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Mazatzal Peak Loop
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mini location map2017-03-26
15 by photographer avatarsurvivordude
photographer avatar
 
Mazatzal Peak LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 26 2017
survivordude
Hiking15.10 Miles 3,303 AEG
Hiking15.10 Miles   5 Hrs   44 Mns   2.85 mph
3,303 ft AEG      26 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
After seeing a lot of recent posts about this area, I thought I would check out what the big deal was. I have spent exactly zero time in this part of AZ, and this was a great intro to the Mazatzals. First off, the Beeline from Fountain Hills to Mt Ord was covered in an ocean of yellow. Just stunning! (use your imagination its dangerous to take photos while driving :) ) I decided to do the Barnhardt, Divide, Y Bar loop. The initial climb up Barnhardt was really nice. I noticed as the elevation increased, that the rock was becoming more rugged and sharp, very similar to Squaw Peak but it seemed much older and crumblier. What sounded like wind blowing through the canyon was actually a lot of small waterfalls down in the canyon below. The trail crosses many drainages that were merely a trickle compared to the huge waterfalls from a few weeks ago. I was surprised to see so much water up top, though. There were seeps everywhere, and one part of the trail was a small stream from the several seeps in a row that kept feeding it. As I got over the saddle and made my way over to the Divide Trail, the views to the west were great and I even spotted Horseshoe Lake. You can also really see the damage done by the Willow fire. The lower areas were green and beautiful but was notably missing the larger Juniper and Pinyon that are now just blackened skeletons all over the place. Now on the Divide trail, the smooth path maintains a steady elevation as it curves back around southwest until you hit another saddle. The views of Mazatzal Peak were amazing. A very few spots of snow remain very high up. I stopped for a snack and then pushed over to the next saddle. The Y Bar area had a lot more burnt out skeleton trees, it was kind of creepy descending through there. The springs on the southeast side were flowing very nicely. I thought I would speed through the last few miles, but it was pretty rough going down, with mostly rocky trail and a very steady decline. Though the path was faint at times, it was easy to follow. Total hiking time was just over 5 hours, I thought I made pretty good time. Amazing that I didn't see a single person the whole day. The solitude was much needed.
Named place
Named place
Mazatzal Peak Y Bar Spring

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water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Y Bar Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
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“There is nothing that exists outside the thought of the immediate moment.”
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survivordude's
133 Photosets

  2017-05-26
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