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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Sandy Saddle Trail #231, AZ

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Description 11 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson W
Rated
1.2
1.2 of 5 by 5
 
1
Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance One Way 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,917 feet
Elevation Gain 500 feet
Accumulated Gain 900 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6
Backpack Possible & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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Inaugural Calculation next Tap
15  2018-06-03
Barnhardt - Sandy Saddle Loop
jacobemerick
12  2018-03-30
Barnhardt Trail #43
KBKB
33  2017-09-01
Club Cabin
jacobemerick
26  2017-03-25
Deadman Falls
rayhuston
5  2014-08-03
Barnhardt - Sandy Saddle Loop
JuanJaimeiii
15  2014-07-13
Y Bar Sandy Sandy Saddle Barnhardt Loop
friendofThunderg
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep
Sun  6:33am - 5:48pm
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Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Fisher Trail #230
1.8 mi away
3.6 mi
1,860 ft
Y Bar Canyon
2.0 mi away
10.0 mi
3,200 ft
Big Kahuna Canyon
2.0 mi away
6.0 mi
2,000 ft
Shake Tree Canyon
2.0 mi away
5.0 mi
3,000 ft
Brody Seep Trail #264
2.0 mi away
1.7 mi
690 ft
Horse Camp Seep - Mazatzals
2.1 mi away
19.3 mi
3,754 ft
North Fork Falls of Deadman Canyon
2.1 mi away
18.0 mi
3,169 ft
Barnhardt - Sandy Saddle Loop
2.1 mi away
15.0 mi
4,735 ft
Barnhardt Canyon
2.1 mi away
6.0 mi
2,000 ft
Barnhardt Trail #43
2.1 mi away
12.4 mi
2,132 ft
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Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
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Painful Option to Upper Barnhardt
by jacobemerick

Likely In-Season!
Overview
This trail provides an option to the upper two miles of Barnhardt Trail and makes a connection along the Mazatzal Divide that is perfect for hikers aiming for Horse Camp Seep and/or Deadman Falls. It can be combined with Barnhardt to do a challenging 15 mile dayhike or any number of longer loops involving Rock Creek Trail or even some of the western trails (see Club Cabin for inspiration).


Warning
This trail was damaged in the Willow Fire of '04 and has not seen maintenance in a long time. Sections of tread are washed out and most of the path is overgrown with manzanita. There are few cairns and practically no traffic to assist with route-finding. Do not expect to travel faster than a mile/hour.

Hike
Sandy Saddle Trail starts about 3.5 miles along the Barnhardt Trail (from Barnhardt Trailhead). The junction is marked with a few cairns and, for the first few dozen yards, the trail is easy to follow down the slope. It turns west and swings inwards, crossing a drainage, and steadily worsens as it follows the heavily vegetated hillside in and out. At 0.4 miles it turns north and follows a large drainage towards Castersen Seep. Dropping into this drainage may prove easier than route-finding along the bank.

Beyond the seep the trail hauls up the north bank, then begins twisting around the tip of a ridge, staying mostly level as it offers good views to the east. Things are much easier to track here thanks to low brush and a few helpful cairns. Brush tends to get a little thick on the shaded side of the ridge, and then the trail drops down to a drainage on the north side at 1.1 miles. A spotty trail may be traceable on the south bank, or else the drainage offers an obvious way forward. At 1.3 miles a rocky tributary shows up and marks the beginning of the climb.

Follow the tributary a few dozen yards and keep an eye out for a good place to cut up the ridge to the right, as the trail is faint here. Once you cut up aim for the edge of the ridge and follow that uphill, following the path when it's passable and keeping to the edge when it's not. This climb is about 780' and goes through some thick vegetation so... enjoy. Near 1.8 miles the trail will start bending to the right, away from the edge, and began to level off. There is one deep cut to cross before the last little climb to Sandy Saddle, a small, sandy clearing with some camping potential and limited views.

Go west across Sandy Saddle and look for a trail leading downhill through the brush, as it is well-defined and worth finding. It follows a rocky little drainage for a bit before meeting a larger one at 2.4 miles. Here the trail fades out and it is easier just to stick to the drainage as it tumbles downhill, which it does over a mix of easy sandy flats and rockier sections. A path may be traceable near the end on the south bank. Either way, the Mazatzal Divide Trail shows up soon enough and will feel like a highway in comparison.

Water Sources
Castersen Seep may have some water, especially in the tanks downstream of the trail crossing. Also, there are some rock tanks just west of Sandy Saddle, along the trail. Neither one of these should be depended upon.

Camping
Sandy Saddle provides a relatively flat area for camping with a twisted, half-dead tree or two for atmosphere. Coupled with the rock tanks to the west this could be a decent overnight spot off the beaten path of the Mazatzal Divide. Castersen Seep is rumored to be used as a campsite as well, though I've yet to see a reasonable spot along the drainage.

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.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    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
    page created by joebartels on Sep 28 2017 2:41 pm
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