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Bear Creek, AZ
mini location map2013-07-27
9 by photographer avatarOutlander
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Bear Creek, AZ 
Bear Creek, AZ
Hiking23.00 Miles 8,000 AEG
Hiking23.00 Miles   36 Hrs      0.96 mph
8,000 ft AEG   12 Hrs    Break25 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The mission was to check out a couple of springs in the Mazatzal Wilderness along Bear Creek.

The craggy peaks and canyons west of the Mazatzal Divide are very remote and receive few visitors. It is the type of country where you have the chance to find something of value or interest, so long as you stay off the beaten path. Beaten paths are few and far between out there, as most of interior trail system is in poor condition.

The route was the same hike that I did in June of 2010, walking down Bear Creek to the Davenport/Club Cabin Trail, and then heading back up the mountain through Mazatzal Wash. Bear Creek is usually dry in the upper four miles, other than a nice spring about halfway up. The lower section of the creek near Club Cabin flows continually and supports a few fish. The pools are shallow so only the smallest of minnows can live there on account of the bears having caught all the fish worth eating.

Five weeks of rain has ended the summer dry season; green foliage and colorful flowers abound. Even the creeks are running again, and better tasting water would be hard to find. The upper aquifer took several weeks to recharge, but water is now gushing out in earnest from the fault zones between the four and five thousand foot mark. There are a couple of places where the mountain is so full of fissures that water seeps from just about everywhere, even the tops of rocky crags, which is rather unusual. The water temperature was on the warm side, so there might be some volcanic heating going on underground.

I bailed on the Mazatzal Wash route on account of tired legs, opting to take the easier trail system instead. Mazatzal Wash is intermittent, but it does have a nice waterfall and spring around the 5000’ mark. Ranchers used to run cattle and sheep in the area, and there is an iron pipe that once brought water down from the spring. Perhaps I will hike that area next time.
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Bear Creek  Mazatzal Wilderness
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bear Creek Light flow Light flow
The creek never dries out near Club Cabin.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sheep Creek - Upper SE Fork Medium flow Medium flow
Lots of runoff from the summer rains.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Sheep Creek Seep Dripping Dripping
This seep is a lousy place to find water, further up the trail water can be found.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Squaw Flat Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
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