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Mazatzal Divide - AZT #23
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mini location map2019-05-05
57 by photographer avatartibber
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Mazatzal Divide - AZT #23Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 05 2019
tibber
Hiking10.29 Miles 2,141 AEG
Hiking10.29 Miles   9 Hrs   37 Mns   1.40 mph
2,141 ft AEG   2 Hrs   15 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Day 2 of 4: Bear Spring to Hopi Spring (Shawn did a full 40 mile trip report and photos [ triplog ] ). Not exactly sure of our break time as Kemosabe was in a clock rebellion. Never got it back until civilization at the end of Passage 24. When you're hiking with trail stewards including the Big Kahuna, there are many delays due to tree removal. Route Scout doesn't know that. We stopped at Y Bar Campsite while Shawn and Roger walked part of the Y Bar. We stopped at the Brody Seep Jct for a break. We stopped just past Chilson Spring while Shawn and Roger checked out Chilson's tub and exchanged chip duties. We had lunch. We stopped at Horse Camp Seep for probably about 1/2 hour. And we watered up at Hopi. So that adds up.

We got moving around 7:15 or so. We started seeing wildflowers right off the bat :) . Once again, we were surprised at how many wildflowers we would see and the great variety. As I looked around trying to figure out where the trail was going I soon realized we had to get up the side of this mountain. Luckily the grade is just right for first thing in the morning and the long switchbacks made it a much easier task. We admired a newly renovated switchback corner on the way. Once on top, you get quite the view east and the top of the mountain is pretty amazing as well. You could see the Y Bar way below and eventually the saddle we would get to.

Once at the very nice Y Bar camp site, the boys investigated a bit of the Y Bar trail as it also had some work done not too long ago. And then we headed north below the big mountain, Mazatzal Peak. You could see the trail way ahead and eventually the saddle that we would have to climb to. It's a long haul below this very big mountain and the trail is just a little narrow as you look down to the valley below. We could see far to the west and everything was very green.

We made it to the saddle which wasn't as bad an up as it looked and really not very long. Once at the saddle we got to enjoy a bit of a breeze as it already seemed a bit warm to me. We discussed the Brody Seep Trail and Roger showed us where we were heading altho I was somewhat familiar with that from my trip to Horse Camp Seep a few years back. Not too far from here we took our morning break alongside the trail.

Next junction would be with the Barnhardt but not before the boys analyzed what trail work would need to be done to shore up a drainage corner that was getting pretty beat up in spite of efforts to keep the trail in tact. From Barnhardt the territory was familiar to me as I remembered well that rocky section near that pretty campsite before the drainage. Rocks have been cleared from part of that trail and boy do you ever notice it; especially from where they stopped :lol: . I love that campsite with the big juniper tree and nice fire ring. There is a beautiful agave garden near it as well.

We continue west toward Chilson Spring area alongside the running water of the drainage. Once again there are ample wildflowers mixed in with that foxtail grass that tried to envelop everything around it. Once to Chilson Spring, Roger and Shawn go straight up to it. We stayed on the trail and walked up a bit to the intersection with Chilson Camp. It was now a lot warmer too so we tried to sit in some of the limited shade. We were there for quite awhile before Shawn, the new guardian of the chips, arrived. So we decided to have lunch before moving on to tackle more of the rocky trail. It was clear in some spots and it sure spoiled you but then just when you would say "awhhhh" it was over.

We continued via a few of the drainages and would always stop and check out the water of course. And up we went some more until we finally arrived at the intersection with Horse Camp Seep. Ambika voted that we all should go on down and hang for about 1/2 hour in the shade. Just as we were going down we encountered 4 horsewomen and 5 horses (one was packin'). They had come up from Doll Baby I think they said. Well kudos to them all as coming up that one long hill on the narrow trail that we would do tomorrow was impressive. Tracy and Shawn hung out in the shade, Ambika and I went and pumped some water. There is still quite a lot for this time of year I'd say. I do love this camp and area.

And now to finish off this day. It was getting warmer it seemed but at least the trees were taller to provide some shade. However, the trail, got even rockier and we still were heading UP. It's not a bad incline at all but the day was already long and we were feeling it. We took our time though and eventually got to the Hopi Spring intersection. Shawn decided that we would be heading straight up to it with our packs on. I was thinking with our packs off but no, let's put the big girl hiker pants on and get up the side of this slippery muddy hill : rambo : . So we did. We pumped our water for the nite and day. Shawn had developed an interesting system where by you use your hiking pole across the trough to wrap your pump line around to keep it toward the water's top I guess (https://hikearizona.com/photo-E.php).

On our way as we slid down the wet mountainside we thot we saw a flat area for camping but it was pretty wet so we ended back on the trail and just went a little further north before heading west toward some flat areas. We eventually found room to park and come to find out, this area is actually cairned by the trail which Ambika discovered. I had a nice soft log at my place so that's where we had dinner. We were treated to a pretty colored sunset before retiring for the evening :zzz: . Our start time would be 6:30AM.

and yep, another four videos.
[ youtube video ] from Bear Spring to below Mazzie Peak, including stop at Y Bar campsite
[ youtube video ] almost to Barnhardt Jct
[ youtube video ] toward Horse Camp Seep
[ youtube video ] to Hopi Spring and Camp and sunset
Culture
Culture
Trail Maintenance
Named place
Named place
Hopi Spring Horseshoe Reservoir
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horse Camp Seep Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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