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Horse Camp Seep - Mazatzals - 7 members in 27 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 09 2019
chumley
avatar

 Guides 74
 Routes 663
 Photos 12,674
 Triplogs 1,371

45 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Mazzy Overnight, AZ 
Mazzy Overnight, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 09 2019
chumley
Backpack20.12 Miles 4,800 AEG
Backpack20.12 Miles2 Days         
4,800 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
friendofThundergod
John9L
Jonnybackpack
slowandsteady
:y:

Having seen this winter progress, along with a few recent trip reports and photos we knew this would be a good time to head into the Mazzies. It did not disappoint!

I had the goal of getting to the middle "bowl" between the waterfalls, and knew it would take a while, so we headed out early and managed to get to camp around noon. Karl opted to join me on my adventure, and it turned out to be the highlight of the trip!

From the bottom of the canyon, we ascended the steep scree slope which was an absolute mess of primarily prickly pear, but also a ton of agave, and pincushion. Footing was poor, rocks were loose, and there was nothing safe to grab. Literally, grabbing an agave was often the best choice for supporting yourself! :o

As noted by @te_wa, near the top there are several small cliff bands that you need to climb through, none particularly difficult on its own, but again, each level was littered with cactus making a few moves fairly precarious. Once reaching a point that seemed to be about 25 feet below the rim, we dropped down again into the bowl between the falls. It's just a little slice of heaven in Arizona! :)

We explored the base of the two upper falls and the top of the lower fall, took a metric s-ton of photos and videos, and then made our way back the way we came. At the top, we chatted briefly with @the_n and a group of backpackers he was with before heading back to the others at Horse Camp. The day trip had taken as long as the 10 mile hike to camp in the morning. Plenty of blood was shed. These mountains are not forgiving.

Campfire, beer, dinner, and relaxation on a chilly night that dropped just below freezing led to a well-earned night sleep.

In the morning we headed up to Rock Creek, fighting the manzanita as expected, stopping at the falls on the way down. Lee hiked up to meet us and provided a welcome shuttle from RC back to Barnhart, saving us the agony of catclaw hell on Half Moon.

I was exhausted. Literally destroyed. Back home, it hurt just to sleep that night! A brutal two days in the Mazzies. And I wouldn't have it any other way! :D
Named place
Named place
Chilson Spring Hopi Spring
_____________________
Ja vi elsker dette landet
4 archives
Mar 09 2019
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,447
 Triplogs 755

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Mazzy Overnight, AZ 
Mazzy Overnight, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 09 2019
BiFrost
Backpack20.12 Miles 4,800 AEG
Backpack20.12 Miles2 Days         
4,800 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
friendofThundergod
John9L
Jonnybackpack
slowandsteady
It was a waterfall filled weekend in the Mazatzal's! With all the snow and rain we circled this weekend to see what all the runoff looked like and we were not disappointed. We hiked in Barnhardt Trail to the divide and on to Horse Camp Seep for the nights camp. Arriving early around noon we were able to do exploring in the afternoon.

Chumley proposed the idea of dropping into the abyss beneath the waterfall trifecta with a twist. We did the same descent a few years back but this time Chumley spotted an additional climb and traverse between upper and lower waterfalls. Not knowing for sure if it went we gave it a shot and fortunately everything worked out. It's difficult to describe the route but safe to say we were able to view all the waterfalls from some very unique angles! The agave, prickly pear and other assorted cactus made for an interesting route which Chumley described well. Despite the rugged route it was without question the highlight of the weekend. After taking what seemed like a ridiculous amount of photos we climbed back out of the abyss and back to camp at Horse Camp Seep.

Back at camp we relaxed after the tough hike and enjoyed the evening with Johnny showing up a bit later with Daisy the wonder dog! Cold night but the fire made up for it.

Next day we headed out Rock Creek Trail passed Hopi Spring and back up to the divide. That was followed by the big descent down to the Rock Creek trailhead. However, we stopped by the Rock Creek falls first and also met up with Lee and Blanco where we all checked out the falls for awhile before finishing up the hike. Big thanks to Lee for being our driver between Rock Creek trailhead and Barnhardt trailhead :D
Named place
Named place
Chilson Spring
_____________________
1 archive
Jan 19 2019
MountainMatt
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 179
 Photos 2,256
 Triplogs 369

26 male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Rock-Divide-Barnhardt Horseshoe, AZ 
Rock-Divide-Barnhardt Horseshoe, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jan 19 2019
MountainMatt
Backpack20.36 Miles 4,945 AEG
Backpack20.36 Miles1 Day   6 Hrs   25 Mns   
4,945 ft AEG   19 Hrs   42 Mns Break70 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Originally had planned on doing a different trip into the lower Mazzies but conditions and logistics actually favored this trip and considering it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for many years I put it into play and it worked out fantastically.

Starting at the Rock Creek TH was such a treat, not a soul there but us three friends and Payton the adventure pup.
Getting the hard work out of the way on day one was the way to go, RC trail is in suberb condition for the most part besides the little portion before you top out and the backside when it gets tight but a keen eye can spot the manzanita base trimmings done by someone I truly admire.

Hitting the divide like everyone says feels like a “super highway” which is the prefect description as it was a treat for the feet and legs.
I expected to run into some other backpackers at the 5 star camp that HCS is but we had the place all to ourselves! :)
Made camp and relaxed a little bit before we made the pleasant stroll to the nearby epic geological features.
After spending time on the edge and enjoying the sunset we made our way back to camp followed by a great night of camping and a massive moon above with quite literally perfect weather.

Just as planned we were cruising on Sunday with lighter packs, minimal elevation and expressway of a trail gave one the ability to really soak in the mind blowing views.
We saw are first human just before Chilson Spring and soon after saw one then many more once we got within a mile of the Big K.
Had lunch in the grotto and breezed down the rest of Barnhardt back to the TH where a good friend of mine picked us up at and drove us back to my truck at the again empty Rock Creek TH.

Truly an amazing and fulfilling trip with good friends and my dog Payton who I’m so proud of as she crushed it and led the pack quite literally the entire trip.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Barnhardt Canyon Heavy flow Heavy flow
Raging whitewater.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Big Kahuna Falls - Mazatzal Wilderness Heavy flow Heavy flow
Gusher.

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Deadman Canyon - North Fork Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Deadman Canyon Falls - North Fork Light flow Light flow
A light flow, half the juice of it’s nearby twin.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Garden Seep Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Entire section of the trail was wet here.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hopi Spring Dripping Dripping
Nice little filterable pool and plenty for a thirsty dog to get a drink and cool down in.

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
Clear, cool, flowing reliable water source for an army.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Lower Deadman Canyon Falls Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max North Fork Deadman Creek Light flow Light 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
Double the flow from my last visit and quite the sight.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Rock Creek Spring - Mazatzal Wilderness Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sandy Saddle Falls Medium flow Medium flow
Not gushing by any means but solid steady flow.
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http://www.mattwhelanphotography.com/
Sep 01 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 792
 Triplogs 89

33 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Club CabinPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 01 2017
jacobemerick
Backpack35.34 Miles 7,340 AEG
Backpack35.34 Miles4 Days         
7,340 ft AEG
 
The planned route was an attempt to follow @Lizard's original Club Cabin description with two key differences: I wanted to reverse it and use Sandy Saddle to go up (instead of Half Moon / Rock Creek). However, things didn't go well and I ended up bailing on the last leg.

Barnhardt #43
First time heading up this trail in daylight. Starting to get a bit overgrown in sections, all friendly green stuff that never hurt nobody. Bumped into a yuge group (12+) from Prescott Comm. who were doing a 3-week trip from here to Fossil Creek. These would be the last people I'd see in... a long time.

Sandy Saddle #231
Good grief. Even getting to Castersen Seep involved trekking-poles-above-head wading through the manzanita. There are sections of defined tread and clear track, they are just few and far between. Castersen was okay, few tanks w/ skunky water. Had a hard time tracking trail over to the next wash, and that last climb doesn't believe in switchbacks. Made it to the saddle proper with the sunset, a solid hour behind schedule. This would make a decent camp, plus there were tanks few hundred yards to the west for water. Unsure of how dependable they are.

