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Davenport Wash Trail #89, AZ

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Guide 33 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
Rated
3.1
3.1 of 5 by 8
 
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Statistics
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance One Way 16.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,978 feet
Elevation Gain 3,695 feet
Accumulated Gain 5,499 feet
Avg Time One Way 12 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 35.03
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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2  2019-03-30
Mazz Transit
toddak
20  2019-03-30
Mazzy Transit
BiFrost
15  2018-12-19
Davenport Wash Trail Recon
BiFrost
13  2018-01-17 Sredfield
30  2017-12-20
Davenport Wash Trail to Barnhardt
BiFrost
30  2017-11-18
Sheep Creek Cabin
jacobemerick
33  2017-09-01
Club Cabin
jacobemerick
12  2017-03-17
Davenport - South Fork Deadman Creek
BiFrost
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author jacobemerick
author avatar Guides 31
Routes 71
Photos 795
Trips 96 map ( 1,037 miles )
Age 34 Male Gender
Location Gilbert, AZ
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb
Sun  6:14am - 6:25pm
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14 Alternative
 
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by jacobemerick

Overview
Of the trails that start on the western end of the Mazatzals and climb to the main backbone, this one is the most approachable. It is fairly easy to access, from either Horseshoe Dam or by fording the Verde River, and much of the length was spared from fire damage. This is also the shortest way to access Club Cabin and can be part of several good overnight loops, such as the Davenport / Sears Loop.


Warning
A 1.5 mile-long section of trail between Red Rock Spring and South Fork Deadman Creek was damaged by the Willow Fire. Segments of it may be difficult to follow through thick undergrowth and washed-out tread.

Hike
Reaching the western trailhead is the first challenge. Unless you have a vehicle that can ford the Verde River, the best way to reach the trailhead is by crossing under the Horseshoe Dam spillway and a 3.3 mile roadwalk on FR 479. The actual start of the trail is barely marked - from the chalk cliffs on FR 479 (about 3 miles past the dam) take the right fork, follow the track across a wash, walk past the Sears Trailhead sign, and then follow left fork at the old trail sign for Club Springs onto an old two-track.

The first few miles of Davenport Wash Trail follows the old road. It crosses a field of cholla, makes a quick climb onto a mesa, then slowly gains more elevation on the mesa towards the wilderness boundary. With the exception of the quick climb and some loose rocks along that, this section is easy to follow and quite enjoyable, offering good views all around. Wilderness boundary is at 2.5 miles, though the old road continues until a corral at 3.2 miles.

Follow the south, then east, side of the corral, picking up the trail on the other side, which has now changed to single-track with periodic cairns. It slowly creeps along 3129', sliding along the south side in a general easterly direction. At 4.5 miles there is a saddle where some excellent views of the hike ahead open up. Table Mountain is the large monster that rises up on the left side, which is the approximate halfway point of the trail.

A quick drop waits on the other side of saddle, and then some dancing along a slope, before entering the main wash at the bottom of this drainage. There may be water either up or downstream of the trail crossing - just look for the cottonwoods to track it down. The tread may be tricky to follow in the wash so keep a close eye out for cairns to find the correct way out. The path continues up to a shallow saddle next to 3821', reaching it at 5.7 miles. There's no drop on the other side here, only a twist to the left and more climb to the next shallow saddle at 6.5 miles.

By now the trail is about even with the end of Table Mountain and will play along the southern slope, which will only become larger and more oppressive on the way to Club Cabin. Also, the trail continues the pattern of having a small saddle every mile or so. It completely passes Midway Spring, regardless of what the older topographic track shows, staying high on the hill to the north instead. It does stick close to Dog Spring. While the trail may start to become boring with the constant uphill slope, narrow tread, periodic drainage crossings, and regular saddles, the views ahead remain inticing.

