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Mazatzal Divide TH to Wet Bottom Creek - 9 members in 17 triplogs have rated this an average 3.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
17 triplogs
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17 Triplogs
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7
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Apr 07 2019
te_wa
avatar

 Guides 3
 Photos 1,156
 Triplogs 336

50 male
 Joined Aug 22 2003
 Mesa
Mazatzal Divide TH to Wet Bottom CreekPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 07 2019
te_wa
Backpack18.70 Miles 3,959 AEG
Backpack18.70 Miles
3,959 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
this was a good enough overnighter. thought about deer creek, but wanted some gains. a gradual climb tests the legs. no problem, if you're avid. you'll prolly spy AZT folk in april. water from snowmelt still visible. almost all crossing had a trickle. good news, for such exposure. i hit the perfect weekend with highs in the 60's. clouds helped along the way. if i were to do this again, push on to the Horse Camp seep, and take in much better views. still not sure what significance "the Park" holds, and why it's on a map. all in all, a decent hike with good heart-pumping although moderate/consistent grade. 3/5 kokopellis.

wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
AS
_____________________
squirrel!
2 archives
Mar 31 2018
joebartels
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 Guides 245
 Routes 837
 Photos 12,313
 Triplogs 4,968

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
MDT - Pete's Pond - Pole Hollow Canyon Loop, AZ 
MDT - Pete's Pond - Pole Hollow Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 31 2018
joebartels
Hiking17.92 Miles 4,208 AEG
Hiking17.92 Miles   10 Hrs   17 Mns   2.05 mph
4,208 ft AEG   1 Hour   33 Mns Break4 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Mazatzal Divide - AZT #23
Well maintained. Glad it exists. My least favorite segment of #23. Nice chat w/~28yo NOBO thru hiker named something like trailpants, transplant or transcript. From San Diego, started Mar 9th, previously completed PCT.

Pete's Pond
We crawled 4.5 hrs to the pond. Great lunch break spot!

The Park
Nice to return to one of the few places I've camped.

North Peak Trail #24
Good luck finding the western 0.5 mi end. Great views heading East. That said I'd rather only hike this trail west due to loose footing on steep grades.

Pole Hollow Canyon
Pleasant surprise. The most continuously interesting hiking segment of the day. Much easier to negotiate the terrain than anticipated. Likely most enjoyable descending. Minor route finding and lack of maintained trail will keep the masses out.
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
blue dicks, strawberry hedgehog, two white petal onion varieties

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Mineral Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Nice clean flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pete's Pond 51-75% full 51-75% full
approx 2 feet below capacity, clean


dry Pole Hollow Spring Dry Dry
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Did not go off trail to spring. Creek is dry. 0.2 miles up creek was plenty to filter, though loaded with algae
_____________________
- joe
Mar 31 2018
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 805
 Photos 10,311
 Triplogs 1,630

65 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
City Creek TH to Pete's Pond loop, AZ 
City Creek TH to Pete's Pond loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 31 2018
The_Eagle
Hiking17.88 Miles 4,218 AEG
Hiking17.88 Miles   10 Hrs   16 Mns   2.08 mph
4,218 ft AEG   1 Hour   41 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Driving in, I noticed the development at the end of the pavement, where the two covered arenas are, were up for sale.
HAZ retreat? https://www.landwatch.com/Gila-County-A ... /326742102

First time hiking from the City Creek TH. Guess I never realized this is where the northern terminus for the MDT #23 was. The trail is a steady climb for 6 miles but in great shape. Great views all around. At the top, back on the AZT again after passing the Red Hills trail. We rollercoastered southbound on the MDT to the intersection with North Peak Trail. We passed and talked to one AZT'er going Northbound from San Diego. His shoes did not look like he was going to make it much farther, but he was not concerned.

My goal for the day was hitting some new trails, as well as a stop at Pete's Pond. We went off trail westish at the the North Peak Trail junction, and made our way to Petes Pond. (Who is this Pete Guy?) . Petes was a great place for lunch as long as you don't mind being photographed by the two game cameras that are there.