Anyways, didn't even try to look for tread coming down the west side, just dropped in the drainage and followed it down. The wash was easy enough to navigate in the twilight / moonlight and I made it to Divide Trail, then Horse Camp Seep, without needing headlamp. Rehydrated and snoozing in hammock by ten.

Mazatzal Divide #23
As usual, big views. Was cool to look down from the ridge above the Park and try to track where Willow Spring plays on 6351'. Trail is in great shape. Thought about pushing on to Pete's Pond to camel up and didn't - stupid mistake.

Willow Spring #223
Heh. That first mile is turrible. Deadfall wasn't really a problem, more the manzanita and loose rocks underfoot. Found no cairn or tread along the way. Got a gnarly bloody nose here too thanks to a face-whacking branch, took way too long to stem the flow. Things got better on the ridge, with old tread and game trails providing an easier way forward through the shorter brush. Views across Maverick Basin were ridiculously awesome, too.

The dance along the side of 6351' was annoying, with the trail fading in and out of existence and too few cairns to connect the dots, and a pretty steep hillside to work along. Short section of good trail on the drop until it faded out again and I ended up taking a rocky drainage down to wash below. At this point I was starting to run low on water and decided to stick to the sandy wash in hopes of finding water (and maybe to avoid the manzanita/deadfall mix that waited on the southern bank). Found a decent tank (though I suspect it was only there from last night's rain) and filtered up, spooked an elk while packing up, and then hacked my way back up to trail.

Things gradually got easier along the ridge and, by the time I bumped into the Midnight Mesa Junction, the trail was straightforward to pick out. Dancing along the side of Midnight Mesa was downright fun, and the rest of the hike to Mountain Spring was enjoyable as well. Reached the spring with two hours of daylight for camp chores and treated myself to some homemade thai curry mix and a quick trough-side rinse-off.

Aside from the second night: at about ten at night that elk showed up for a drink. Darn thing was less than ten feet away before I realized he wasn't another tiny nocturnal rodent. Seeing a giant rack upside down, looking down on you as you cowboy-camp, is a hell of a way to wake up. Spooked him off and then fell back asleep to his annoyed bugles. Elk sound silly when they're angry.

Deadman #25
Getting to the junction is easy to follow, and there is a good path w/ cairns that lead down to Horse Creek. And then it disappears. Tried going up and down the banks a few time to find where it climbs and eventually just hacked up the hill. It's frustrating, because there are two old barbed fences to cross, and one would think that there'd be a gate or cairn or something to mark where you're supposed to pass through them - nothing. Got to practice my Zeta-Jones skills squeezing underneath the wires, at least. Tread shows up at the next drainage crossing and is easy to follow for the next mile, then gets faint on the long drop to Deadman Creek.

Deadman Creek seems to be dependable here, with lots of friendly trees and some reeds growing around the trickling waters. Trail was hard to track on the other side - I crossed, got to the corral, and then followed the fence east, and then lost it. Think I should have gone further east. Anyways, hacked my own way up some turrible brush and then picked a route up the hill. Found a few cairns but the tread wasn't trackable for too long. Felt like it took forever to climb up to the saddle. Once I reached the top, feeling a bit light-headed from the growing heat, I was immediately stung several times by a wasp. Made it down to the junction w/ Davenport Trail before the reaction started getting serious.

This is when things get a bit blurry. I reached out to wife (@klemerick) via inReach and let her know what had happened. I decided to head up to Club Cabin and rest for a while, took every ounce of energy to make it up that hillside - something was definitely off, either from heat or sting or both. Once I got there I remember wandering around, uncertain of what to do next, taking almost an hour before realizing that I should be drinking water given the 100+ temps. @klemerick was in constant contact and she decided that I needed to get out of there the fastest way possible, down Davenport, and that she and @reynchr would help me out along the way. Spent the rest of the day futzing around the cabin, not doing much of anything, mostly trying to get a grip on things. It was terrifying.

Davenport #89
Woke up the next morning feeling slightly better, still off. Those little climbs, especially near Rock Spring, kept knocking the wind out of me. At least the path was easy to track after the last few days - think I only lost it twice, and was able to quickly backtrack and get back on it. Don't know how I had such a hard time following it last year lol. Made it about halfway down that last mesa, outside the wilderness boundary, when a USFS truck showed up to give me a ride the rest of the way.

My rescuers, @klemerick and @reynchr, had spent the night at Sears Trailhead and left a water cache for me there while they went back and tried to find a way to get their vehicle across the Verde. By sheer luck they bumped into a ranger at the camp and explained the situation. He had access to the dam gates and drove over to save me the last four miles of hiking, which was definitely appreciated. Made it out of there in relatively good shape, though I was still shaky and weird from the day before. I have no idea how I would have gotten out of there without their help, though - trying to cross back over to Barnhardt would have been far outside my capabilities in my shape. Am very grateful for them.

Mazatzal Miles: 164.6/275 (60%)
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Big Kahuna Falls - Mazatzal Wilderness Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Castersen Seep Dripping Dripping
Well, the seep proper was dry, but there were tanks downstream that held water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Club Spring - Table Mountain Quad Quart per minute Quart per minute
Main hole was full, pools/trickles went almost halfway to cabin.

dry Dog Spring Dry Dry

dry Hawaiian Mist Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Horse Camp Seep Dripping Dripping
Tanks were lowest I've seen them.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Mountain Spring - Mazatzal Dripping Dripping
Some trickle along creek, cement trough was full (and quite green).

dry Rock Spring Dry Dry
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1 archive
Mar 04 2017
Tough_Boots
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 2,708
 Triplogs 755

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Horse Camp Seep - MazatzalsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 04 2017
Tough_Boots
Backpack20.00 Miles 3,754 AEG
Backpack20.00 Miles
3,754 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Great overnight trip with a friend and the dogs to see the big falls. We hooked up with a solo backpacker and his pooch on the way to Horse Camp Seep and he hiked with us the rest of the way. Great camp company and a fantastic weekend. It was pretty breezy but the temperatures were cool and perfect.
_____________________
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan
Feb 11 2017
The_N
avatar

 Routes 54
 Photos 1,508
 Triplogs 325

32 male
 Joined Mar 18 2015
 Payson, AZ
Y Bar - Deadman - Rock Creek, AZ 
Y Bar - Deadman - Rock Creek, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Feb 11 2017
The_N
Backpack27.47 Miles 6,244 AEG
Backpack27.47 Miles2 Days         
6,244 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Mazzie Waterfall Tour 2017. Slept at the TH Friday night and before the hike even started I spotted a Teva, a Tortoise & an Eagle on Saturday a.m. Nice to meet you fellas. Myself, Dallin & Bradley set off up Y Bar first. Looks like some work was done on Y Bar. Still rocky as ever, but some of the old deadfall was removed and replaced by new deadfall. No navigational issues here. Water flowing from every drainage. We hit the Divide and set out for Bear Spring and a lunch break. Essentially, all we did was add 2 hours of snow plowing by adding this trip. Good times, though. There was plenty of new deadfall along this stretch that we have previously cleared. Bear Spring was not the oasis it usually is during warmer months. It's currently still snowed in. There were a couple of 'unnamed' falls along the Divide between Y Bar and Bear Spring. The Divide Trail was a real treat this weekend. Patches of snow and plenty of water. We didn't even carry any water. Get thirsty, drink from the next drainage. We arrived at Horse Camp with wet feet, set up, and me and Dallin took off for Deadman Falls by following the creek there. Truly, a spectacular sight. Cacti and pines below a huge waterfall and neat geology. We ran into a group of backpackers I had chatted with at the TH. They were camping right at the edge of Sandy Saddle Falls. Back at camp, we enjoyed a very comfortable night, huge fire & an early a.m. sprinkle or two. Sunday a.m. we were off and headed up Rock Creek Trail. Not much of a trail to begin with. We followed the path of least resistance until finding cairns and the actual 'trail' which still requires pushing through manzanita. The other side of Rock Creek Trail is pure beauty. Perhaps one of my favorites. A snowy, pine covered hillside to the North meets a rocky, cacti & manzanita covered hillside with a raging creek in between. The views of the Mazzies, Tonto Basin and beyond are amazing, as well. After some steep downhill, we were cruising and missed the Half Moon junction. A quick uphill bushwack straightened us out. Half Moon Trail was the biggest unknown for me on this trip. Turned out the be in much better shape and more scenic than I imagined. Where the trail disperses, cairns are there to guide you. The 2 big seas of catclaw are impressive. We finished back at the Barnhardt TH just as storms moved in. Ended a great trip with the first thunder/lightning show of the year.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Saw a few small species of blooms. The show is just getting started.