There is one last little saddle at 8.9 miles before a sizable drop to Rock Spring. This spring also marks the point where Sheep Creek Trail climbs from the south, for those inclined to use that trail. Davenport Wash Trail continues east, swinging along the side of a hill on a narrow track before meeting the bank of Davenport Wash itself. There is a sign for the junction with Deadman Trail near an overgrown corral, though it's not clear where exactly this trail begins its northward journey. Near this junction is where Davenport Wash Trail crosses the wash itself, heads over to another small corral at 10.2 miles, goes through a gate, and starts a quick haul up a catclaw-covered slope to the site of the old Club Cabin and spring.

Club Cabin, with its dependable spring, makes for an excellent overnight location. While the cabin itself burned some years back, the old stable is still standing as of '17 (heavily listing to the side) and some metal objects remains of the old home. There are a few flat spots for tent/tarp sleepers and an awesome view of Table Mountain to the west. Plus, the fence surrounding the area may be suitable for horses to run free, though it's best to double-check that it is still fully enclosed.

The trail crosses the outlet from Club Cabin spring below the old stable, which may be difficult to track through the growth. On the other side the tread picks back up and is easy to follow all the way to Red Rock Spring, another dependable water source. On the far side of this spring is a decent 800' climb, which first zips up the side of a ridge, then tracks along a slope for a while, and finally swings onto and stays on top of another ridge. After this climb the trail is only five hundred feet below Table Mountain, if that is any consolation.

Fire damage begins to get bad at 12.6 miles, with a mix of brush overgrowing the washed-out tread and few cairns to guide a way through. It generally sticks to the same elevation, following the side of the slope in and out of a few drainages, never really climbing too much. Things clear up at 13.7 miles just in time for the trail to turn sharp east and head downhill, beginning the long descent into South Fork Deadman Creek.

Dropping down a slope into a drainage, there are several large cairns to help guide over to a well-constructed tread that picks up on the right bank. This tread circles around a hill and then follows a ridge downhill, dropping quickly under a scattered forest with a few loose rocks to roll over. It then cuts more to the right, half-following another drainage down, before a final slide to the bottom of a very rock Deadman Creek at 14.6 miles. This creek is highly seasonal and varies from a challenging crossing to a dry, rocky hop.

The trail picks up on the other bank, sliding north up the hill as it climbs above the creek. Once it hits a grassy ridge it begins hauling uphill over tight switchbacks that may be difficult to track - simply keep climbing on the ridge. At 15 miles there is a slow curve to the right as the trail avoids a rocky cliff band above, and eventually it hops over the far right side and swings back around, following the contour. Beyond the cliff band is manzanita and large rocks to contend with before finally reaching Chilson Camp. A large cairn marks the eastern end of the trail.

Water Sources
Club Cabin and Red Rock Spring are the two most reliable sources along the trail. There may be water at Dog Spring, Davenport Wash, and South Fork Deadman Creek depending on the local conditions.

Camping
Club Cabin is the most established campsite along the route. Rock Spring also has a few clearings (yet little appeal). Chilson Camp, located at the eastern end, is a well-established area with healthy traffic from AZT hikers.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2018-01-26 jacobemerick

    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.

    Most recent of 20 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Davenport Wash Trail #89
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    This trip could be done as an enjoyable overnight or as a terrible dayhike. I chose the latter.

    pre-trail
    Driving down FR 25 from 201 was bad enough for my little minivan. Parked at the fork of 25/25A and walked up the rest of the way to Mormon Grove. New moon meant great sky views.

    Saddle Mountain #91
    Still in fantastic shape. Was a piece of cake to walk in the dark, even when a few overgrown branches cast scary shadows over the last mile or so. Potato Patch saddle was delightfully spooky, with those two big mountains towering above, blocking out the stars. Paused at MacFarland to pull a fresh liter and to gawk at the 'food cache'.

    Sheep Creek #88
    Getting to Squaw Flat Spring was easy with predawn light, though I still haven't found a track I like from there to the Copper Camp junction. Oh well. The final climb was quick and easy and I made it to the 'drop-off' just before the sunrise for some ridiculously good views. Drop was easier this time around, though the trail was a bit hard to track along the creek with the fall leaves. Which I was totally willing to deal with. Few pools along the way that dried up before the seep proper. Reached the cabin area to find a dry Round Spring and creek - which I needed. Hauled up to Sears Junction and the saddle above but couldn't pick up a path until I started dropping down the other side.