After Lunch we headed down the North Peak trail. As others have noted (which I read after the hike) the western .5 - .75 miles of this trail are hard to follow in spots. a GPS track is great to keep you in the vicinity of the "Trail". Once you drop off the top, the route finding is a piece of cake. It is a steep loose bugger in many spots.

just North of the Mineral Creel TH we followed an old two track/creek bed in Pole Hollow Canyon. This was the gem of the day.

It's obvious is gets traffic from both game and humans and at one time was cleared, cutting out some of the bends in the canyon.
All of the human sign was within 1-2 miles of the Northern TH.

Great weather on the day.

Fauna on the day
1 Elk, 1 Deer, 4 javelina, 1 squirrel, 1 Teva.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mineral Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Creek flowing below spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pete's Pond 51-75% full 51-75% full
Plenty to filter from

dry Pole Hollow Spring Dry Dry
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Dry in creek. Too thick to check out spring area

dry SE 5395 Spring Dry Dry
Nothing in the area of the trail
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Mar 26 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 154

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
City Creek Loop, AZ 
City Creek Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 26 2017
jacobemerick
Hiking18.41 Miles 4,297 AEG
Hiking18.41 Miles   8 Hrs   48 Mns   2.53 mph
4,297 ft AEG   1 Hour   32 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Snuck out from fatherly duties to knock out a quick loop in the Mazzies. Yay for ditching responsibilities!

Pole Hollow Canyon
As far as connectors go, this one is solid. An old two-track runs along the length of the wash, so there's always the choice between walking the sandy/gravel creekbed or overgrown road. There is plenty of deadfall so I switched between the two frequently. Not sure how much foot traffic this gets, as I didn't see any recent tracks yet there were a few paths trod around some of deadfall. Anyways, water was flowing from the spring. Once I passed that things dried up.

North Peak Trail
Is way more enjoyable than I thought it would be. The first mile played in and out of Mineral Creek and then the climb hit. Steep enough to get the heart pounding, short enough to not outlive its welcome. And big views the whole way - not quite Rock Creek level, but close. Above the climb has been recently trimmed, sometime in the last year or so, and I didn't have any difficulty until the camp on 6178. Manzanita and deadfall took over the path, and while someone had tied pretty pink markers along the path and even knocked down a few bushes, I still lost it and wandered aimlessly in the wash for a bit. Had to use GPS to get back and make it to The Park relatively unbloodied.

Pete's Pond makes for a great lunch spot. Although it has a game cam now, so I guess no midnight skinny dipping for the campers.

Mazatzal Divide Trail
Bumped into the first (and only other) hiker of the day near Wet Bottom on my way out of Pete's Pond. Then it was solo hiking up a new stretch of the Mazzie Divide for me, up and down and up and down. It was a fun, if somewhat tiring, journey to and over Knob Mountain. Every creek crossing was flowing which was pretty cool. Oh, and that cluster of pines just south of Knob was clutch. The descent after AZT fork was gentle enough to only tweak my knee a half-dozen times and long enough to get a bit tedious near the end.

On an aside, used a new piece of equipment this hike: inReach Explorer+. Wife and I have been discussing me using a satellite communicator after an incident in early '16, and with some of my planned outings this year she finally put the foot down. It performed well for communication, so-so as a GPS tracker. Had hooked Route Scout as a backup and it worked admirably. As it usually does.

Mazatzal Miles: 59/274 (21.5%)
Named place
Named place
Pete's Pond

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Mineral Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mineral Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Pete's Pond 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pole Hollow Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max SE 5395 Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
_____________________
1 archive
Mar 04 2016
toddak
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 Guides 8
 Routes 7
 Photos 1,244
 Triplogs 474

56 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Mazatzal Divide to The ParkPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 04 2016
toddak
Hiking23.50 Miles 4,500 AEG
Hiking23.50 Miles   10 Hrs   30 Mns   2.24 mph
4,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Pretty nice loop from City Creek trailhead - up MD #23 to The Park, down North Peak to Mineral Creek trailhead, then back north down Pole Hollow Canyon to the start. The climb up MD #23 is excellent, with good trail and big views (but zero shade, start early). Unfortunately the first two miles of North Peak trail leaving The Park are sheer misery - faint, heavily overgrown, downed trees, etc. Thankfully some kind soul has hung literally hundreds of red ribbons to mark the way through the manzanita jungle. Things improve greatly as you head down the ridge, but it will take a major effort to restore the upper section. Pole Hollow Canyon works nicely to connect the trailheads - generally easy hiking either down in the drainage or up on the bench on either side. Also did a side out-and-back from The Park south to Hopi Spring.

