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Barnhardt Trail #43
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mini location map2016-04-03
17 by photographer avatarAsTheCrowFlies
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Barnhardt Trail #43Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 03 2016
Hiking9.99 Miles 1,975 AEG
Hiking9.99 Miles   7 Hrs   38 Mns   2.02 mph
1,975 ft AEG   2 Hrs   41 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well, we finally got a taste of the Mazatzals today when Jerry, Clayton, and I decided to head up to Barnhardt Trail to scope for water and bury some beer for our main backpacking trip in a few days. Clayton chose a 12 pack of Rebel IPA and I had a 12 pack of hand selected IPA's as well as 2 32oz cans from Total Wine. I think the lowest alcohol percentage was around 7.5% with most in the 9% range.

We met at Clayton's about 5am and they piled into the Kia carpool. On the way out we stopped for a gut-bomb at McDonald's and were probably at the trailhead about 7. After loading my new pack up with beer, water, and cameras we headed out. And up, and up...

My normal weekend hike is the Summit Trail at Squaw Peak so I was prepared for the constant vertical grade but I tell ya, I was taking breaks on a few of the switchbacks! After reaching Big Kahuna Falls I was happy to drop my pack and take a breather. The falls still had a trickle coming down and several large pools but who knows for how long. I want to make it here again when they are actually gushing!

It started to level out around the 3.5 mile mark and I was happy to no longer be going up, but the denseness in the low vegetation increased so we didn't necessarily move faster. There were patches of wild flowers and a lot of low brush on the way but it was hard to miss the devastation from the fires in the area. I was honestly a little discouraged thinking there would be no shade trees for our backpacking trip but this turned out to not be a concern as you will find out in my next triplog.

We had intentions of making it all the way to Chilson Camp but it was getting late so we decided to bury our beer around the 5 mile mark because we didn't think we could make it all the way there and be back before dark. After scouting around the vicinity of our stopping point we settled on a burned out stump and used Clayton's trowel to dig the dirt out of the base and bury our beer. At this point I realized that we still didn't know if there would be water at Chilson Spring when we returned so I was a little bummed but we ended up running into an older couple on the way out who reassured us that it shouldn't be a problem. I was pretty happy to hear that considering I just left $60 of beer in the middle of nowhere :)

We finally returned back to trailhead about 2:45 and immediately took off to get a Gatorade for refreshment. To finish up I will add that the trails were in pretty good shape with a few rocky areas that aren't easy on your feet. There are also a few areas where you must step over some high logs. When you get to the flatter area around the 3.5m mark the vegetation is much denser and some of it has thorns so I would recommend packing tall instead of wide if you are carrying a backpack.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Big Kahuna Falls - Mazatzal Wilderness Light flow Light flow
Some trickling falls if you climb up and a huge pool at the trail crossing.
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