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AZT Supes-Mazatzal, AZ
mini location map2016-03-12
53 by photographer avatarBiFrost
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AZT Supes-Mazatzal, AZ 
AZT Supes-Mazatzal, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 12 2016
Backpack107.24 Miles 21,444 AEG
Backpack107.24 Miles3 Days   9 Hrs   56 Mns   
21,444 ft AEG
1st trip
Joined FOTG for some AZT sections starting at Picketpost TH heading northbound. He planned to do 6 days ending at Pine TH but I couldn't get all the time off work so hiked 4 days with him to Peeley TH before parting ways.

Day 1 - 30.04 miles 5,846 AEG

We started at Picketpost TH on the Reavis Canyon AZT section # 18. The first 10 miles is mostly desert walking but quickly changes once the trail drops into Whitford and then Reavis Canyon. There was water in several places between mile 10 and 13 of the section. Spring time was in full effect in the canyon with assorted wildflowers, lush green grass, and cottonwoods already filled out.

From there it was up Montana Mtn and quickly bagged Montana which is only tenth of a mile off the AZT. Then on the road over to Rogers Trough TH. No time to stop we continued on down Rogers Canyon and up to Reavis Saddle. Heading into Reavis Ranch area we passed probably 25 or 30 people camping along the valley. We headed up Reavis Gap trail and didn't see anyone after that making our way over to Pine Creek and then Walnut Spring which would be our camp for the night as it was getting totally dark.

Day 2 - 25.92 miles 6,045 AEG

Earlier start at 610 heading out across Two Bar Ridge in the Supes with great views of Four Peaks and Sierra Ancha. This section is rough by AZT standards but we made it past Pinyon Mtn and started the long descent down Cottonwood Canyon. Arriving at Cottonwood Spring we found good water and filled up. Cottonwood had several more good water options with pools and flowing water for about a mile after the spring. Once at the end of Cottonwood Canyon the trail exits onto road and then single track again as it traverses above Roosevelt Lake. This section is deceiving in that there is significant AEG and mileage added because of all the drainages and ridges that it crosses in route to Roosevelt Bridge. This part dragged on but we made the bridge and with no fan fare we headed straight up the hill on start of Four Peaks AZT #20. Running behind schedule it's is a tough climb up to Mills Ridge TH. Fortunately Kathy was nice enough to meet us at Mills Ridge TH with some water and snacks:-) We rested for almost an hour enjoying the visit before heading up the trail in search of a camp spot which ended up being Buckhorn Creek. To our surprise the creek was flowing and turned out to be a great camp spot.

Day 3 - 31.31 miles 4,756 AEG

Longest day for mileage so we broke camp 6 on the dot. Still had a lot of AEG to climb up Four Peaks but the views of the lake with sunrise were really awesome! Eventually we made Chillcut Saddle where the trail begins to traverse below Four Peaks. Some of the coolest views and hiking on all of the AZT. We traversed for about 6 miles seeing some water at Alder Saddle trail junction before dropping down on the north side of Four Peaks. Once the north side there was significant water with Shake Spring being the first one crossed. Shake was pretty much a river flowing very strong and we could still see a lot of snow up on Browns Peaks. After that there were at least 3 other drainages that had good flow but we continued on to Pigeon Spring taking a break and filling up. The spring box at Pigeon had very clear water.

After the break we headed out on 11.5 miles of road hiking along the El Oso road. After seeing very few people for 2 days we now had to share the road with ATV's and Jeeps. However, to their credit many of them asked if we needed anything like water etc. FOTG scored some extra sunscreen! The AZT finally leaves the road for single track and we had 8.3 miles to hwy 87 which just happened to be the location of our cache thanks to Kathy and Jackie who dropped us much needed resupply. By now it was dark so we grabbed the cache and looked for the nearest flat spot for camp.

Day 4 - 19.96 miles 4,764 AEG

A bit later start this morning but we needed the extra rest after long miles the day before. The first 5 miles of this section is old road so easy walking. Eventually it drops into a canyon on Little Saddle trail with the first water of the day at about 6 miles. Good pools and flow for about 3/4 mile. From there we gained significant AEG to Mormon Grove trail junction but after that there is a fast 4 mile section that traverses past Saddle Mtn. Next stop we dropped into McFarland Canyon and took a break. Good flow in McFarland with pools for about 1/2 mile before the trail leaves the canyon. From there trail gains about 1000 feet going over to Thicket Spring area. Didn't see any water at Thicket but we really didn't look around that much. Then it was up to the Peeley TH turn off where said goodbye to FOTG. He continued up the AZT Mazatzal Divide trail and I headed for the trail head. It was great and tough 4 days of hiking for sure...thanks FOTG!

Coordinating with Kathy she was my pickup on Peeley road but I walked some of the road until we met part way down. Interestingly a month ago on Feb 13th we did a Deer Creek hike and had to walk this same section of road but it was covered with 8 inches of snow and 15 to 20 trees were laying across the road. So they did a nice job removing all the downfall.
Intrepid Back Shot
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
poppies, lupine, glow mallow, Indian paintbrush

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pine Creek at Reavis Gap #117 Light flow Light flow
light flow and small pools

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Reavis Creek at Fireline #118 Medium flow Medium flow
multiple pools

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reavis Creek at Gap Trail #117 Light flow Light flow
good flow and small pools

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reavis Saddle Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
clear water in the spring area

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reavis Trail Canyon Light flow Light flow
light flow and small pools

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Walnut Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
good clear water at the spring source
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