Water along the trails:
Plenty of flow in City Creek at the trailhead.
Light flow in Wet Bottom Creek just south of The Park.
Trickles from Hopi Spring.
Light flow in Mineral Creek below the spring.
_____________________
Mar 28 2015
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 28
 Routes 314
 Photos 9,127
 Triplogs 867

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Mazatzal Divide TH to Wet Bottom CreekPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 28 2015
friendofThundergod
Hiking20.80 Miles 4,496 AEG
Hiking20.80 Miles   10 Hrs   4 Mns   2.29 mph
4,496 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I did one of Topo's Mazzy hikes today and it did not disappoint.The last time I did the Red Hills it was with a head lamp so I had been meaning to get back to that area in day light and maybe hike further down the Red Hills Trail. I noticed a description for the Mazatzal TH to Wet Bottom Creek using the Red Hills. I decided to go with that itinerary. The Grand Canyon and two track meets this week left my dogs feeling a tad neglected, so I was looking forward to getting them out for a good walk.

The Mazatzal Divide Trail from City Creek TH to divide is in great shape. One gains some pretty good elevation along that nearly six mile climb to divide, however, the quality trail and gentle grade make it a pretty manageable climb.

The Red Hills started out a little dreary with a short stretch through a severely fire damaged section. However, after that the trail has several redeeming sections including a few stretches through some pretty nice stands of Ponderosa that parallel a normally dry creek that is flowing very nicely right now.

I actually did not make it to Wet Bottom Creek. With a little over a mile to go, I decided to turn around and head back. The trail was getting kind of nasty and I was losing patience, plus the dogs were having more fun playing in the water and after all this was their hike, so I decided to just go back and also enjoy the water. We had got kind of a late start anyways and we were already looking at a 20 plus miles day, so turning back was probably a good idea. It was a tad warm and I did not want to break Cup off with up to three more miles of some pretty rugged terrain when I knew she would much more prefer to cool off in the creek and start the trip back to the TH. Taking the dogs back to the creek turned out to be a great call. The dogs really enjoyed the water taking several swims between the two of them and tormenting about a dozen frogs along the way.

It was real nice to get back out with the dogs again and I know they enjoyed the exercise. The Red Hills are pretty amazing right now with all of the water I was very impressed. There are actually some very scenic stretches along that trail and it is worth a trip, or at least a trip before it dries out. I really want to get out there on an over night trip before the water dries up and the real heat comes. I would like to knock out Midnight Trail and see what is remaining of Willow Spring Trail.
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5 archives
Nov 30 2014
nonot
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 Guides 98
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,067
 Triplogs 495

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Mazatzal Divide to The ParkPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 30 2014
nonot
Backpack23.00 Miles 4,600 AEG
Backpack23.00 Miles2 Days         
4,600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Threw together a last minute backpacking loop - did this because Chumley/FOTG's triplogs were the only recent backpacking trips close enough to town.

The park is nice, Pete's pond is cloudy/silty, but a good source. Surprisingly it was about 45-50 degrees at sundown but warmed up to about 60 at midnight to 6AM and dropped back down to 45 around sunrise.

Finished the MDT by trekking out to the Rock creek Trail/Hopi Spring. Some of these areas of the Mazatzals are actually recovering from the fire, but are still decades away from full restoration. Back to camp to pack up and head down the North Peak trail. The first two miles of this trail are pretty terrible. The last 2 to the trailhead are more reasonable. Thanks to Hank and Chris for posting the GPS as I needed it at one point where the trail does the most illogical detour. Neither of the trails has much repeat value.

