"Bloody Seep Trail"
This mini trail of tears with a modest reward at the end is nestled away in the Mazatzal Wilderness area. This short trail is really of insignificance in terms of necessity to travel in this area and aside from the Chilson camp area (its main attraction) at the far N.W. end; the trail offers very little reward for the effort needed to complete.
That being said, all trails deserve a description and the Mazatzals seem to have several trails devoid of one, so here it goes. Don't worry this won't take long.
This description starts from Chilson Cam. While the trail leaves much to be desired, Chilson Camp (originally an old cattle camp) offers a nice area to camp with a large fielded area and several nice spots under the trees. It seems the camp area would make an ideal destination for over night trips via Barnhardt Trail. However, one is certainly at the mercy of water conditions here, as reliable water is not near. Therefore, one must plan accordingly when visiting this area outside of prime spring run-off months.
Chilson Camp can be reached most easily and directly from the Barnhardt Trail and a short section of the Mazatzal Divide Trail. In fact, even if coming from another trail head (say the Mazatzal Divide Trail/AZ Trail), I would still recommend bypassing the Brody Seep Trail in lieu of the slightly longer but more enjoyable route that passes the intersection with the Barnhardt Trail. Starting from Chilson Camp, the trail is actually really nice for a short distance, as it is briefly wide and well worn. However, the trail quickly devolves into a typical over-grown non-maintained Arizona Trail. Judging from the size of some of the trees in the trail, I wonder if this trail was even on the downside before the large forest fire. Standard vegetation for this area includes no shortage of cat-claw, which is occasionally broken up by pleasant stretches of New Mexican Locust and some thicker Manzanita as you approach the trail's intersection with the AZ Trail/Mazatzal Divide Trail.
The most difficult sections of this trail are crossing the drainages/washes. In these areas the trail seems to be the most difficult to pick up in spots, badly eroded, and over-grown. However, there are just enough cairns to get you through this short trail and with the official route most should be able to navigate this guy. Just take your time picking up the trail after the major washes and one should be just fine. The final major wash or first depending on direction of travel near Brody Seep (never found, never looked for) will be the most tricky for most. The trail really seems to have vanished here due to some significant erosion. However, stay true to your route and take solace in the fact that you have a short distance to go to reach better trail. The Manzanita is a little thick after this section, but surprisingly the trail's tread remains heavy in spots and most should be able to pick up for this final or opening section.
If coming from Chilson Camp, be happy you made it to the much smoother sailing Mazaztal Divide Trail or if coming in from the south east be happy knowing a quaint picturesque camping spot awaits you at the end, but a little blood must be shed first. In between plowing through acacia and smashing manzanita, be sure to take in some of the tremendous views to the north. In cooler months with water, one may even find more beauty in this trail. However, a hot dry day in July does little to spruce up this little stretch of waste land in the Mazatzals.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.
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