    Sheep Creek Trail from Sears to Davenport is a bit easier to track than the eastern part of Sears Trail, with small cairns and faint tread to track, but it was easy to lose near the washes. Oh, and that last drop down the ridge after the Sears Junction is terrible, all rolling rocks that really know how to tweak knees. I did find it interesting how small most of the cairns are, as if someone recently did some revival work, there's just not enough traffic out this way to sustain it. Once I reached Davenport Wash I was struck at how different these two trails were - Davenport Wash is like 90% packed footpath with a few cairns and Sheep Creek is 90% tiny cairn tracking and sorting through game trails.

    Davenport Wash #89
    Section from Sheep Creek to Club Cabin felt a bit harder to follow today, or else I was just in a rush for water. Reached the old cabin to the smell/sight of fresh horse manure but no one in sight. Drank 2 liters here, pulled another 2, figuring that would be enough to last until Deadman Creek. While I was pulling water a bear tried to sneak up on me, but I heard him crunching the leaves (about twenty feet away) and told him kindly to wait his turn.

    Onto the fun part. Getting to Red Rock Spring area was simple, good trail that was being overtaken by various spiky things with well-worn alternative routes. Climbing out of Red Rock was a solid gut-punch of elevation and I accidentally ended up on a game trail about forty feet above the actual path but kept to it, unwilling to lose an inch. We met back up in time to tackle two miles of manzanita / catclaw / holly? mess that left me dripping blood from a dozen cuts. Then it was time to slip-slide descend into Upper Deadman, which was dry, and then climb back out, and I chose a bad route initially and had to do sketchy scrambling before finding the real way, and then haul up the grassy hill that never ends.

    When I hit mile 21, with forty minutes of daylight left and unknown trail conditions ahead, I had to stop. Drank the last of my water, ate a disgustingly sweet bar of some sort, and watched ballooning strands sparkle over Deadman Creek in the dying day's light. It was one of those moments that I hope I never lose, feeling the concerns about getting back to a decent trail before sunset melting away in the face of silent, overpowering beauty.

    Back to the hike. Hauled up the rest of the way to round the cliff by 5400' and find a lonely cairn marking the turn. Which was nice, because there hadn't been dependable cairns for much of the climb from the creek. The terrain got real rocky real fast, huge red boulders that were anything but stable, though there was a packed path hidden in the manzanita that slowly got better as I traveled east. In fact, even after the sun set, I was able to move pretty quick as obvious maintenance made the last mile painless. To whoever did this, you are awesome. Reached Chilson around six and wasted little time booking up Brody and swinging around on the Mazatzal Divide. Stopped before the saddle to don some extra clothes (temps drop fast up there) and wish for some water.

    Barnhardt #43
    Was far too easy to trot down, even after all those miles. One thing worth mentioning was that I was about a mile in when a large chopper slowly started flying up the canyon. It took a minute for me to register the spotlight on it and I didn't turn off my headlamp in time. They quickly zeroed in on me, swinging low circles and blinding me with their light. I waved them away but it took a while for them to acknowledge and fly away, turning towards the Sandy Saddle area. I'm unsure if someone else was in trouble and called them in or if it was a police chopper making routine rounds or what.

    Yet another quiet day in the Mazzies. Didn't see anyone on the trail, only one other car parked at Barnhardt during pick-up. (Big thanks to @reynchr for assisting with the shuttle)

    Mazatzal Miles: 181.5/275 (66%)
    Finally got every trail southeast of Mountain Spring completed! (except Fig, but Fig only kinda counts)
    Davenport Wash Trail #89
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    The planned route was an attempt to follow @Lizard's original Club Cabin description with two key differences: I wanted to reverse it and use Sandy Saddle to go up (instead of Half Moon / Rock Creek). However, things didn't go well and I ended up bailing on the last leg.