The mineral creek area is nice but the creek dried up before reaching the trailhead. Favorite part of the trip was seeing a herd of javelina while walking the shortcut back to the car.

dry City Creek Dry Dry

dry Hopi Spring Dry Dry
I did not see any water in the vicinity of the spring.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Mineral Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
It is flowing nicely near the spring but dries up quickly flowing down the canyon.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Pete's Pond 76-100% full 76-100% full
The pool is silty and clogs filters but tastes fine.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Pole Hollow Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
There are some pools in this canyon, a few of which look to be of good quality.
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
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1 archive
May 17 2013
topohiker
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 Guides 14
 Routes 113
 Photos 4,567
 Triplogs 2,331

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Bull Spring Trail #34Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 17 2013
topohiker
Hiking32.33 Miles 7,048 AEG
Hiking32.33 Miles   12 Hrs   40 Mns   2.81 mph
7,048 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 
With sub-100 temps, I decided to get in another Mazzy hike.

I started out at the City Creek TH. The trail has been cleaned up from the TH to the Red Hills intersection. The CREC crew went a little past the Red Hill trail, but by then the trail is pretty wide open anyway. I went past the Red Hills trail and then the sky clouded over and a cool breeze started blowing.
I then decide to go with my original plan and go to the LF Hilton. I double back to the Red Hill trail and took that to the Brush trail, to the Bull Springs trail.

There was some recent activity on the Bull Spring trail. There were fresh footprints and cattle prints going to the cabin. I got to the Hilton, but they lost my reservation :sl:
I took Bull Spring back to FR406. Some part of the Bull Spring trail had been cleared up. The Forest Service did some work at the Doll baby TH. They setup wire mesh cages full of rocks marking the wilderness boundary. They spaced the cages so horse and people could get through. BUT, they left the gate OPEN! :o

The weather was perfect the entire day. The creeks were boon dry with an occasional small pool of water. The Bull spring looked more like a seep.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bull Spring Dripping Dripping
Looked more like a seep
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Apr 13 2013
topohiker
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 Guides 14
 Routes 113
 Photos 4,567
 Triplogs 2,331

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Midnight Mesa Loop - MazatzalPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 13 2013
topohiker
Hiking29.31 Miles 7,336 AEG
Hiking29.31 Miles   15 Hrs   21 Mns   2.11 mph
7,336 ft AEG   1 Hour   27 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
Fan and I did a new loop with the Mazatzal Divide, Red Hills, Midnight Mesa and Willow Springs.

The Good: The CREC crew is cleaning up the Mazatzal Divide Trail
The Bad: Taking 4 fours to cover 4 miles
The Ugly: Willow Springs trail (??) From Midnight Mesa to Mazatzal Divide


The CREC crew had setup camp at the City Creek TH. We meet up with crew at 2.5 miles in. The trail is a two lane road to that point. I talked to one of the guys. They said they were making the trail wider for horses. I wasn't sure if he was insulting me or not?!?
There was a second crew with a base camp 4 miles in. The plan was for the 1st group to meet up with the second group in three days. Soon we meet up with the second crew. They had cleared about a mile of trail from the base site. This area has more vegetation to clear back.

We turned down the Red Hills trail. Soon we passed the corral and seep, then the Midnight Mesa intersection. The Midnight Mesa trail drops into the creek below. It's missing in some spots, but we were able to see cairns in the distance and bushwhack to them. Once at the creek, we used the GPSs to stay close to on-trail. When in doubt we just followed the creek. When we came across the Wet Bottom Creek, I joked that we could just follow that to 'the park'. Once I saw the creek enter a canyon, I knew we needed to find the trail to stay out of the canyon. We did a 270 on the East side of the creek until we found the trail. The trail was overgrown, but it was there. The trail got us past the canyon and then it climbs up to a saddle where it intersected the Willow Spring trail.

Willows Springs ‘trail’
We could see a well-defined and cairn-ed trail heading to the West. East bound was nothing. This is where the ugly fun began. We would find little bits of a trail that would suddenly end. Between our three GPS's we tried to stay on a trail. We were basically bushwhacking and scrambling up and down some nasty terrain. We tried to zigzag to find the trail. The only times we found trail was near the saddles.
We were not moving fast at all. I started to get worried that we might be on this 'trail' post sun-down. :scared: I pull out the paper map and we got our bearings and figured out that we needed to hike three ridge lines, and then drop down into the park. I stopped looking at the GPS and just picked the path of least resistance that moved us to the next ridgeline. This worked out great until we ran out of ridgelines. The descend down to the park was another snail’s pace. There was a sea of fallen trees, finding open paths was getting harder to do. At random we found see some red ribbon, but they would peter out quickly. The last 1,000 feet was a charge straight through a catsclaw field, but we made the Mazatzal divide right at dusk.

