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Rock Creek Trail #42 - Mazatzals
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mini location map2015-02-28
5 by photographer avatarfriendofThundergod
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Rock Creek Trail #42 - MazatzalsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 28 2015
friendofThundergod
Hiking18.85 Miles 4,593 AEG
Hiking18.85 Miles
4,593 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners partners
BiFrost
Tough_Boots
Myself BiFrost and Tough_Boots had committed to an ambitious trans-Mazzie key swap with some fellow Hazzers, however, the ominous forecast coupled with the length and difficulty of the hike led to a cancellation. So I applied some FOTG logic to the situation. I figured if we scaled our day back to about 20 miles and 5000 feet of AEG that would make us immune to any adverse effects from the weather. Surprisingly, I got two people to go with me using that logic ; We went with the Rock Creek Barnhardt loop as our destination. This is a loop that has been on my radar for a while and the timing was perfect (not referring to weather conditions) as the dreaded Half Moon Trail was the recent recipient of some trail work by another HAZ member, Chumley.

This hike ended up being quite the hike. A very cold day and steady rain for most of it. However, I should note that occasionally, the rain would stop for a minute in order to give the wind a chance to blast us with maybe 30-40 mile an hour gusts, or then it might let up for a few minutes to allow its cousin hail to pelt us and Blanco for a bit. Kyle and myself both admitted to being a little overwhelmed by the cold during a few rough patches. OH and by the way dropping one's glove in the water on the very first creek crossing is not a sound strategy for keeping hands warm under these conditions.

I know Karl was cold, but he seemed to take it the best. His only request was no stopping and we emphatically agreed. He got to the car just before us and had it running by the time we got there, he was pretty much in beast mode all day, in fact, I asked him if he was cold, and his only response was, "I'm just here so I don't get fined."

The hike was certainly a little test of our mettle, but there were some great moments caused by the inclement weather. Some very nice cascades along trail, flowing water everywhere and the usual suspects were gushing along Barnhardt. Similarly, as we were topping out on Rock Creek we literally were engulfed in a cloud for a moment it seemed to have been blown into us at about 60 miles per hour and not fog a real cloud if that makes sense! I even asked Kyle, "are we in a cloud?" He said, "I think so." Just one of the cool moments that helped to ease the difficulty of the hike.

Perhaps the highlight of the hike was the Half Moon Trail. I have never hiked this trail before, but I could certainly appreciate the evidence of the trail work completed near Rock Creek. Kyle and Karl previous Half Moon vets were ecstatic about it's conditions as well. See Karl's photo set. Nice job Chumley.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Barnhardt Canyon Heavy flow Heavy flow


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hawaiian Mist Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Hopi Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Significant pool at spring site.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horse Camp Seep Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Rock Creek Falls @ 6,100 Ft Heavy flow Heavy flow
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