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North Fork Falls of Deadman Canyon
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mini location map2021-12-29
25 by photographer avatarLJW
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North Fork Falls of Deadman CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking21.04 Miles 4,633 AEG
Hiking21.04 Miles   9 Hrs   38 Mns   2.59 mph
4,633 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Last hike of the year for me, and as I've done every year I've lived in Arizona, I went to the Mazatzals. The 6-12 inches of snow predicted for the range materialized into more like 1-3, so I opted for my gun-to-the-head favorite hike: the Deadman/Sandy Falls loop. Got going a little before sunrise and started with Barnhardt.

There was one inch of snow lower down that turned into 2 inches after the trail leveled off. The falls were running strong, and there were clouds above 6500 feet. Only one other person out who had camped at the leveling off 3.5 miles in. Heading up Barnhardt the winter storms grew until I was walking into them at the saddle and on MDT. Low visibility, super cold. Once around Chilson I got below the cloud layer and storms until I climbed up rock Creek.

Falls were running well, and there's a little more snow in the forecast. Good way to start the new year once the snow has had some time to melt. MDT was slushy before the falls and covered in dry powdery snow after. Clouds hung out at Rock Creek Saddle and around all the summits.

Rock Creek west of the saddle is a bushwhack until the trail widens half way up. Pushing through the snow-covered manzanita I got soaked from the waist down. Never been wetter on a hike I wasn't swimming. As I climbed up to the saddle and into the clouds the storm was a little stronger, harsher winds, colder temps, and light snow. I was shivering cold by the time I got up there and in my haste to get down got off trail a number of times. It's obvious when dry but under a couple inches of snow I had a little trouble.

Cruised Half Moon while I dried off and admired the clouds on the crest of the mazzies. Half moon can be confusing by Rock Creek because of all the cow trails. Only saw the one person, or at least their tent and footprints. Everywhere with water is running strong.
 Meteorology
 Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Rainbow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Big Kahuna Falls - Mazatzal Wilderness Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Deadman Canyon Falls - North Fork Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Garden Seep Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hawaiian Mist Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Rock Creek Falls @ 6,100 Ft Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sandy Saddle Falls Medium flow Medium flow
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