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Davenport Wash Trail to Barnhardt, AZ
mini location map2017-12-20
30 by photographer avatarBiFrost
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Davenport Wash Trail to Barnhardt, AZ 
Davenport Wash Trail to Barnhardt, AZ
Backpack avatar Dec 20 2017
Backpack33.55 Miles 7,910 AEG
Backpack33.55 Miles3 Days         
7,910 ft AEG
1st trip
Early start with Shawn giving me a ride out to Horseshoe Dam area to access the Davenport Wash Trail. Shawn had PM’d me about possible trail maintenance funding for Davenport and needed some information on trail conditions. So I decided to make it 3 days backpacking from Horseshoe over to the Barnhardt trail head.

Day 1 the goal was to make Club Ranch but first I had to cross the Verde River. Sometimes this crossing has very little water or none at all but today it was crotch deep. Of course it was cold and the sun was still coming up so just kept walking to warm up. Fortunately, the first part of Davenport is old road and easy to follow which continues for about 4 miles. Eventually at the wilderness sign it goes to single track and is relatively easy to follow. At about 7.5 miles there is a rocky area with a few cottonwoods that looked promising and sure enough just off the trail in the side canyon there was a nice clear pool of water. Based on how dry it’s been this pool may be reliable even though it’s not marked as a spring. Continuing on passed by Dog Spring and Rock Spring which were both dry but would probably have something with normal winter snow. Soon after the trail drops into Davenport Wash which was also dry and passes a corral before the last mile up to Club Ranch. Within ½ mile of the ranch I lost the trail and ended up in cats claw maze. It was getting late so made it out of the cats claw and camp at Club Ranch. The ranch is about 13 miles from the Verde crossing and very nice spot to call it a night! Good water at Club Spring and reliable any time of year.

Day 2 next morning and well rested I back tracked to see where my mistake was the previous day. Found the trail and pieced together the real track to the ranch. From there Day 2 continued on Davenport Wash Trail and from Club Ranch the trail gets much rougher and difficult to follow. I had been through here a few times before but wanted to see if I could follow the original trail the whole way. About 0.6 miles from Club there is Red Rock Spring which seems to be as reliable as Club Spring with plenty of small pools and some flow. From the spring the trail climbs steeply up the hill but cairns mark the trail over the next 2 miles and could follow the old trail cuts. However, eventually I would lose the trail among some very thick manzanita and scrub oak. Not sure if the trail really exists in this section but I could find occasional remnants in the next mile. Eventually the trail reappears as it drops into South Fork Deadman Creek which would be camp for the night. Although it was dry where the trail crosses I went about 10 minutes downstream and found some nice clear pools to filter.

Day 3 and the temps dropped below freezing over night with some of my water freezing. But it warmed up quickly in the sun and the hike out of South Fork Deadman is about 1000 feet. Another ¾ mile section up slope the trail is difficult to follow but when it tops out there are some cairns and trail cuts visible again. From there it contours over to Chilson Camp and some trail maintenance we did last spring made this last 1.5 mile section easy to follow. Reached Chilson about 130 finally back on good trail for first time in about 10 miles. Followed Mazatzal Divide trail to Barnhardt and out to the trail head.

It was a good recon of Davenport Wash Trail but there definitely are sections probably about 2.5 miles where the trail disappears or is very difficult to follow. It would be great to see it cleared but some of the trail would be a total rebuild instead of maintenance.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Club Spring - Table Mountain Quad Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
several clear pools and light flow. Reliable all year water source

dry Dog Spring Dry Dry
completely dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Red Rock Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
several clear pools and light flow. Reliable all year water source

dry Rock Spring Dry Dry
completely dry
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