    Barnhardt #43
    First time heading up this trail in daylight. Starting to get a bit overgrown in sections, all friendly green stuff that never hurt nobody. Bumped into a yuge group (12+) from Prescott Comm. who were doing a 3-week trip from here to Fossil Creek. These would be the last people I'd see in... a long time.

    Sandy Saddle #231
    Good grief. Even getting to Castersen Seep involved trekking-poles-above-head wading through the manzanita. There are sections of defined tread and clear track, they are just few and far between. Castersen was okay, few tanks w/ skunky water. Had a hard time tracking trail over to the next wash, and that last climb doesn't believe in switchbacks. Made it to the saddle proper with the sunset, a solid hour behind schedule. This would make a decent camp, plus there were tanks few hundred yards to the west for water. Unsure of how dependable they are.

    Anyways, didn't even try to look for tread coming down the west side, just dropped in the drainage and followed it down. The wash was easy enough to navigate in the twilight / moonlight and I made it to Divide Trail, then Horse Camp Seep, without needing headlamp. Rehydrated and snoozing in hammock by ten.

    Mazatzal Divide #23
    As usual, big views. Was cool to look down from the ridge above the Park and try to track where Willow Spring plays on 6351'. Trail is in great shape. Thought about pushing on to Pete's Pond to camel up and didn't - stupid mistake.

    Willow Spring #223
    Heh. That first mile is turrible. Deadfall wasn't really a problem, more the manzanita and loose rocks underfoot. Found no cairn or tread along the way. Got a gnarly bloody nose here too thanks to a face-whacking branch, took way too long to stem the flow. Things got better on the ridge, with old tread and game trails providing an easier way forward through the shorter brush. Views across Maverick Basin were ridiculously awesome, too.

    The dance along the side of 6351' was annoying, with the trail fading in and out of existence and too few cairns to connect the dots, and a pretty steep hillside to work along. Short section of good trail on the drop until it faded out again and I ended up taking a rocky drainage down to wash below. At this point I was starting to run low on water and decided to stick to the sandy wash in hopes of finding water (and maybe to avoid the manzanita/deadfall mix that waited on the southern bank). Found a decent tank (though I suspect it was only there from last night's rain) and filtered up, spooked an elk while packing up, and then hacked my way back up to trail.

    Things gradually got easier along the ridge and, by the time I bumped into the Midnight Mesa Junction, the trail was straightforward to pick out. Dancing along the side of Midnight Mesa was downright fun, and the rest of the hike to Mountain Spring was enjoyable as well. Reached the spring with two hours of daylight for camp chores and treated myself to some homemade thai curry mix and a quick trough-side rinse-off.

    Aside from the second night: at about ten at night that elk showed up for a drink. Darn thing was less than ten feet away before I realized he wasn't another tiny nocturnal rodent. Seeing a giant rack upside down, looking down on you as you cowboy-camp, is a hell of a way to wake up. Spooked him off and then fell back asleep to his annoyed bugles. Elk sound silly when they're angry.

    Deadman #25
    Getting to the junction is easy to follow, and there is a good path w/ cairns that lead down to Horse Creek. And then it disappears. Tried going up and down the banks a few time to find where it climbs and eventually just hacked up the hill. It's frustrating, because there are two old barbed fences to cross, and one would think that there'd be a gate or cairn or something to mark where you're supposed to pass through them - nothing. Got to practice my Zeta-Jones skills squeezing underneath the wires, at least. Tread shows up at the next drainage crossing and is easy to follow for the next mile, then gets faint on the long drop to Deadman Creek.

    Deadman Creek seems to be dependable here, with lots of friendly trees and some reeds growing around the trickling waters. Trail was hard to track on the other side - I crossed, got to the corral, and then followed the fence east, and then lost it. Think I should have gone further east. Anyways, hacked my own way up some turrible brush and then picked a route up the hill. Found a few cairns but the tread wasn't trackable for too long. Felt like it took forever to climb up to the saddle. Once I reached the top, feeling a bit light-headed from the growing heat, I was immediately stung several times by a wasp. Made it down to the junction w/ Davenport Trail before the reaction started getting serious.