I've been on bad trails before, but this is was the worst trail yet. Evan bad trails have something to guide your through. I hesitate to call this section a 'trail' we would have been better off just going up the Wet Bottom creak (assuming no waterfalls).

I would not recommend hiking on the Willow Springs trail from the Maz Divide to the Midnight Mesa.

I’ve now been at every trail intersection of the Mazatzal’s and hiked on at least a portion of each trail.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Wet Bottom Creek Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Apr 27 2012
mazatzal
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 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Mazatzal Divide Trail to Knob MountainPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 27 2012
mazatzal
Hiking16.30 Miles 3,800 AEG
Hiking16.30 Miles   8 Hrs   15 Mns   2.20 mph
3,800 ft AEG      50 Mns Break
 no routes
Friday forecast was good so I took the day off. I went up Maz Divide to Knob Mtn and off trail along the ridge to Red Hills trail. This is the old route shown on old topos, saw a few cairns. I found an old firefighter rake and an old campsite. From here I took Red Hills back up and then down MDT. The area is recovering a bit. Saw a buzzworm, a deer and a gopher snake.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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1 archive
Aug 20 2011
JuanJaimeiii
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 Routes 571
 Photos 8,290
 Triplogs 1,826

54 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Mazatzal Divide TH to Wet Bottom CreekPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 20 2011
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking18.50 Miles 3,750 AEG
Hiking18.50 Miles   6 Hrs   14 Mns   2.97 mph
3,750 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
drewmelton
My Buddy Drew and I went up today and hiked this one. Great hike but very overgrown in places which caused for the shins to get a little chopped up. The views on this trail are so amazing for so much of the way! That's that good news, the bad news is there isn't much tree coverage to protect from the sun.

It started out a bit warm but got better as the day went on due to the cloud cover. We were hoping for a little rain but it never made it to us. Looked like the Rim got wet however.

The "Park" area towards the end had a bunch of purple and yellow flowers. There were several bumble bees and butterflies in the area. Kind of cool.

Drew drove and I left my camera behind so no photos from me this trip. Sorry.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Oct 30 2010
azdesertfather
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 Guides 12
 Routes 60
 Photos 1,221
 Triplogs 830

48 male
 Joined Apr 30 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Red Hills - AZT #24Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 30 2010
azdesertfather
Backpack17.64 Miles 3,279 AEG
Backpack17.64 Miles   8 Hrs   15 Mns   2.14 mph
3,279 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
The_Eagle
Tortoise_Hiker
DAY 2 of our two-day backpack on the AZT from Mt. Peeley TH to Doll Baby TH continues ...

Started the morning heading back south from the Park to Wet Bottom Creek to filter some water. Water wasn't flowing, but there were a few puddles in rock beds that met the need. We had better luck on our trip about 3/4 mile after we turned off the Mazatzal Divide Trail onto the Red Hills Trail (just north of Knob Mountain). The streams weren't running, but lots of nice, clean puddles in rock beds.

As we headed out of The Park, we noticed a full setup of another person on the AZT, looked like a hunter's setup with tent, tarps, food in a heavy duty container in the trees, shovels, etc.

We had lunch on Bullfrog Ridge in a saddle with pines before heading down a few switchbacks down Bull Spring Trail. It's fairly steep, I was glad we were going the AZT from south to north and could descend this. We went down 2,000 ft in 3 miles. I took off down the mountain to get all the descent over with, and met the guys at the turnoff off the AZT back to Doll Baby TH. The ascent back up to Doll Baby was 600 easy gradual feet of gain, but by the time we topped out at a gate about a mile from the trailhead we were all so gassed after 40 miles that no one was willing to take the side trail off to the ruins there. We just kept walking down toward the car, looking at the rock cliff for the ruins. I think I saw them, but I wasn't sure and figured I'd save it for some other adventurer to photograph it!

In our two-day journey through the remote Mazatzal Wilderness, we never saw a single other person from the moment we set off on the trail, on either segment.