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Barnhardt Creek at Half Moon Trail Heavy flow Heavy flow

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

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 North Fork Deadman Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Rock Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Rock Creek at Half Moon Trail Heavy flow Heavy 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 4 out of 5 Sandy Saddle Falls Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Windsor Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Y Bar Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
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If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Aug 26 2016
The_N
avatar

 Routes 54
 Photos 1,508
 Triplogs 325

32 male
 Joined Mar 18 2015
 Payson, AZ
Horse Camp Seep - MazatzalsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 26 2016
The_N
Backpack29.82 Miles 5,359 AEG
Backpack29.82 Miles1 Day         
5,359 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
DallinW
Went out for a night under the stars. Morning rain had just ended when I started so the road was a mess but I had the place to myself. The hike up Barnhardt and over to camp was awesome. A couple of locust patches on Barnhardt but nothing terrible. Had some overcast and generally cooler temps with not a storm in sight all day and night. The Divide is in great shape through this stretch. Made it to camp and found plenty of water and had time to set up and gather firewood before dinner. The noseeums and mosquitos were nearly unbearable. Fell asleep to frog songs and some kind of blue fireflies. Planned on sleeping in a little but got a 5am thunder wake-up call so I packed up and got moving. Watching lightning strikes through Deadman Canyon was an amazing sight. Before reaching the Barnhardt junction the skies opened up and deafening thunder rumbled all around. The intense stuff only last 30mins before turning to a light rain. I was soaked from pushing through wet vegetation and stopped at Big Kahuna for a minute once the rain let up. Ran into Dallin and Alex coming up the trail. We watched as blue skies emerged and I decided to join them on a trip back up to the Divide and return to the TH on what turned out to be a gorgeous day in the Mazzies with some good company.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunrise Sunset
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Big Kahuna Falls - Mazatzal Wilderness Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Dry on Friday. Light flow on Saturday.

dry Hawaiian Mist Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Horse Camp Seep Dripping Dripping
Seemed to be a trickle. Plenty of pools to filter from.

_____________________
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Apr 02 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 792
 Triplogs 89

33 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Mazatzal Peak LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 02 2016
jacobemerick
Backpack25.90 Miles 5,230 AEG
Backpack25.90 Miles2 Days         
5,230 ft AEG
 
1st trip
* Back-posting for the memories *

After an ...interesting... introduction to the Mazzies a month ago it seemed right to give the eastern side a try. After all, the eastern side sees more traffic and thusly would have better trails. Armed with lighter gear, new boots, and wide-eyed optimism I concocted a hair-brained plan to hike up the Divide, descend down Davenport, swing over to Deadman, and then do something Willow Springs or Wet Bottom. LOL.

Y-Bar Trail
This is a fantastic trail. It climbs steadily and easily and goes through a wide variety of flora. This was my first time on any eastern trail and my biggest issue was keeping my jaw from dropping with all the fantastic scenery. Trail was in good shape, only a few deadfall to step over, and I made it up to Windsor Spring in good spirits and good time. Even watered up at an unnamed spring above Y-Bar Tanks and successfully used the Sawyer Mini.

Mazatzal Divide (from Windsor to Horse Camp Seep)
A brief break at Windsor and I set down the divide trail in a half-trot. Passed a group of backpackers heading southbound and shared the water situation w/ them. They told me Barnhardt was overgrown (this was 2016, after all) and they had the cuts to prove it. After them I cruised past the Barnhardt junction, thankfully oblivious to the Brody Seep 'shortcut', and watered up at some tanks before Chilson.

It was about noon by now so I made a half-attempt at finding then eastern end of Davenport. Half because my heels were starting to hurt from the new boots and because the brush was thick. After wandering right into a giant anthill I called it and went back to pout at the picnic table. Then I went up to check on Chilson Spring and came away disappointed. Morning momentum was gone and afternoon frumps were setting in. I didn't want to bail so early so I meandered aimlessly down the Mazatzal Divide without a clear plan. Some portions were clear, some portions stabbed at my shins. A few of the Deadman tributaries had stale pools of water with bees circling around them. When I reached Horse Camp Seep I was drained. Plopped down next to the tanks and enjoyed a long lunch and lots of water. While I was resting an AZT thru-hiker came in and we had a good long chat about life.

Still optimistic, even with my heels starting to bleed, I decided to push on to Hopi Spring and maybe The Park. I could try to turn this into a Rock Creek Loop or maybe reverse direction from my original plan. Once I made it to Hopi, though, I was done. Checked out the water source, lamented the condition of Rock Creek Trail on the eastern slope, and balked at the climb left to The Park. Retreated to Horse Camp Seep to see two AZT thru-hikers instead of just one (is that how that works?) and then set up camp for the night.

Camp
This time I was armed with a lighter sleeping bag (Sea to Summit 50°F) and a mosquito net, plus an Eslit solid fuel stove. Saved some serious weight. Stove worked okay and the temps dropped well below 50. Ended up using a tarp as a blanket, which got me through the night just fine. Overall a better night than out by Club Cabin. Woke up with a sour gut and limped out with the sun rise.

Retreat down Barnhardt
Was tempted to check out Sandy Saddle and then wasn't when I saw the 'junction'. (Yes, I was bad at researching trail conditions in 2016. I'm slightly better now.) Trundled back past Chilson and had breakfast at the lovely giant tree W of Barnhardt Junction. Even saw some deer while I was sipping coffee, first ones I've seen in AZ. Then it was down Barnhardt. It was somewhat overgrown, not as bad as I expected, and the scenery was lovely. My heels were not. By the time I reached the trailhead my socks were half red.

And that was the last +5 mile hike I used Keen Targhees on.

Mazatzal Miles: 30.4/274 (11.1%)

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Big Kahuna Falls - Mazatzal Wilderness Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Chilson Spring Dripping Dripping
Barely dripping. Catch was mostly full of silt and mud.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hopi Spring Dripping Dripping
Large seep, overflowing and making some mud across AZT.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Horse Camp Seep Quart per minute Quart per minute
Both the seep and creek had water flowing through the tanks.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Y Bar Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Running right across the trail.
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1 archive
Feb 26 2016
Tough_Boots
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 2,708
 Triplogs 755

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Barnhardt / Rock Creek Loop, AZ 
Barnhardt / Rock Creek Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Feb 26 2016
Tough_Boots
Backpack21.20 Miles 4,872 AEG
Backpack21.20 Miles2 Days         
4,872 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
I've done this loop a few times but never as a backpack so me, 9L, and Lily decided to go for it while the water and waterfalls are plentiful out there. This is definitely one of my favorite loops. We started up Barnhardt and quickly made it to Chilson Camp for lunch. Then we headed to Horse Camp Seep to set up camp. After a short rest, we backtracked to the north fork of deadman canyon falls. I headed back the same way with Lily and 9L decided to take Deadman Creek back to camp though he eventually got forced out and bushwacked along the west side.

We had a nice fire-- wood is plentiful. What we assumed was probably a maintenance crew left quite a few nice big logs cut there. 9L is a nice guy so we only burned one and left the rest for future campers.

