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Barnhardt and Y Bar Loop, AZ
mini location map2017-04-03
25 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Barnhardt and Y Bar Loop, AZ 
Barnhardt and Y Bar Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 03 2017
Hiking16.20 Miles 3,333 AEG
Hiking16.20 Miles   8 Hrs   34 Mns   2.47 mph
3,333 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break20 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This is a really nice trail to get to the Mazatzal Divide Trail. Well Maintained and believes in the use of switchbacks. Most of the climbing is done early on and then a fairly level walk to the saddle and the Mazatzal Divide Trail. The trail follows along the south slopes of Barnhardt Creek for about 1.5 miles before climbing up a side canyon to Barnhardt Creek. This side canyon passes by Barnhardt Falls, which at the time of this hike was barely flowing, so it wasn’t that impressive. The trail crosses over the stream higher up and then comes up on a ridge overlooking Barnhardt Canyon, about 3.5 miles into the hike. From here the trail travels 2.6 miles fairly level to the saddle and Mazatzal Divide Trail. Along this trail is the intersection of the Sandy Saddle Trail (about 4 miles in). The sign post is all that’s left of the sign and it is laying on the ground looking just like another piece of burnt wood (I was told it was here so I was looking for it). The Sandy Saddle trail is almost nonexistent but I’m told it is still there, I want to try this trail on another trip when I go from the Barnhardt to Mazatzal Divide north, I can return via the Sandy Saddle Trail.
Once on the Mazatzal Divide Trail at the Saddle (6000 feet) it heads south along the Western flank of Suicide Ridge and Mazatzal Peak to a saddle just west of Mazatzal Peak (6500 feet). This trail follows along the upper reaches of South Fork Deadman Creek. At the saddle the Y Bar Trail intersects with the Divide Trail. I will continue on south along the Divide Trail for about .5 miles to a point I hiked to a few weeks ago from the other direction, I will then turn around and head down the Y Bar Trail.
The Y Bar Trail is easy to follow but is a bit rocky and steep. I’m Glad I came up the Barnhart and down the Y Bar. Of course going down a rocky trail increases the risk of injury. The Y Bar Trail follows along Y Bar Basin and Shake Tree Canyon until it reaches a saddle (1.5 miles, 6300 feet)), from here the trail just weaves in and out of creeks that drain the southeast flanks of Mazatzal Peak and Suicide Ridge. The last 1.25 miles is a steady gradual trek down the upper reaches of Barnhardt Mesa.
I ran into two people doing the Arizona Trail along the Divide Trail that started at the border on March 2nd. They were from Colorado and mentioned how rough the Mazatzals are. I reassured them that this was the roughest part of the Arizona Trail and that once past Hardscrabble Mesa the going is a lot easier all the way to the Utah border. I also ran into a young gal hiking up the Y Bar trail doing the loop I was doing but in the opposite direction. Looking back I’m sure glad I choose the direction I did because the next day I did the Rock Creek Trail and two steep climbs on consecutive days is not a choice I would make if I had the option.
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