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Mazatzal Divide-AZT#23 & Red Hills-AZT#24, AZ
mini location map2014-11-07
31 by photographer avatarBiFrost
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Mazatzal Divide-AZT#23 & Red Hills-AZT#24, AZ 
Mazatzal Divide-AZT#23 & Red Hills-AZT#24, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 07 2014
Backpack38.79 Miles 6,035 AEG
Backpack38.79 Miles3 Days         
6,035 ft AEG
1st trip
We wanted to do the Mazatzal Divide AZT #23 and Red Hills AZT #24 together so with that plan in mind we decided to make it 3 day backpack. However, before we could start the car shuttle had to be completed which involved dropping a vehicle at Doll Baby TH and then driving around to Peeley TH. After the long shuttle we finally started very late at 10am.

Out of Peeley TH the trail is decent with about 700 foot climb but the trail gets a lot rougher after 3.5 miles. The section between there and Bear Spring is pretty tough by AZT standards and much of it still recovering from fire damage. The trail tops out at about 7200 before dropping down to Bear Spring which we reached just before 3pm. We took a break and filled up on water with the good condition of the spring. Heading over from Bear Spring the trail definitely improved especially after Y Bar saddle near Windsor Spring. From there we headed down towards Chilson Camp for the night but with time against us we didn't arrive until almost 7pm. Regardless Chilson was a welcome sight and we really enjoyed the night and good fire.

Next morning we started somewhat earlier at 830 and headed towards Horse Camp Seep but stopped by the Deadman Falls overlook. The drainage at the overlook had several pools with good water just below where the trail crosses. We checked out Horse Camp Seep after that which had decent water as well in pools and the seep. Then it was on to Hopi Spring which is not the easiest to find with all the burn damage but it did have some cloudy water that was filterable. Later we found out that we missed Chumley and FOTG at Hopi Spring by about 40 minutes. We left shortly before they arrived and headed over to The Park were we had lunch. The Park is a great area that we didn't really have time to wander around since we had to make camp another 5 miles down trail. Now on the Red Hills section out of The Park the trail goes over a couple of climbs about 300 and 400 feet each. Trail then tops out before dropping back down into a drainage called the Seeps of the Red Hills Trail. There is a good section of pools here so we found a camp spot this time before dark:)

Another nice camping night with nearly full moon and again headed out in the morning around 830. Trail goes by some decent pools as it follows the drainage out of the bottom. Not sure how long the pools will last but some were pretty deep and would take awhile to dry up. After that we topped out and hiked across the mesa over to where it drops down to Brush Spring. Trail drops about 600 feet to Brush Spring which has some nice camp spots. The spring was a little tougher to find but it's about 200 feet above where the trail crosses the drainage. Lots of brush to fight through but assuming it's reliable the spring looked good considering how dry everything looked. We took a break before heading up the hill to the next saddle which overlooks the East Verde Valley just before dropping down. You can see the LF Ranch from this saddle but it's a long way down and over 5 miles still to go.

Another quick break and headed down the steep descent. Trail condition is rough and needs some work but appears to be the patchwork of old mine roads. After a warm descent we made the ranch a bit after 3pm. Kathy and I wanted to check out the East Verde and finish the section while the other member of our group went to see if he could score a ride to Doll Baby TH. Made it to the river and took a few problem crossing at the ford for the start of the next section of AZT. Then headed back to the road by the ranch just in time to hear a vehicle. Mary Ann the owner of the LF Ranch was gracious enough to give us a ride to Doll Baby TH. Riding the road we could see what people mentioned in previous trip logs about the hill on the road. It's an aggressive climb and would have put us at the vehicle after dark for sure. Really happy Mary Ann gave us a ride:) Awesome to get these two sections done together as a backpack!!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bear Spring - Fisher Quart per minute Quart per minute
small pool in the concrete box but good clear water

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hopi Spring Dripping Dripping
water was cloudy but could filter if needed

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Horse Camp Seep Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
good pools and seeps with plenty to filter
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