We didn't really rush around the next morning and probably finally started hiking around 9:30ish. We forced our way up Rock Creek. There's very little sign of the trail on that side. We'd pick it up every now and then but mostly we just pushed through manzanita. I didn't make Lily wear her pack for this trip because I figured that would make this stretch near impossible for her. Closer to the saddle, the trail does become more obvious and then its pretty clear the whole rest of the hike. Whoever has been doing maintenance out there the last couple years is a god. We also ran into our only fellow hiker on Rock Creek who recognized Lily from HAZ-- nice to meet you, Roger.

We finally hit Half Moon which at this point was a bit more challenging than I remembered (even with Chumley's makeover)-- possibly because it was getting a little toasty and I was ready to be done. I was also breaking in a new pack which is much bigger than my normal one. Half Moon is actually pretty annoying-- up and down, in and out of drainages the entire way, successfully and unsuccessfully dodging cow pies. Lily was obviously getting tired and hot too but luckily water was flowing in a couple places the last mile or so and that really got her going.

Still lovin' those mazzies!
_____________________
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan
Feb 26 2016
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 164
 Photos 4,728
 Triplogs 1,575

40 male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Barnhardt / Rock Creek Loop, AZ 
Barnhardt / Rock Creek Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Feb 26 2016
John9L
Backpack21.20 Miles 4,872 AEG
Backpack21.20 Miles2 Days         
4,872 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
I had some PTO to burn & Kyle was interested in spending an overnighter at Horse Camp Seep in the Mazatzal Wilderness. Everything came together quickly & we headed out Friday morning.

We arrived at the Barnhardt TH around 9am to an empty parking lot. We geared up & headed out. We cruised up the trail & took a short break at Big Kahuna. From there we made steady progress & continued north on the Divide Trail to Chilson Camp where we took our lunch. The camp has a water cache of at least ten gallons without a note or a date. After lunch we hiked the last few miles to Horse Camp Seep & settled in for the afternoon. We set up camp & then gathered additional firewood & then hiked over to the two waterfalls over Deadman Canyon. The falls were still flowing but were much lighter compared to last month when another HAZ group visited. We spent some time exploring the area & returned to camp for sunset. I brought a foil dinner loaded with steak, onions & potatoes. It was delicious cooked over the fire coals.

We woke on day two & took our time as we ate, filtered water & tore camp down. We started hiking around 9:30am & headed north on the Divide Trail & connected onto the Rock Creek Trail. We were prepared for heavy Manzanita & ongoing route finding issues. I constantly checked route scout for the preloaded route & this kept us pointed in the right direction. We eventually topped out & started our descent on the east side. The route is more discernible as we headed down. A few minutes later we saw a person hiking up. It turned out to be Haz member Mr14ner. It was good meeting you!

We continued down & had a few more sections with route finding issues but no significant issues. We eventually dropped into the drainage and admired the waterfalls that had a good flow coming over them. The rest of the descent flew by as there are obvious signs of trail clearing completed in the past year or so. We hit the Half Moon trail and continued on taking a few breaks to rest and giving time to Lily to drink water from the creek. We were back to the Barnhardt Trailhead around mid-afternoon.

This was a tough and rewarding hike! The Horse Camp Seep area is fantastic and I’m glad we stayed there for the night. The Rock Creek Trail has some tough sections but is fantastic overall! Thanks Kyle for organizing this one. The Mazzies never disappoint!
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1 archive
Jan 31 2016
friendofThunde
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 Guides 16
 Routes 268
 Photos 7,381
 Triplogs 685

36 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Horse Camp Seep - MazatzalsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 31 2016
friendofThundergod
Backpack19.37 Miles 3,379 AEG
Backpack19.37 Miles
3,379 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
chumley
JoelHazelton
I joined Chumley, Joel and Karl for an overnight trip into the Mazatzals this weekend. It took me until 9 in the morning on Saturday to determine I wanted to go, so I got a pretty late start, but that was part of the plan if I was going to meet them up there anyways. I knew Chumley and Joel planned on chasing waterfalls, but I was just happy to get out for an over-nighter and stay at the nice campsite near Horse Camp Seep that I had passed so many times before.

Hike Arizona had the parking lot on lock down with three of four vehicle sporting HAZ stickers, as not only were Chumley and some of his followers in the area, but Bruce and Dave1 were also rumored to be in the area. Barnhardt Trail is saturated with water water right now as nearly every drainage and secondary wash nearly from the start of the trail to the divide is running right now. As one might expect, Barnhardt Canyon is rocking and rolling with picturesque falls and cascades in places I have never seen before. Then there were some pretty significant trudges through snow during the last few miles to the divide. I ran into Dave and Bruce about a mile or so from the divide, but our exchange was short, as I was starting to feel worried about hitting camp before dark. That snow slowed my pace down some and fatigued me a tad. But, I learned there were favorable trail conditions ahead from Bruce and Dave and this picked me up some.

The Divide Trail pretty much signaled an end to the worst of the snow and the hiking was pretty smooth going. A little muddy in spots and some overgrown sections as usual, however, the running water really had the surrounding country in rare form. I reached the boys during their falls photo shoot. Joel was standing on top of Deadman and I could hear Karl and Chumley scrambling around somewhere else. I took my obligatory photos and headed to camp about 45 minutes ahead of the sunset.

It was good times at the camp fire as usual. A little windy, but overall a perfect night for winter camping. Woke up around sunrise with Karl and Joel. Karl and I made coffee and enjoyed the fire, while Joel went off to shoot. I took my time getting ready and left camp for the trailhead sometime around 9:30.

Beautiful hiking on the way out with great view after great view. Did not start seeing people until the Big K. There was one group rappelling down the falls and another group passing. I should note that I observed two backpackers very far off trail and deep into the drainage paralleling Barnhardt after the divide. I know there are some abandoned trails down there and Sandy Saddle Trail, but they seemed to be pretty far from either of those areas. It seems unlikely anyone could walk off trail that far with out trying, so I hope they were just some hard core backpackers. Barnhardt was a little slick in spots coming down, but that did not deter a pretty big Sunday crowd along the trail. The trailhead was pretty full when I got back just after 2 p.m.

A very nice over-night hike. I am glad I was able to catch up with the guys. A great time to be in the Mazzys right now.
Culture
Culture
Intrepid Back Shot


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Deadman Canyon Falls - North Fork Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hawaiian Mist Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Horse Camp Seep Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Sandy Saddle Falls Heavy flow Heavy flow
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2 archives
Jan 30 2016
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,447
 Triplogs 755

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Horse Camp Seep - MazatzalsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 30 2016
BiFrost
Backpack23.21 Miles 4,983 AEG
Backpack23.21 Miles1 Day   6 Hrs   11 Mns   
4,983 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
friendofThundergod
JoelHazelton
We discussed a lot of options before this trip but finally decided on Deadman Falls area in the Mazatzal's. Chumley, Joel and I hiked in the Barnhardt Trail getting a late start around 10 in the morning but still managed to arrive by mid afternoon. There was still significant snow on the Barnhardt Trail 2 miles or so below the divide trail junction. This made it tough going and slow for the shaded north slope sections. Once on the divide trail it was smooth sailing to camp at Horse Camp Seep.

Great camp spot at Horse Camp Seep where we setup camp before heading off in search waterfalls. Tons of water in the Deadman Creek but also good flow coming out of North Fork and Sandy that flow into Deadman. We spent the afternoon on the rim taking pics and picking a route down into the bottom for the next day. Returning to camp we met up with Lee and his dogs who had hiked in later but made it by nightfall. We chilled around the fire and had pleasant night enjoying the camp spot.

Next morning after relaxing breakfast Lee had to head out and Joel was already out taking sunrise pics. So Chumley and I decided to try the route down that we scoped out the day before. It was snow free route and had light vegetation so it worked out well. Making the bottom we were rewarded standing at the base of the main Deadman Falls. We took in the sights and snapped some pics before heading back up the steep but doable climb.

Back at camp we met up with Joel, packed up and headed out around noon. Even with the late start we managed to make the TH before 5. Great hike all around and getting to see the Mazzies with so much water was a real treat :D

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Deadman Canyon - North Fork Heavy flow Heavy flow
gusher!!