After getting out we sprayed ourselves down with cheap deodorant so we could stand to sit next to each other, and headed down to Payson for a well-deserved Mexican fiesta.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau
Mar 22 2009
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 377
 Photos 7,633
 Triplogs 575

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Mazatzal Divide TH to Wet Bottom CreekPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 22 2009
DarthStiller
Hiking13.70 Miles 2,500 AEG
Hiking13.70 Miles   6 Hrs   40 Mns   2.06 mph
2,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
wallyfrack
Other than last month watching my kids complete a 2.5 mile hike, this one was the best of this year so far. The views were very much above average. We started up the North Peak Trail, which is actually in very good condition. Off of FR414 take FR414A to the TH. Make sure you start hiking exactly right at the "hiker" sign and not up the jeep road ~30 yds to the north. The trail is very steep in places but for the most part very easy to follow. Very nice views of North Peak with some snow and of Dennis Creek, including a waterfall that probably looks alot nicer during heavier runoff periods. About 2 miles in it gets a little tough to follow where it levels off somewhat, but none of this was too bad. The distance of this trail is actually about 4.6 miles, not 3.5 as stated in some books. The last mile gets to be a bit of a slog, but I think this had as much to do with the fact that I expected it to be a mile shorter as it had to do with the post fire regrowth.

The Mazatzal Divide Trail from the junction at The Park is a good 9 miles as advertised, but mostly downhill and with very few downed trees. Our average speed was very near 3mph in this section. There was a lot of wind throughout most of the hike, regardless of our elevation, and we noticed later that it was even windy in Phoenix/Mesa (although the visibility was much better up north). The last couple of miles of the hike began to wear on my feet, but I felt much better overall than I normally do after a hike of this distance and vertical magnitude.

No wildlife, but alot of tracks, probably both elk (maybe mule deer) and cattle.
Geology
Geology
Tapeats Sandstone
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Jan 17 2009
Grasshopper
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 Guides 47
 Routes 487
 Photos 8,980
 Triplogs 551

76 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
North Peak Trail #24Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2009
Grasshopper
Hiking13.90 Miles 3,732 AEG
Hiking13.90 Miles   10 Hrs   20 Mns   1.35 mph
3,732 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
I joined topohiker today for what was planned to be a continuation of his May'08 hike (ref: his hike description-"Mazatzal Divide TH to Wet Bottom Creek"). We started southwest of Payson at the Mineral Springs TH on North Peak TR#24. This TR24 has a published distance of 3.5mls one way to end at the Mazatzal Divide TR#23. We were looking forward to hiking this new trail(for us) with hopes of covering a few additional miles south on TR23 before needing to turn around and head back the way we came in.

The last posted HAZ triplog for this North Peak TR was in Dec'05 and did not sound pretty. It has now been an additional 3+ years since an update and 4+ years since the devastating "Willow Fire" in Aug'04 which pretty much took out most of this area and a majority of the Mazatzal Wilderness. Assuming that there had most likely been no trail maintenance since before Aug'04, I pretty much knew we should expect lots of dead/downed trees, trail washouts, needed route finding, and trail overgrowth. Well, I was correct on all these but I kind-of forgot about the added variable of snow fields at some trail elevations on the north facing slopes. We three started in at 9:am from the Mineral Creek TH and did not reach the west end intersection of 24/23 (at "The Park") until ~1:30pm and had clocked not 3.5mls, but 4.6 miles(some of which was off trail-roaming trying to find the trail).

We had a very interesting discussion/negotation on our short lunch break at "The Park" regarding what was the best route back. There were really only two options: (1)back the way we came which we all understood would be difficult, could be risky(for safety reason), and also very time consuming(we knew we did not want to still be on the North Peak TR after dark); or (2)add another 4+ additional miles to our hike out by heading north on a safer, known trail- the Mazatzal Divide TR which would exit us at the City Creek TH but an additional 9+ hiking forest road miles from our vehicle at the Mineral Creek TH :-k Well, we first decided on the safety side to take the known longer Mazatzal TR back hoping that we could reach the ending TH before dark and thumb a ride with someone/anyone back to our vehicle. We then started out, then within 300ft of heading up #23, we found the actual trail intersection of 23/24(which we had previously missed coming in to "The Park" area); So now another short discussion and since we can now actually see a real trail section of #24, we make a 90 degree right turn and start heading back on the North Pk TR#24 :roll: . Then we closely follow what we see as this TR24 and less than another 300ft, we intersect the Mazatzal Divide TR23 again.. :lol: . So much for team decision making under pressure! I think we all three looked up to the sky at the same time and then almost immediately after, started hiking back north on the Mazatzal Divide Trail.. We three all do believe in a "higher :pray: power"!!

