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Blackberry Falls, AZ
mini location map2017-02-26
16 by photographer avatarchumley
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Blackberry Falls, AZ 
Blackberry Falls, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 26 2017
Hiking5.05 Miles 2,552 AEG
Hiking5.05 Miles   7 Hrs   1 Min   1.00 mph
2,552 ft AEG   1 Hour   57 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Joel and I had talked about this one for a few years. How many waterfalls in Arizona can you see from space!!? :)

The timing finally worked out just right and we headed for the Mazzies to check it out. It's a short and very steep trip to get there. The nice thing is you can see the destination from many points along the way, including several miles from the starting point on the drive in! The water was refreshing at first, but after not too long, it became numbingly cold. The creek was a little overgrown and travel was better higher on the hillsides. They were steep and loose so it was a slow climb.

Once we got to the falls, they were officially named. The base was surrounded by blackberry bushes so thick and tangly that I was longing for the relative comfort of soft, fluffy catclaw on my legs, arms, and head! :o

I managed to get behind the falls. Ice covered all the bushes below the cliffs and numerous boulders have fallen here over the years. I'm not a fan of lingering under cliffs when there's water and ice in the rocks above, so I didn't stay long.

Next I headed north to get above the cliff that formed the falls. This is a special area below North Peak that includes a basin with a grove of unburned ponderosa and a creek that probably has pools of water in all but the driest seasons. I made my way out to the point that hovers over the falls and the ridiculous drop below. I was unable to stand on the edge and had to lay down to take a photo over the edge! :scared: The falls themselves are over 100 feet, and this spot is more than 50 feet above the top of the falls. The drop is vertical to the pool below.

Next I scrambled down the numerous cascades above the falls in an attempt to get to the main event. The views up here are outstanding. I was able to get to within about 20 feet of final drop, learning that the top of the falls were not unlike the bottom ... protected by ample thorny blackberry bushes. I might need to come back for the delicious berries, though the falls would likely not be running and the temperatures probably unbearably warm when they are in season.

I continued my trip around the top of the falls by heading to the south before dropping back down below the cliff and heading back to meet up with Joel and Jon.

On the descent, in the dark, we opted for the higher ridge-route rather than the side slope and cold, wet, creek hike we had used on the ascent. There were only a few really thick sections, but it wasn't too bad to push through it going downhill. I don't think going up via our down route would have worked at all.

I might need to come back here. It looks like a really fun off-trail route to access North Peak.
Named place
Named place
Blackberry Falls - Mazatzal Wild
33s over 45s
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