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
good flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Lower Deadman Canyon Falls 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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2 archives
Jan 30 2016
JoelHazelton
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 Guides 16
 Routes 10
 Photos 967
 Triplogs 406

33 male
 Joined Mar 22 2006
 Phoenix, AZ
Horse Camp Seep - MazatzalsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 30 2016
JoelHazelton
Backpack19.30 Miles 3,754 AEG
Backpack19.30 Miles
3,754 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
BiFrost
chumley
friendofThundergod
Incredible backpacking trip, and one I want to repeat this year. Snow made it an extra challenge. I'm not a fan of Barnhardt between Big Kahuna and the Divide - it just seems to go on forever, plus that's where most of the snow and brush resides right now. Otherwise, the hike was exceedingly pleasant, perfect campsite, and obviously the main attraction spilling into Deadman Canyon was awesome. Some slow creep from the tripod plate not being screwed tightly enough on my camera resulted in some photos being less than optimal sharpness. Bummer after all the work to get there, but it gives me a reason to go back.
_____________________
"Arizona is the land of contrast... You can go from Minnesota to California in a matter of minutes, then have Mexican food that night." -Jack Dykinga

http://www.joelhazelton.com
Jan 30 2016
chumley
avatar

 Guides 74
 Routes 663
 Photos 12,674
 Triplogs 1,371

45 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Horse Camp Seep - MazatzalsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 30 2016
chumley
Backpack23.21 Miles 4,983 AEG
Backpack23.21 Miles1 Day   6 Hrs   11 Mns   
4,983 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
friendofThundergod
JoelHazelton
Absolutely killer weekend in the Mazzies.

Thanks to @knmurphy for the recent triplog that confirmed that the snow had sufficiently melted to get up there. With another foot or more forecast for Monday, we decided it was a good time to try and capture the falls running.

The upper part of Barnhardt was tedious due to snow and overgrowth. The divide was more exposed and only a few short stretches were snowy. Ran into Bruce and Dave, a low-level flyby from our armed forces, one strange clap of thunder, and an otherwise perfect weather weekend (until the last hour).

Lee was a couple hours behind us and Karl and I were on the west side of the canyon exploring when he arrived. It was neat to see him across the way. Joel was out and about looking for good photo opportunities (which he obviously succeeded at finding ... if you haven't seen his photos, click here).

After a pleasant evening where we learned how to build a fire that maximizes smoke and minimizes warmth, we were all happy it was not nearly as cold as a January night in the Mazzies might be! In the morning we all had different objectives, but Karl and I headed for the base of the real falls, which are much taller than the top falls and which you can only see from the west side of the canyon (or from the bottom!)

The descent is a steep Arizona minefield of pointy and prickly things and loose rocks. Ultimately though, it appears to be much better than the two routes than Joe, Eagle, JJ, LP, and Dave had previously done from the east side. The top was a little overgrown, but only with pleasant plants. No catclaw, mountain holly, or manzanita. :y:

It was great to see these falls running. It's about 500 feet from the rim to the bottom of the canyon, and it looks to be about 200 feet and 300 feet for the two sections of falls. Pretty impressive drops. It's amazing how much water is running right now for something that is dry most of the year. I'm glad we squeezed this one in in January! :y:

The hike out took a long time, the snowy section was especially difficult, and I was happy to have microspikes on the steep trail of packed snow below the falls with the odd Hawaiian name. It began to snow a bit, and then sleet in the last couple of miles, but we managed to get back to the car without the weather getting too inconvenient.

Horse Camp is a great spot. I need to get back there this spring.
Culture
Culture
Military Aircraft
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Ja vi elsker dette landet
5 archives
Feb 14 2015
friendofThunde
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 Guides 16
 Routes 268
 Photos 7,381
 Triplogs 685

36 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Mount Peeley to Twin Buttes, AZ 
Mount Peeley to Twin Buttes, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Feb 14 2015
friendofThundergod
Backpack47.34 Miles 8,911 AEG
Backpack47.34 Miles
8,911 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
I have been meaning to do hike since last Spring when I saw the sign just off Twin Buttes that said Mount Peeley 48 miles. The idea of a north to south or south to north trans-Mazzie hike really appealed to me and it would give me a chance to cover several areas of new ground in the Mazzies. There was also the added bonus of knocking out a couple sections of the AZ Trail, something that is still not really on my radar, but a little closer after this weekend.

The HAZ network helped make this one possible. I ran into slowandsteady after Serena's event two weeks ago and she mentioned her and bifrost were also looking for a shuttle in the area. As it turns out they needed a car left at Peeley to complete a section of trail they were day hiking and would also be traveling to Flag later that evening. Therefore, they had no problem using my car to complete their shuttle then dropping it off at Twin Buttes on their way to Flag. I should mention though, all week I kept telling Karl yup leave it at the Pine TH, until he informed me that was not on Twin Buttes road and another 12 miles further into town. I am glad we cleared up that before I stepped off with the intention of my car being on Twin Buttes ;)

My original plans were to do this in an ambitious over night trip. However, after mulling over the miles and AEG, I figured why not make it three days and utilize my Monday off? Even with the trip scaled back to three days, I had a bad feeling about bringing Cup along. I knew from the few areas I had hiked that although it was the AZ Trail, there were certainly some rugged areas in there and I felt with the warmer temps it just might be a little taxing on Cup, so it was just Blanco and I for this quick adventure.

Even though I planned for three days and packed for three days, I told myself if day one went smooth, I would shoot for two days. I got kind of a late start on the first day, but still seemed to be making pretty good time, so I thought I would revert back to my original plan and just turn this trans-wilderness romp into an ambitious over nighter. I ended up about three miles past the Park at the junction of Red Hills and Mazatzal Divide Trail. 25 miles covered just over 11 hours of hiking and about an hour's worth of breaks and filtering water.

I thought by hitting 25 miles on my first day, I was setting myself up for a pretty easy hike out to Twin Buttes. I got a much more FOTG approved starting time, however, the going just seemed slower all day on the second day. I was happy to cover some new ground but found Brushy Trail and Bull Spring Trail to be a tad underwhelming for stretches. However, I ran into several elk along Brushy Trail which was a pleasant surprise so there were some redeeming qualities about that stretch of trail. Tons of "goat heads," or what I call goat heads made life miserable for Blanco and myself coming up the initial stretches of White Rock Mesa. Cacti the dogs easily learned to avoid, but impossible to avoid this plant for the dogs, seems to be more prevalant in cattle country. Poor Blanco could barely make it 20 feet without getting several of those balls of spikes in his pad. He even laid down in frustration and gave up at one point. The trail finally got a little more scuffed up and rocky and the goat heads passed. The trail seemed to drag a little towards the end, it got pretty warm and a few of the short climbs kicked my pumpkin a little more then they should have. We reached TH and vehicle just after 5:30 p.m. Just over 22 miles covered on second day in a little over 11 hours with probably an hour of breaks and water refills.