Please also see topohiker's triplog and my attached trip "pic set with detailed note captions" to walk-you-through our adventure this day..much of which was very scenic with North Peak draped in snow!
Flora
Flora
Desert Mistletoe
Geology
Geology
Tapeats Sandstone
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
Named place
Named place
Mogollon Rim North Peak The Park
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
May 26 2008
topohiker
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 113
 Photos 4,567
 Triplogs 2,331

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Mazatzal Divide TH to Wet Bottom CreekPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 26 2008
topohiker
Hiking18.70 Miles 3,959 AEG
Hiking18.70 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   2.20 mph
3,959 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I started out at 9:20am from the City Creek TH. The elevation is of the TH is 3480. The trail starts across the road from the TH. There are no signs for the trail. The trail starts to climb and climb. You basically follow the ridge lines. At about 5.5 miles into the hike, you hit the Red Hills trail. What's interesting is that this part of the AZ trail and there's no sign indicating that. By this point, you've climbed about 2,500 feet! This near you high point of 6275. The Mazatzal divide trail was easy to follow. There are a couple of minor over growth spots, but nothing to bad. There are a couple of fallen trees here and there. The trail more or less flats out for about a mile. You go through a major down fall area and the trail gets obscured. Just keep going straight. There's a couple of downs and up's but nothing like the climb up. You go through another major down fall area, just keep going in a straight direction and you should be fine. A little past the 8 mile mark, you'll see the trail go down into a creek area. This is the Wet Bottom creek. About a 1/4 mile from the North Peak Trail, there's another major down fall area. I got mess-up here. The trail makes a major change in direction before the down fall area but it's not obvious at all. I went through the down fall. My GPS had the trail on it's base map, so I used that to help me through this. (HINT, the tail is to the right of the major down fall area) I made it to the North Peak trail intersection. My GPS also called this area "The Park". There was a nice camp site hear with a garbage can. There was also some trail maintenance tools here also :) I was just a short distance from the Wet Bottom creek, so I decided to check it out. It was bone dry, but it so deep, that if it was full, my bottom would have been wet! Just past the Wet Bottom creek is the Willow trail, but the Mazatzal divide disappear once I crossed the creek. This was another major down fall area. It was past my turn around time, so I decided to come back another day (via the North Peak trail). (After I got home and mapped out my GPS route on the maps, It looks like the Mazatzal divide trail changed direction at the Wet Bottom creek. It moves about 100 feet to right after it crosses the creek. I'll verify this another day.) I headed back and this time I followed the trail out and I still got a little messed up by the down fall area. I would help out if you download my GPS track to guide you through this section.

The views on this hike were great. In a short amount of time, your in the middle of the remote Mazatzal mountains. You have some great views. This part of the trail is almost 100% exposed. The higher elevations help out with the heat.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Mar 07 2004
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Mazatzal Divide Trail #23Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 07 2004
mazatzal
Backpack34.00 Miles 6,600 AEG
Backpack34.00 Miles4 Days         
6,600 ft AEG
 
Day 1: City Creek TH to Fuller Seep. Jim found a nice axe on the trail and carried it for the next 4 days.

Day 2: Fuller seep to lower Wet Bottom Creek crossing (see profile photo and thank you Jim or wading in and rescuing my hiking socks that had blown into the creek :sl: ) and then back track to Midnight trail and down to Upper Wet Bottom Creek crossing.

Day 3: Upper WBC to The Park. This stretch of Midnight trail is really cool.

Day 4: Down North Peak trail and along Pole Hollow to City Creek TH.

We were lucky enough to do this incredible loop before the Willow Fire by just 3 months.
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1 archive
Apr 27 1997
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Mazatzal Divide Trail to Knob MountainPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 27 1997
mazatzal
Hiking13.00 Miles 2,800 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles
2,800 ft AEG
 no routes
City Creek to Knob Mtn and back.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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average hiking speed 2.23 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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