    This is when things get a bit blurry. I reached out to wife (@klemerick) via inReach and let her know what had happened. I decided to head up to Club Cabin and rest for a while, took every ounce of energy to make it up that hillside - something was definitely off, either from heat or sting or both. Once I got there I remember wandering around, uncertain of what to do next, taking almost an hour before realizing that I should be drinking water given the 100+ temps. @klemerick was in constant contact and she decided that I needed to get out of there the fastest way possible, down Davenport, and that she and @reynchr would help me out along the way. Spent the rest of the day futzing around the cabin, not doing much of anything, mostly trying to get a grip on things. It was terrifying.

    Davenport #89
    Woke up the next morning feeling slightly better, still off. Those little climbs, especially near Rock Spring, kept knocking the wind out of me. At least the path was easy to track after the last few days - think I only lost it twice, and was able to quickly backtrack and get back on it. Don't know how I had such a hard time following it last year lol. Made it about halfway down that last mesa, outside the wilderness boundary, when a USFS truck showed up to give me a ride the rest of the way.

    My rescuers, @klemerick and @reynchr, had spent the night at Sears Trailhead and left a water cache for me there while they went back and tried to find a way to get their vehicle across the Verde. By sheer luck they bumped into a ranger at the camp and explained the situation. He had access to the dam gates and drove over to save me the last four miles of hiking, which was definitely appreciated. Made it out of there in relatively good shape, though I was still shaky and weird from the day before. I have no idea how I would have gotten out of there without their help, though - trying to cross back over to Barnhardt would have been far outside my capabilities in my shape. Am very grateful for them.

    Mazatzal Miles: 164.6/275 (60%)
    Davenport Wash Trail #89
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    I was finally able to get to the Club this weekend. I had been wanting to visit the old cabin's ruins for a long time, so it was nice to finally get there this weekend. Last year I came up a little short due to an ill advised looping attempt with Sears Trail and I cancelled another trip due to weather.

    I started from the dam where there is a ton of water being released right now. Davenport Wash Trail went pretty fast at first and then dragged a bit, as it got more primitive. There was no water along the entire trail until Rock Spring just over 13 miles in. However, after that there is running water. The acacia is a bit of a nuisance the final mile or so to the cabin and I had to break several prickly pair along the way to get Blanco and his big pack through, but we got to the Club rather unscathed, just tired and a little cooked from the beating sun. The cabin site is pretty on par for most dilapidated cabin sites, nothing overly spectacular, but a pleasant area to camp none the less. Club Spring's flow was robust and after the usual camp chores and some dinner, I was in bed pretty early.

    The overnight conditions were closer to balmy rather than cold and I enjoyed the big moon. Similarly, it was not overly chilly in the morning and rather pleasant. I broke camp to some light rain, but it was sporadic and ended after a few short intervals of sprinkles. The hike out went quicker and was much cooler than the day before my spirits were raised along the way by a petroglyph find. Davenport Trail is not in horrible shape, but its lack of shade and somewhat rugged tread at times will wear on you. It took just under 8 hours to get to Club Cabin on the way in and just over seven hours to hike out.

    Great overnight conditions for backpacking, but it did get a little warm on the way in. I am not sure if the current state of Davenport Trail makes this an enjoyable hike for everyone, but I appreciated its rugged demeanor and enjoyed the out and back overnighter.
    Davenport Wash Trail #89
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Headed out to Horseshoe Dam and took the road and Sears trail out about 5 miles up Davenport Wash On the way back we cut over to the lower part of Davenport trail.

    There were a lot of birds at the dam: 3 pelicans, a bunch of egrets and cormorants and a bald eagle.

    The washout along 479 has been fixed and the road stays up out of the wash which has been deepened to help avoid more future washouts.
    Davenport Wash Trail #89
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    There is new construction below the dam. Looks like they built a hydroelectric power plant to supply the rest of the facilities :-k :?