Overall, a nice little test of endurance and mettle. I wish I did not carry three days worth of stuff and such warm clothes. I certainly had to keep a steady pace, but it never felt too much like a death march, trails are a tad nasty in spots, but I enjoyed their ruggedness. Blanco was a perfect companion for this trip, no complaints, just hard hiking, he hit the wall a little on the first day, but led us out most of day two. In hindsight, I should have ended in Pine and knocked out that final AZT section in there, with the road miles it could still be done as an over-night I think.
Fauna
Fauna
Elk
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3 archives
Nov 28 2014
brougham86
avatar

 Routes 20
 Photos 191
 Triplogs 20

38 male
 Joined Aug 05 2010
 Glendale AZ
Horse Camp Seep - MazatzalsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 28 2014
brougham86
Backpack20.07 Miles 3,987 AEG
Backpack20.07 Miles
3,987 ft AEG26.5 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Tough_Boots
Planned to hit the trail earlier to meet Kyle for the second half of his Thanksgiving in the Mazzies trip. A early morning flat tire delayed things and I didn't hit the trail until about noon. Slowly made my way up Barnhardt, cruised towards Chilson, then got slowed down by the grassy section coming up to the Divide. Saw some deer, but not a human being the whole way, and made it to Horse Camp Seep around 5. That last stretch was gorgeous in the waning light. By that time I was starving. Kyle and a pooped Lily had collected firewood, and set things up nicely. I inhaled my Thanksgiving leftovers warmed up in foil by the fire, hung out for a bit, and settled in for the night. The temps were perfect. Slept in, and enjoyed coffee and breakfast by the fire before heading out a little before 10. Got a bit warm on the walk up the overgrown stretch near Chilson, but the rest of the hike was perfect. A nice little 24-hr trip. I needed it.
Culture
Culture
Ghost?
_____________________
Nov 27 2014
Tough_Boots
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 2,708
 Triplogs 755

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Thanksgiving in the Mazzies, AZ 
Thanksgiving in the Mazzies, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Nov 27 2014
Tough_Boots
Backpack26.20 Miles 4,758 AEG
Backpack26.20 Miles3 Days         
4,758 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
This was a really great three day trip in an area I really love. Lily and I headed out on Thanksgiving. There was only one car at the TH. A group of backpackers with their dog had arrived right before me. They were friendly and I asked about their route. They said they had never been in the area before, they didn't seem to know trail names, and it was their dog's first backpacking trip. Their plan was absolutely not doable with that dog so I'm really hoping they gave up. I kept wanting to see their car gone before I got back but unfortunately it was not. I hope they get out alright.

Anyhoo... Thursday was a beautiful day and we made good time out to Bear Saddle. There's a bit of new tree fall but the trail conditions are mostly pretty good. Bear Spring is the muckiest I've ever seen it but still a good source. I built a nice fire, made dinner, and went to bed pretty early.

Day two I woke up and made breakfast. I took my time and broke down camp slowly. We would meet Jay at Horse Camp Seep sometime in the afternoon so there was no hurry. We headed off. It was a nice breezy morning but then heated up a little more than expected as it got closer to afternoon. Lily was fine though she struggled a little that last mile. She was ready to lay down once we got to camp and then she enjoyed a long cool drink from the pools of water. I set up camp as she rested and waited for Jay. He showed up a little later than expected. I was beginning to worry and then finally heard him yell from the trail. The sign for the turn off is no longer there and its not as obvious to find anymore. He was pretty happy to be done hiking. We made a fire, dinner, and sat around for a bit before going to bed early.

Day three we slept in pretty late. I was surprised to sleep until 7. We both got up around the same time and made coffee and breakfast pretty leisurely. I was in no big hurry but I wanted to get Lily into Barnhardt Canyon before it got warm again since I knew it would wipe her out. We finally got to hiking and Lily was pretty sluggish but I knew she just had to warm up those stiff muscles. Soon she was keeping up and we made pretty good time and hit the nice shade of the canyon before heat was ever an issue. We were all happy to be back at the trailhead but Lily was probably the happiest.

This was a really nice trip. I pushed Lily a bit but not too much and I'm glad Jay got to come out for a night :)
Fauna
Fauna
Dog
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bear Spring - Fisher Dripping Dripping
The spring box is close to full. The water is a bit muckier than usual but totally fine to treat. Tastes and smells of sulfur as usual.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Big Kahuna Falls - Mazatzal Wilderness Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Dry at the trail crossings but pools up near the slot.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Horse Camp Seep Dripping Dripping
No flow but the big pool above the first drop-off is full of clear cold water. There are also more visible pools down canyon.
_____________________
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan
Nov 08 2014
friendofThunde
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 Guides 16
 Routes 268
 Photos 7,381
 Triplogs 685

36 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Rock Creek Mazatzal Divide North Peak Loop, AZ 
Rock Creek Mazatzal Divide North Peak Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Nov 08 2014
friendofThundergod
Backpack24.75 Miles 5,762 AEG
Backpack24.75 Miles2 Days         
5,762 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Chumley and I put this one together rather last minute, however, it still turned out to be a memorable one and just the kind of hike I have grown to love. One is always limited when only planning for one night out, we tossed around a few ideas for Mazzie loops with the "park" being the ultimate objective, however, the miles kept turning out a little higher then wanted. Chumley finally came up with a Rock Creek, North Peak Trail loop option Friday afternoon, it appealed to me and we officially decided to go with that one for the weekend on our way to the TH Saturday morning.

Rock Creek is quite the trail to carry a full pack up, likewise, recent descriptions of its overgrowth at the top and the bushwhack down to the divide remain very accurate. Chumley and I suffered with our shorts decisions, however, Blanco probably suffered the most. The manzinita overgrowth was at a very troublesome height for Blanco and his pack, as well as our shins. Naturally, hitting the AZT Trail was a moment of relief for myself, Chumley, Blanco and Cup.

Chumley had not seen the Deadman Falls area so he suggested a quick detour down the AZT before heading to the park. We were not in a rush and despite really taking our time coming up Rock Creek, we had plenty of time in our afternoon remaining. This section of AZT was all new to me and Horse Camp Seep was definitely worth the short detour. Chumley continued to the Falls area with Blanco, while I rested in at Horse Camp Seep with Cup.

The Mazzie Divide to the park seemed quick. It is probably not the best stretch of AZT Trail in the state, but it was like a highway compared to Rock Creek. As expected, there was no water in close vicinity to the park. However, going on a lead from Richard we were able to locate the "pond" and several small pools along the way. The pond was a very cool little watering hole and offered a nice cap to our long day. Some HAZ appreciation Richard's way for that lead. The park also proved to be a worth destination and turned out to be a great spot for your typical over-night camping experience to include: a cool sunset, some beer, some stories, a large fire and going to bed early.

We knew North Peak Trail was not going to be a walk in the park, no pun intended. But I do not think neither of us expected the higher level of difficulty and route finding that characterized probably the first two miles of the trail. However, the trail did get better and its steep sections seemed to fly by it was capped off by a robust spring or run-off area near Mineral Springs and plenty of drinking by the dogs.

After finishing North Peak Trail, Chumley and I were so frustrated that we chose to go our separate ways! Ok no not really. We had actually decided before hand that Chumley would take an off-trail short cut route he had drawn up on Friday that would represent a much more direct route to the rock creek TH. Meanwhile, I would take the 8 plus miles of road route back to the car. Chumley's route looked solid and was only just under 2 miles of off-trail, but I still chose the much longer road route back. Due in large part because Cup and Blanco were feeling the effects of some some very rugged mazinita filled, cat-claw lined, deadfall littered trails. Similarly, Chumley and I both acknowledge there could still be some unknown to his route, so the road seemed liked the best option for myself and the dogs. The plan was simple first one back to car would drive towards the other, too easy. And believe it or not, it turned out perfectly. I arrived back to the car about seven minutes before Chumley and we were both off the trails before two.

My slightly competitive nature may have led to us beating Chumley back to car. The dogs and I knocked out our final 8 plus mile road section in under 2 hours and 20 minutes. I may have been slightly determined to prove the road was as viable an option as the cross cut. However, as it turns out, both options would probably be just fine. I simply chose road for the dog's sake and perhaps because Rock Creek and North Peak simply knocked the desire for any off-trail right out of me ;)

In the end a great two day trip. It was eventful from the start, rugged but relatively snag free and new territory for both of us. Definitely a nice trip to complete with someone else, certainly some challenging parts, but nothing too overwhelming.
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5 archives
Nov 08 2014
chumley
avatar

 Guides 74
 Routes 663
 Photos 12,674
 Triplogs 1,371

45 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Rock Creek North Peak Loop, AZ 
Rock Creek North Peak Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Nov 08 2014
chumley
Backpack23.02 Miles 6,634 AEG
Backpack23.02 Miles1 Day   5 Hrs   51 Mns   
6,634 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Lee wanted to see "The Park". Not sure of his logic, but he wanted to hike from Peeley or Barnhart or something to get there. I suggested Rock Creek. I mapped out an off-trail return from the North Peak trailhead to make for a nice loop.

