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Mazatzal Peak Loop
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mini location map2014-09-20
30 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Mazatzal Peak LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 20 2014
rayhuston
Hiking15.06 Miles 3,170 AEG
Hiking15.06 Miles   7 Hrs   48 Mns   2.21 mph
3,170 ft AEG      59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was my first hike from the Barnhardt trailhead. I checked out a few routes during the week, read some trip logs and downloaded a few hike options to my GPS. On hike day, though, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I just drove out and let the trail take me where it may.

The dirt road on the way to the trailhead is in good shape. I arrived at 7:15 to an empty lot. It was humid at the trailhead and appeared to have rained the night before. I was hopeful that there might be some activity at the two falls along the Barnhardt. Alas, that was not to be. There wasn’t a trickle at either; just a couple of small puddles in the drainages below. Still, the hike up the Barnhardt trail was wonderful. There were a fair amount of wildflowers along the trail and great views at almost every turn.

The real show, for me, was up on the Mazatzal Divide trail. It was a bright, sunny day and the views were awesome. It was decision time: go south and complete the Mazatzal Peak loop, go north and check out Deadman Canyon and return the same way (I had ruled out Sandy Saddle before the hike) or just turn around here. I opted to go south.

Thanks to everyone who recommended long pants in their trip logs. They saved my legs from getting shredded. The Divide trail was overgrown in many sections and nigh impassible in one section below Mazatzal Peak. I thought I lost the trail below the peak, but it was simply swallowed up by thick vegetation as the trail approached a drainage. There was no place to go around, so I just stuck my head down and plowed through, knowing the trail continued on the other side of the drainage. I wish I had covered my arms, too!

Once around the Peak, the Y-Bar trail was a joy. Wonderful views along this trail, too. The trail was in great shape for the most part. I was able to move a little faster than I had on the others. The brief trip through the Ponderosa Pines was nice. While it wasn’t too warm, I’d been out in the sun for a while. The shade and cool breeze was a nice respite. The lower of section of the Y-Bar trail (the last mile or so) was composed mainly of rocks, which slowed things down a bit, but not too much.

If you have a few hours and want to stretch your legs, this is a very nice hike. I’ll be back to explore some other areas.
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rayhuston's
311 Photosets

  2014-10-11
  2014-10-04
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  2014-09-28
  2014-09-27
  2014-09-20
  2014-09-13
  2014-09-06
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  2014-08-24
  2014-08-16
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