    Took Davenport out to wilderness boundary on way back we cut over to Sears for the return. The mesquites look great out here right now :) the foxtails not so much :lol:
    Davenport Wash Trail #89
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    * Back-posting for the memories *

    I was starting to get a bit weary of the Supes in early 2016 so the Mazzies seemed like an interesting option. Armed with exactly 0 miles hiked in this wilderness and a random assortment of gear I headed out to Horseshoe Dam to check out some trails. The plan was to do Davenport-Sears Loop as an overnight, with a short hop up to Club Cabin for water if I had time, but that turned out to be a bit ambitious.

    The Hike Out
    Getting to this trail is a small adventure. Parked near the overlook and crossed under the dam, which was way more awesome than I expected. Then it was mundane dirt road walking to the trailhead. I wasn't sure if the (KA/Johnson) ranch was active before heading out, but from tire tracks, crowing roosters, and random farm animals in the pastures it looks to be fully operational. Three miles later and I found Sears Trailhead, where a horse trailer was already parked in the wash. They must have driven over the dam's walkway (which is locked, btw).

    First few miles beyond the wash is a winding two-track that goes through palo verde/saguaro flats, climbs up a little ridge, and then follows the open grassy ridge while providing awesome views of a chalky canyon to the north and epic ridges eastwards. Things get a little rocky again near the wilderness boundary and pauses at an old horse corral. This is where the two-track ends and it took a while for me to pick up where the footpath continues on the far side. From here on out I had to depend more on the fresh horse tracks and occasional cairn than defined trail. Climb up to a saddle, enjoy the views, drop a short bit down, and then climb to the next saddle. Got thoroughly separated from the trail twice and had some fun hacking through brush. But at least I bumped into my first Gila monster on the way!

    When I finally got to Table Mountain and the Sheep Creek junction I was running behind schedule, low on water, and felt pretty drained from the exposure. Plus I had seen no water along the way, so it seemed safest to continue to Club Cabin and water up instead of saving time by cutting down towards uncertain sources on Sheep Creek. A bit over eight hours since leaving the dam I reached Club Cabin to find the pen locked tight and horses running loose inside. Finally found the group I had been following all day. We chatted, shared stories, and then I watered up at the spring, which was barely trickling. Tried using a new Sawyer mini, failed because I didn't know what I was doing, so just defaulted to an old MSR Miniworks. After an hour's rest I backtracked to Rock Spring, near the Sheep Creek junction, and set up camp near the circular water trough.

    Camp
    Mentioned that my gear was a random assortment. Half of it was leftover from my Midwest backpacking days and half was new fancy ultralight stuff. Dinner was a simple thing over a pocket rocket & gas, shelter a tarp-poncho with line & trekking poles to hold it up, and sleeping system a 20°F Kelty w/ Klymit X-Lite. Thanks to the huge bag I was using my 65L Scheels backpack, which was not designed to carry such a light load and had been sitting poorly all day. Plus my boots (Vasque Breeze) literally had holes in them from 5+ years of use. My back hurt and my feet bruised and, thanks to a warm and cloudy evening with some spitting rain, the sleeping bag was far too warm and bugs were out in force. Bug spray only does so much. Without a net I was reduced to huddling inside the cinched bag and sauna'd through the night. It was not a great campsite experience.

    The Return
    After a handful of catnaps I got up early and booked out, skipping coffee and oatmeal for a quick return. There was no way I was going to tempt Sheep Creek/Sears on the way down, not with unreliable GPS routes and a foul mood. Made one brief stop looking for water near an unnamed spring E of Dog Spring and found a little pool too small/muddy for the MSR to handle. Could have made it worked, decided to tough it out. Rolled downhill, only losing the trail once this time (progress!), and made it back in about five hours. Ran out of water at the trailhead and had a hot & dry road walk to finish things. Returned to the van after my first Mazzie experience slightly humbled and very thirsty.

    Mazatzal Miles: 10.9/274 (4%)
    Davenport Wash Trail #89
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    This little over-nighter turned out to be a hotter, drier and more rugged introduction to the west Mazatzals than I was looking for. My initial plans were an out and back to the Club Cabin area. However, on Friday I got the idea to try and incorporate the Sears Trail into my plan and make a large loop.