Rock Creek:
This trail is incredibly well built. It is so well-constructed, that just a little bit of maintenance would restore it to near-new status. Somebody has been doing that. Not sure if it's the FS or somebody local, but the trail has now been completely cleared for the first 2.75 miles. In fact, the last half mile or so appeared to have been trimmed within the past month. All the trimmed branches were along the trail and still had leaves on them. Kudos to whomever is doing this maintenance, and hopefully it continues! The west side of the divide is easy to follow for a while ... before disappearing almost completely near Hopi Spring. Luckily you can simply hike straight down hill until you hit the AZT.

Horse Creek Camp/Deadman Falls:
Never having been there, I decided a quick detour would be worth it. The falls were mostly dry, but still an impressive sight. Horse Creek Camp has an awesome camp site, and really scenic slickrock pools. It was almost warm enough to swim.

Mazzy Divide Trail:
The trail climbs gently for a couple of miles before crossing a ridge below peak 7105. The views from up here are incredible. The Park comes into view and we knew it was all downhill to camp from there. We passed what should be the junction for the Willow Springs Trail, where a small AZT sign pointed the right way ... though there didn't appear to be any other way to go. I'm not sure what kind of travel Willow Springs gets, but at least at this junction it looks like it might be a chore to follow.

The Park:
We spent the night at the park. It's a dry camp, but a 15-minute off-trail trip down Wet Bottom Creek brings you to Pete's Pond, which appears to be a pretty reliable source of water. We actually found water much sooner in the creek bottom, but that is certainly just a seasonal occurrence. After a long day, we had a good fire, but it was only hot enough to completely melt the beer cans, only halfway destroying the dog food can. Probably helps that it only burned for 2 hours before I couldn't stay awake any longer!

North Peak Trail:
In the morning we headed out on North Peak, losing the route a few times on the top half as it is well-overgrown. But it was clearly also a well built trail and if you look for it, it's really not that tough to find and follow. We were surprised at how much of this trail is flat/up/down before really heading down hill. And when it does, boy does it go downhill! But the views on this trail are second to none. A couple of military jets flew by at about our altitude which was entertaining. The water at Mineral Spring and the last section of trail on the old road were a welcome relief from steep grade we had just finished.

Completing the Loop:
Cup was limping and Blanco had had a rough trip pushing his backpack through manzanita, so Lee made the right choice to keep them on the road. I was still interested in my off-trail shortcut so we split up with the plan to meet back at the truck. My trip went well, but there were a few more drainages than the topo map showed, and after almost 20 miles so far, fighting through those drainages and climbing the extra 1200 feet of AEG while still carrying a 25+ pound backpack was exhausting. When I reached the saddle by Boyd Mountain, I knew I was home free.

About 7 minutes before I was due to arrive, I heard Lee honking the horn. I felt defeated. He had hiked 8.5 miles in less time than I had hiked 4.8. ](*,)

All things considered ... it was an awesome weekend in a new area for me. Thanks to mazatzal for the 411 on Pete's Pond, which really was the key to it all working out as well as it did. :worthy:
Flora
Flora
Fig - Common
Fauna
Fauna
Javelina
Culture
Culture
Campsite Tree Tags
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light

dry Center Creek Dry Dry
No sign of water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Collom Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Didn't look for spring source, but drainage had plentiful pools with some light flow in the spring area.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deadman Canyon Falls - North Fork Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Some moisture was visible lower in the rocks. Some small pools above the falls. But no flow.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Horse Camp Seep Dripping Dripping
Not much visible flow, but plenty of water in pools.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max House Place Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Didn't look for source, but drainage had plenty of pools of water with trickle of flow.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mineral Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Didn't seek the source, but water was lightly flowing in the drainage for several hundred yards before going underground. Many pools were available for filtering.

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
Plentiful water. It was a little bit cloudy, but filtered well and tasted great.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Rock Creek Falls @ 6,100 Ft Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Plenty of water in the pools. Just barely flowing over the falls though.

_____________________
Ja vi elsker dette landet
Apr 20 2013
tibber
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 Guides 21
 Routes 546
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63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Horse Camp Seep - MazatzalsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 20 2013
tibber
Backpack19.30 Miles 3,754 AEG
Backpack19.30 Miles2 Days         
3,754 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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Geez what a surprise from Tibber; another lonnngggg trip report :-$ . When I was researching information for this hike there was little out there so I am going to try and make up for some of that (other than my usual going on and on). I think I had mentioned to Wendy last month about wanting to hike the Barnhardt Trail as it looked so beautiful. Wendy says, “how about backpacking it?” Angela says, “I guess we could.” This weekend our plan fell into place thanks to some guidance from Richard (mazatzal) as he suggested the Horse Camp Seep would be the best place to camp.

We left from my place around 6:45ish with Lilo too. We got gas for Bu and stopped for water before arriving at a busy parking lot at the TH around 9. There was a big group of men and boys apparently finishing off their father/son outing. After trying our best not to get hit by flying balls, off we went around 9:20 for our journey into the wilderness unknown except thru pictures and some trip logs. The trail started off rocky and little did we know, the hike over the next nearly 9.5 miles would be a lot of that :-({|= . It’s not so bad until the last mile when you just want to be done with it.

The Barnhardt delivered all that it promised. We didn’t get the big flowing waterfall at Kahuna but it pleased us nonetheless. The lupine and other flora along the way were outstanding and of course the views down into the plentiful water of the canyon were amazing. We could hear the water many times on this part of our journey. It made us smile :) .

I remember the comments about the trail being steep but that the beauty would overwhelm you so you wouldn’t notice. Well the grade was truly exceptional as we waited for the steep part of the trail to start…. And it did at switchback number 6. However, none of the steepness lasted too long and like they say, “the beauty did overtake your deep breathing”.

We came upon Sirena’s ledge where they say the views are wide open and they aren’t kidding. Just WOW! And with this area of the countryside still so green, it was really something :D . Next we got to see a bit of the Hawaiian Mist and the beautiful greenery. And before we knew it, we were at Big Kahuna. We threw down our packs and immediately started the rock hopping to just below the falls. It wasn’t as big a flow as we are hoping but enough to entertain us for about 10 minutes of picture taking :DANCE: .

A fellow comes up to where we were and had noticed my HAZ shirt and he asked who I was. When I said “Tibber”, he said “taking lots of pictures of course”. He was TwoWeims (at least that’s what I think he said). I told him we had missed him on the site as he said he had quit posting. I said, “but this hike would be a great one to post”. So let’s see what happens. Wendy and I thot that was very nice of him to climb back here to make the introduction.

We had our lunch before strapping on our packs to finish our climb to the top of the hill. We were enthralled at the views and at the extreme size :o of some of the agave stocks OH MY! We would also start seeing evidence of the hot fire that burned almost 10 years ago. We passed by the Sandy Saddle Trail and tried to imagine the route :-k . Wendy had a map but when you look at the terrain you wonder, really? A trail?

It was starting to get a little warm as we wound around the drainages and down into one that was pretty rocky. But soon we were back on the terrace with the nice but very narrow trail due to the encroaching bushes and trees. There was almost no point in even having your poles out. We did stop at the burnt tree area for a quick respite (5 minute cat nap for me). As we continued on it seemed we were going in circles :oplz: as we anticipate our arrival at Barnhardt Saddle and the Divide Junction which is just around about 5 or 6 corners, ha!

We arrive at the Mazatzal Divide #23 junction and sit for a moment (we are never really in a hurry when we hike as we have all day). Another backpacker showed up and eventually his wife too. They had been behind us on the Barnhardt. They were from Minnesota and were out here for 10 days. He went to ASU and fell in love with the Mazzies and hadn’t been out here since it burned. He said he used HAZ for his research. We both encouraged him to write a trip report to let us know how it went as he had plans for the Red Hill Trail as well. They would be staying at Chilson. We encouraged them to hike another 2 miles to join us at Horse Camp but he didn’t want to do the extra miles.

