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Mazatzal Divide to The Park - 5 members in 12 triplogs have rated this an average 3.2 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 31 2018
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,865
 Triplogs 4,281

49 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
_____________________
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
Mar 31 2018
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,159
 Triplogs 1,080

63 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 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 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
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1 archive
Mar 09 2017
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
City Creek Trail Mazatzal Divide South, AZ 
City Creek Trail Mazatzal Divide South, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 09 2017
markthurman53
Hiking18.60 Miles 4,975 AEG
Hiking18.60 Miles   11 Hrs   21 Mns   2.15 mph
4,975 ft AEG   2 Hrs   41 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
A lot of work to do 3.3 miles of the Arizona Trail, But that has been true for all the portions of Arizona Trail in the Mazatzal Mountains (If you are just doing day hikes). Well worth the hike, this is the second time doing the City Creek Trail and I still found it worth it. This time the water was plentiful along both the City Creek and the Arizona Trail. The City Creek Trail is well maintained and easy hiking (for an uphill climb) because there are not a lot of rocky steps, trail is pretty smooth.
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Feb 11 2017
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 336
 Photos 6,842
 Triplogs 801

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Mazatzal Divide to The ParkPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2017
BiFrost
Hiking19.13 Miles 4,506 AEG
Hiking19.13 Miles   10 Hrs   18 Mns   1.94 mph
4,506 ft AEG      26 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
slowandsteady
This loop had been on our to do list for a while. With all the snow we had to wait for some to melt but the time seemed right to give it a try. Chance of rain but nothing significant and as it turned out not a drop fell on the whole hike. We started from City Creek TH and headed up Mazatzal Divide Trail to the Arizona Trail junction. First time on this part of the Divide trail and it’s in really great shape so we got spoiled making our way up towards The Park. Took short break at AZT junction and then headed for the Park where we saw a few patches of snow but nothing significant.
Once at the Park we headed for Petes Pond initially down Wet Bottom Creek but had to bail on the drainage because it was running too fast but really cool to see all that water. Had lunch at Petes Pond which was also running strong and tons of water everywhere. After lunch we took a more direct route back to the Park avoiding the drainage back to the North Peak Trail junction. The North Peak Trail was as advertised overgrown and difficult to follow in the first 2 miles and most patches of snow we saw all day. Once the trail starts the big drop down to Mineral Creek TH it’s easy to follow but very steep.
At Mineral Creek TH we headed down Pole Hollow Canyon on an old road track route that @toddak had done previously. Aside from a few sections where the road disappears most of the way we were able to follow the road two track and make decent time back to City Creek TH just at dark.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 City Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
heavy snow runoff from North Peak

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
completely full and the drainage had heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pole Hollow Canyon Light flow Light flow
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1 archive
Feb 11 2017
slowandsteady
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

45 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Mazatzal Divide to The ParkPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2017
slowandsteady
Hiking19.13 Miles 4,506 AEG
Hiking19.13 Miles   10 Hrs   18 Mns   1.94 mph
4,506 ft AEG      26 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
_____________________
Mar 04 2016
toddak
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 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,071
 Triplogs 399

54 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.
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Nov 30 2014
nonot
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 236
 Photos 1,969
 Triplogs 476

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!!
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1 archive
Apr 27 2012
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,073

62 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
avatar

 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,598

52 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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Mar 07 2004
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,073

62 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.
_____________________
1 archive
Apr 27 1997
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,073

62 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
_____________________
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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