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mini location map2017-05-21
12 by photographer avatarKBKB
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North Peak Trail #24Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 21 2017
KBKB
Hiking10.92 Miles 3,983 AEG
Hiking10.92 Miles   11 Hrs   53 Mns   1.30 mph
3,983 ft AEG   3 Hrs   30 Mns Break29 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Trailhead access: We drove NF-414 to the Mineral Creek Trailhead from the north end of Rye. The drive wasn't especially difficult in a high clearance vehicle - I used a 4WD F-150.

North Peak Trail: I inadvertently hiked almost all of the North Peak Trail. For the most part, route finding is straightforward, except for the last half mile before reaching the Mazatzal Divide Trail. (I didn't go all the way to the MDT - I probably had only an 1/8 of a mile left, but I didn't actually plan on going this far or in this direction. Once I realized my mistake, I turned back.)

North Peak: I should have done more preparation in terms of studying other peoples routes and the topo map before doing this. I approached it from the NNW, seeing several cairns and numerous switchbacked trails-of-use on the way up. The lower slopes of the route up (that I took) were covered with leaves and pine needles which made the footing uncertain. Going up, this wasn't too bad, but I wasn't looking forward to descending via the same route. I hit a false summit and considered turning back, but eyeballing the summit showed that there might be a better descent.

I descended towards the southwest and then turned towards the northwest to rejoin the North Peak Trail. It started out fine, but then turned into an adventure in which I nearly got cliffed out a few times. I also engaged in some serious bushwhacking to make my way back to the trail. In hindsight, it might have been quicker to descend the same way I came up.

When I arrived back at the trail, I inadvertently took it towards the MDT for about half a mile. Once I realized my mistake, I turned back.

It was a warmish day. I drank all of the six liters of water that I brought with me. I probably should have brought even more...
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