We took off and probably less than ¼ mile we encountered that really nice camp spot under this huge juniper. It had some nice big logs and a firepit. The water would be a little ways down the trail though. In this area around the camp Wendy noticed these little round ball type of cactus. They were like little cactus baseballs all over the terrain. Very interesting.

We crossed a running creek as we traversed along the high side of it through a grassy path. I think Wendy called it “a cute little canyon”. It’s just so magical when you’re hiking in new territory. We eventually pass by Chilson camp and are glad that we get to continue on. This part of the trail is really rocky and has an ever so slight upgrade that we really didn’t realize until we hiked back here the following day.

Somewhere along here I thot I heard the voice of a canyon tree frog. Eventually you come to a drainage of some sort, it probably feeds to Deadman’s Creek. It was such a lovely spot we decided to stop for a snack and Wendy put her feet in the water and so did Lilo. It was so pretty as I sat on the pour-off : queen : . The wind would pick up and sometimes blow some of the falling water over on me; it felt good.

We were getting anxious at this point thinking we should soon come upon the junction with the Sandy Saddle Trail. We came upon another big drainage with 3 large cairns. We debated on whether or not the long old trunk next to the trail was to block off the exit to the Sandy Saddle trail or to keep you walking across the drainage. I think Scout was reading about 9.25 miles at this point and per one of the descriptions I had, we should already be at Horse Camp.

We continued on until we ended up walking along narrow bedrock drainage. Finally we stopped here and got both our GPS’s out and our maps to see if we could better figure out where Horse Camp Seep was 8-[ . I felt like it was up and over this little hill and after looking at the maps, decided that had to be the case. Meanwhile Wendy took her pack off and went up the hill and in just a few minutes returned and said “Yep, it’s just up here.” You know how it is when you’re driving and you think you missed the place when usually you just haven’t gone quite far enough… :doh:

There is a bunch of rocks and a little AZT sign on the ground on the Divide Trail. You head left there and in a few moments, you’ve arrived at a wonderful campsite and the occasional sound of the canyon tree frogs. The creek area had tanks of water and a couple waterfalls for us to explore :y: . Well mostly Wendy explored and then yelled at me to “come see”. Not that I want to move at all as I’m thinking sitting myself on the ground would be what I most want to do at this point.

As I explored I came upon this really soft and soggy ground initially thinking the snow must have been deep and just melted. But when Wendy joins me on this side of the creek to try and figure out how to get below one of the waterfalls, she says “It’s a seep, dummy”…. Well she didn’t say the “dummy” part :lol: .

We finally crawled our way down to get a great view of the waterfall though it was nearly 6:30 by now so our light was somewhat limited. She decided it was time to throw a “wendy” so she made her way down the last level to walk over to the waterfall. Plus she likes to get up close and personal and put her head under. Burrr.

We got back to camp, loaded up the water and prepared our area with hammock and tent. The canyon tree frogs didn't serenade us very long. Wendy built a great fire, we had our dinner, a little wine and rum until hiker’s bedtime :zzz: . The temperature was brisk and though I wasn’t cold in my sleeping bag, I got the shivers on and off for a good part of the nite. I can’t quite figure it out because I felt plenty warm. But I would do the human rotisserie roll and the shivers would go away.

I woke up around 5ish, but slept off and on until 6:30; decided to wait 15 more minutes before getting ready in case Wendy needed more shut-eye. The morning was chilly but I find if I keep moving, I stay warm enough until the sun starts to warm the camp site. We studied Scout (gps) again to see if we could figure out where the Deadman Falls overlook was :-k but to no avail. We had noticed a big cairn and a bit of a route that went to the SW (on the other side of Deadman Creek) so we thot that must be it. We wouldn’t have time for that today so next time.

We packed up our stuff and when Wendy put on her pack it was wet at the bottom :sk: . Uh oh. So she unloaded almost the whole pack and discovered the cap on her water bladder was loose. She tightened that up and off we went. We were moving along quickly it seemed and that’s when we realized, besides us being fresh as daisies, that grade from Chilson yesterday was slightly uphill on a rocky trail and in some cases narrow. Now that we’re heading back the other way, we seem to be flying :gun: .

We did encounter the couple from Minnesota at about the drainage where we had stopped the evening before. We spoke with Mr. Minnesota for a while and headed out again where we eventually ran into Mrs. Minnesota. She was a naturalist and I think she said he daughter works for REI in Tucson.

We only saw one other hiker on the Divide Trail and he was a through backpacker. By the tattoos on his legs, he’s done a lot of these big through hikes like the Continental Divide Trail among others. Wendy chatted with him for quite a bit. It was interesting to hear about his travels on the AZT so far. He started April 4th. He met pops c (http://hikearizona.com/dex2/profile.php?u=57893) on the segments south of Superior on his way up.

Our next break would be at the cool campsite just this side of the Divide Trail before the Barnhardt Saddle. It is indeed as nice as we thot though you have to haul your water from the drainage about 1/3 mile or more away. This area survived the fire in pretty decent condition and the juniper tree is quite lovely. Now it was on to the around and around the drainages we go :whistle: . We made quite good time and didn’t stop again until Big Kahuna. It was a little warm but nothing too bad.

At the Kahuna Wendy needed to get more water to finish off the hike. Lilo was pretty exhausted too so we rested here for quite a bit. We ran into a group of 3 older woman out on a 2-3 day backpack and their backpacks were loaded. We encouraged them to see the Kahuna Falls before they headed up the hill. We also told them how nice Horse Camp was but since it was already around 2:30, I think they wouldn’t make it much further than Chilson Camp anyway.

One thing about this last 3 ½ miles or so, at least it was pretty to look at in spite of my sore rhomboids and Wendy & Lilo’s hurting feet. It was nice to see the canyon in a different light. On the way down we spotted a hidden falls :) we hadn’t seen on the way up. I think Preston has some pictures of it in one of his photo sets of the area. It is a long waterfall and the whole area leading up to it is quite lush; Reminded us of Garden Creek coming up the BA Trail in the GC.

As you make the traverse down the canyon, it is amazing how you can see where you will eventually go either around a bend or clear down there. The quartz markings on the hillside and the one that looks like a snake were much easier to photograph this time of day and of course the flora was even prettier too. We could look down into the deep and inviting pools of the creek below as well.

The temps (mid 70s day, mid 40s nite) were just about right for this long weekend. I was very happy about that. On our drive out, as you got closer to the highway, the sides of the road were alive with what seemed hundreds of crazy blooming hedgehogs :o . This one section was so covered; we nearly screeched to a halt and backed up. Not only were there hedgehogs but larkspur, globe mallow, and what seemed like hundreds of doubting mariposa lilies (what I call desert tulips when they’re closed when we were driving in the previous morning). It was hard to decide how to photograph this incredible site. We were just in awe.

We finished our glorious weekend at Senor Taco in FH (by the Circle K off of Shea and N Saguaro Blvd). It is very good. The food is fresh but be careful of the Diablo Sauce; altho I know a few of you would eat that up (Hank and Jack). We are already planning our trip next spring. It will be for two nites though so we can explore and see Deadman Falls.

Video of the Barnhardt Trail with quite a bit of footage of Big Kahuna: http://youtu.be/aO59zm-uVSQ

PS I forgot to add how much the geology of the mountains around Barnhardt reminds me of Glacier Park; especially Mount Edwards and the trail up by Gunsight Pass. The curvature in the rock is remarkably alike.
Fauna
Fauna
Dog
Geology
Geology
Chevron Folds
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Lots of lupine as you make your way up Barnhardt with scattered Western Flowers. Clarets are in various stages. There was also a purple globed plant we couldn't identify at one of the switchbacks (in more of a seepy area) and another yellow blooming plant that looked like they may have gall. The agave beginner stocks are giant size as you get past the Kahuna Falls. Along the trail toward the Divide Trail the manzanita are blooming. They are blooming even more ferociously near the Chilson Spring area.

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
a nice big pool just off the trail and two larger pools above the trail and some smaller pools below the trail.

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
there was water in the bedrock pools next to the camp site, lots of it.
_____________________
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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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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