    I did not research the loop I was going to make that much, but did download almost everyone's routes who had been in the area. I was using Outlander's posted loop route and some off trail extravaganza route of Bruce's to navigate Sears Trail. I ended up deciding to bail on doing the loop because there was just no water to be found and I was starting to lose faith in being able to find the connector trail to Davenport. But instead of turning around, I thought I would take Bruce's crosscut route he apparently made while visiting waterfalls in the area. I thought, "how bad could it be?" take his crosscut route to a the first point I can climb up onto Davenport and then head for the Club. Needless to say his route ended up not being very backpack friendly, but the water fall he marked on his GPS did end up being our saving grace.

    I had given my last water to the dogs on the ridgleline coming down, because they were going on over an hour without water, it was on the blind faith that we would find some water in the upcoming canyons. I was hoping that water would be at a waterfall marked along Bruce's route. However, soon I was starting to doubt we would find any, as all the canyon bottoms within sight were dry. After finally reaching one of those dry canyon floors, we started to make our way towards the marked waterfall at the intersection of a parallel canyon. As we neared and maybe after an aloud prayer asking for some water to be there, Blanco heard the trickle and was off, right around the corner was a trickling waterfall, complete with deep pool underneath. The waterfall ended up being the start of a long stretch of continuous water anyways, but man did I fee like we found an oasis at the time. We made my way down canyon looking for the quickest possible route up to Davenport. I finally committed to the steep climb out and after about 7-8 tenths of a mile hit Davenport. The climb was rough on the dogs, but we were now on Davenport and I was still itching to make it to the Club.

    I should have just called it a day and turned around there, but all the water in the canyon we climbed out of had me convinced that there must be some water still residing in the secondary washes along Davenport. This held to not be true and the dogs and I had a pretty hot dry hike up Davenport. I ended up giving the last of my water to the dogs just after four and we did not see water until about a mile before the Club Cabin area, sometime after six p.m. All the springs were dry and there was not even as much as a puddle left in any wash. The lack of water was compounded by the blazing midday sun and no shade. Seeing that my death march was now taking a toll on the pups, I said to myself, "stop camp, first available water." Dog Spring had a great site, but no water, Rock Spring bone dry and then finally I heard the trickle of water as we made our final drop before heading up canyon towards Club Cabin.

    The campsite was not perfect, but was much appreciated. I never have too much trouble finding the good in a campsite out in the middle of the wilderness. Usual camp business, but with a little more sense of urgency due to the late arrival. The dogs were out after food and water. I had a small fire and was able to still grade a pretty good pile of essays. In bed relatively early, slept very well. The moon was great company.

    I woke up early Sunday with aspirations of still making it to the cabin and then heading back, but I wised up. I knew the low light of an early start would serve the pups better on Davenport heading back to the TH. The hike out was much nicer than day one and made me wish I would have never tried to wrap the Sears Trail into my backpack. But I still found as much good in the trip as I could. It was nice to make it out to the western Mazzys, but the area really does not compare to some of the areas I have grown fond of on the other side of the range.

    The heat and lack of water made the hike a little precarious at moments and I thought I broke poor Cup off on day one, but she woke up spry and chased rabbits with Blanco nearly up to the end.
    Davenport Wash Trail #89
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Trans Mazzy - East to West
    This one's been in the thought / planning stage for more than a year.
    Once the logistics of
    :next: covering aprox 24 miles,
    :next: on a day that Horseshoe Dam was closed (ie Verde cross-able w/ vehicle),
    :next: decent weather,
    :next: with a group of 6 to 10 hikers,
    :next: in an area few have ventured recently,
    :next: on a trail that is non-existent in places
    was determined, it all fell into place.

    We were thwarted 2 weeks ago by weather and our group dropped from 10 to 6. This was a key swap, since I figured it would take about 8 hours to set up and rip down a shuttle. JJ, Joe, Karl started on the Davenport Wash Trail, from the west at the Wilderness border, Ken, Fan and myself from the East at the Barnhart TH.

