineral Creek trailhead, then back north down Pole Hollow Canyon to the start. The climb up MD #23 is excellent, with good trail and big views (but zero shade, start early). Unfortunately the first two miles of North Peak trail leaving The Park are sheer misery - faint, heavily overgrown, downed trees, etc. Thankfully some kind soul has hung literally hundreds of red ribbons to mark the way through the manzanita jungle. Things improve greatly as you head down the ridge, but it will take a major effort to restore the upper section. Pole Hollow Canyon works nicely to connect the trailheads - generally easy hiking either down in the drainage or up on the bench on either side. Also did a side out-and-back from The Park south to Hopi Spring.

Water along the trails:
Plenty of flow in City Creek at the trailhead.
Light flow in Wet Bottom Creek just south of The Park.
Trickles from Hopi Spring.
Light flow in Mineral Creek below the spring.
Mazatzal Divide to The Park
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Threw together a last minute backpacking loop - did this because Chumley/FOTG's triplogs were the only recent backpacking trips close enough to town.

The park is nice, Pete's pond is cloudy/silty, but a good source. Surprisingly it was about 45-50 degrees at sundown but warmed up to about 60 at midnight to 6AM and dropped back down to 45 around sunrise.

Finished the MDT by trekking out to the Rock creek Trail/Hopi Spring. Some of these areas of the Mazatzals are actually recovering from the fire, but are still decades away from full restoration. Back to camp to pack up and head down the North Peak trail. The first two miles of this trail are pretty terrible. The last 2 to the trailhead are more reasonable. Thanks to Hank and Chris for posting the GPS as I needed it at one point where the trail does the most illogical detour. Neither of the trails has much repeat value.

The mineral creek area is nice but the creek dried up before reaching the trailhead. Favorite part of the trip was seeing a herd of javelina while walking the shortcut back to the car.
Mazatzal Divide to The Park
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Friday forecast was good so I took the day off. I went up Maz Divide to Knob Mtn and off trail along the ridge to Red Hills trail. This is the old route shown on old topos, saw a few cairns. I found an old firefighter rake and an old campsite. From here I took Red Hills back up and then down MDT. The area is recovering a bit. Saw a buzzworm, a deer and a gopher snake.
Mazatzal Divide to The Park
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Day 1: City Creek TH to Fuller Seep. Jim found a nice axe on the trail and carried it for the next 4 days.

Day 2: Fuller seep to lower Wet Bottom Creek crossing (see profile photo and thank you Jim or wading in and rescuing my hiking socks that had blown into the creek :sl: ) and then back track to Midnight trail and down to Upper Wet Bottom Creek crossing.

Day 3: Upper WBC to The Park. This stretch of Midnight trail is really cool.

Day 4: Down North Peak trail and along Pole Hollow to City Creek TH.

We were lucky enough to do this incredible loop before the Willow Fire by just 3 months.

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Directions
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Road


To City Creek Trailhead
From Highway 87 in Payson, take Main Street west. Pavement ends after a couple miles, and road becomes FR 406. About 9 miles from end of pavement, City Creek trailhead and parking are on right. If you come to a ranch house and out buildings beside the road, you've gone about a quarter mile too far.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 97.0 mi, 2 hours 11 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 195 mi, 3 hours 41 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 116 mi, 2 hours 41 mins
page created by joebartels on Mar 13 2012 1:00 am
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