|Y-Bar - Deadman - Rock Creek, AZ|
|Y-Bar - Deadman - Rock Creek, AZ|| |
Y-Bar - Deadman - Rock Creek, AZ
|Backpack||27.47 Miles||2 Days |
|6,244 ft AEG|
|Me and Bradley met up with Nick (@The_N) around 7:45 AM Saturday morning to chase some water falls in the Mazzies. The trailhead was getting busy so we quickly gathered our things and headed up Y Bar. It wasn't long before excitement started to build about the falls as we crossed drainage after drainage with substantial flow.
We hit our first little patches of snow on Y Bar in the stand of pine trees just before the first saddle. The closer we got to the divide the wetter it got. Once we hit the divide, we all chuckled at the thought of carrying water. We would just drink from the nearest drainage for the rest of the trip. Water was seeping out of every pour of the mountains along the divide!
We did a side trip over to the Bear Spring area for some lunch. There are a lot of new downed trees along the divide. The dead/burned trees are just too easy for mother nature to push over. One spot in particular was a little tricky to maneuver around.
From Bear Spring, we headed back along the Divide to Horse Camp Seep, where we camped for the night. After we set up camp, me and Nick followed North Fork Deadman Creek from Horse Camp down to the falls. This was my first time seeing the falls and Deadman Canyon. What an incredible view! I got a little woozy standing close to the ledges to try and get some good shots! On the way back to camp we followed Sandy Saddle Creek back to the AZT, then the AZT back to camp.
I was extremely skeptical about a "comfortable" trip in the Mazzies in February, but I was so wrong. Mostly sunny, warm but with a consistent light breeze, wispy clouds dancing with Mazatzal Peak. Yup, this was as good as it gets.
The next morning was a slow start. It wasn't cold, but it was just way too comfortable laying around in camp listening the creek flow and an occasional sprinkling of rain on the tarp.
Rock Creek was a fun navigational challenge from the Mazatzal Divide Trail up to the saddle. It's pretty much a bushwhack at this point, but if you are familiar with the area you shouldn't be worried about getting lost. The trail gets very interesting and much easier to navigate on the other side as you descend down a finger off the mountain with big views of Tonto Basin and the rugged canyons which come off the eastern faces of the range. We spent plenty of time exploring the falls and just enjoying another nice spring-esque day.
We got off on the wrong foot with Half Moon from the start when we passed the junction and started heading down the road. We decided to cut up the hill instead of going back. We would be suckered a few more times. A notable one was about a mile after the Rock Creek TH were the trail suddenly drops off a ridge into the drainage but what looks like a well trodden trails keeps following the ridge for a while longer before dropping back down to the road that goes to rock creek.