    Temps were mostly nice on the day. Starting at 55, hitting mid 80's and ending, for us, at 72. Scattered clouds and a breeze help immensely during the day.

    Hawaiian Mist and the Big Kahuna Falls were flowing decently on the way up the Barnhart Trail.

    Passing the campsite just west of the intersection with the Mazatzal Divide Trail, some idiot backpackers neglected to put out their campfire and left cans from their meal in the fire. We covered it the best we could with rocks to keep it contained, not knowing when we'd get to our next water source for replenishment.

    On our way through Chilson Camp we stopped and chatted with the guys camping there. A few were forest service workers out enjoying the weekend.

    The views West of Chilson Camp, were pretty big. Table Mountain was the prominent peak, with numerous canyons around the South Fork of Deadmans Creek and Davenport Creek, supplying interesting views.

    Now the fun begins. To this point we were on established trails. The Davenport Wash Trail from Chilson Camp to Club Cabin, has some issues. With a GPS track (Highly Recommended), you can navigate your way.

    Climbing out of the South Fork of Deadmans Creek, we met the easterly traveling speedsters. We chatted for a brief moment, but I could tell that JJ's motor was running. Cue smoke, speedsters gone into a cloud dust.

    From East to West, the worst section for us was betwen miles 11.5 - 13.25 (5000' to 4400'). Where we hiked, was in spots, through extremely thick brush.

    At Club Cabin we topped off our water and had some lunch. Only 12 miles to go and it was 4:45pm.

    At dusk we saw 2 rattlers about 5 minutes apart from each other and then spied a fox. We had a bit of trail finding issues in the dark, but made it back to Ken's Jeep, thankfully parked at the Wilderness boundary. A long, fun, challenging day.

    Thanks to Richard for being a sounding board on a few issues, and
    a Big Thanks to Ken :app: and Karl :app: for driving, and JJ for the Pizza. ](*,)

    Video :next: https://youtu.be/_U ... uu74

    ** Of Note ** HAZTracks ran for 14+ Hours (Android - Galaxy S5) before the cell phone died 1/2 mile before we finished.
    Cell was also on for the two hour trip to the TH. (16+ hours total)

    I think that one is out of my system now....
    .....do I dare start planning the next long distance Mazzy adventure that's been bugging me the last couple of years to do? It too will probably need to be a key swap. ;)
    Davenport Wash Trail #89
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Trans Mazatzal East to West
    Fan, Bruce & I started on the Barnhard TH as Karl, JJ & Joe started at the Davenport TH. The South fork of the Deadman’s creek was flowing pretty good. We meet the other party a little past the creek. The next three miles had route finding and guessing. The views are awesome in the area! We took a late lunch at the club cabin and filtered some water.

    We saw two rattle snakes about a .25 mile apart. These may be the same two that the east bound guys saw. We also saw a fox as the sun dropped.

    Big thanks to Bruce for the route and handling the logistics and to Karl for the shuttle!
    Davenport Wash Trail #89
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Trans Mazatzal West to East
    Big thanks to Bruce for getting this organized. Building on jj's triplog...

    We had a little over 5.5 miles of rarely traveled country to knock out on the eastern Davenport Wash Trail #89. While this segment demands your attention it was not the ferocious beast feared. Water was available in many areas. No camera but 5932 was my favorite view of the day. South Fork of Deadmans Creek was the yeah baby this rocks area. Eclipsed by 6248, Mazzy Peak stood like a king.

    jj hooked us up at Redendo's Pizzeria. The pizza hit the spot! Salad was average at best. Perplexing service. In all fairness it was hands down the best run business by a 12 year old.

    Wildflowers
    Blue dicks dominated west of the divide. Brittlebush was impressive too. A few scattered varieties throughout, most west of the divide.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    These directions assume a start from 477. The easiest way to reach this track is either via the walkway under Horseshoe Dam or fording the Verde below the dam.
    page created by joebartels on Jan 26 2018 6:41 pm
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