username
X
password
register
for free!
help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
Deadman Mesa Trail #17 - 5 members in 13 triplogs have rated this an average 2.4 ( 1 to 5 best )
13 triplogs
  All Months
13 Triplogs
Jan
0
Feb
1
Mar
1
Apr
1
May
4
Jun
1
Jul
0
Aug
1
Sep
0
Oct
3
Nov
1
Dec
0
 
May 16 2020
ShatteredArm
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 132
 Photos 585
 Triplogs 150

38 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Deadman Mesa / Fossil Creek loop, AZ 
Deadman Mesa / Fossil Creek loop, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar May 16 2020
ShatteredArm
Run/Jog25.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Run/Jog25.00 Miles   10 Hrs   40 Mns   2.59 mph
3,500 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This was a route I had been eyeing as a possibility for awhile - down Deadman Mesa to Fossil Creek, up the creek to the Childs Power Road, and then back along the roads to form a big 24-25 mile loop. Mentioned it to some friends on Friday as a possible activity (they wanted a creek) and they were not deterred, so here we were...

The miles jogging along Deadman Mesa were pleasant. Temperatures weren't too warm yet, and occasionally you get a good view. The actual trail is pretty grassy and overgrown, and we got a little off track by some misleading orange ribbons. Once we got back on the trail near the end of the mesa, it was pretty straightforward most of the way down.

It felt great to be down at the creek, and we filtered water and spent a good 20 minutes picking all the grass out of our socks and shoes.

The creek is pretty slow, but straightforward. The rocks are nice and grippy, and no swimming is necessary. After a couple hours, it seemed like we hadn't even made it half way, so I had some doubts whether we'd be done with this thing by nightfall...

Further upstream, we started to find some nice clear side channels that made the going much faster.

Once below the road, we decided to leave the creek, but took a wrong turn on what seemed like an actual trail, so we got an extra scramble in instead of just strolling over to the parking lot. Oh well.

The road miles felt pretty easy to Waterfall Trailhead (and we saw zero vehicles - I suppose the Coconino side is closed?), but after a day like that, that 4-5 mile steady climb up to the top was brutal. Tried to jog as much as I could since it was getting dark, and made it back to the vehicles in the last throes of twilight.

Definitely was having some regrets about this one during the hike/run.
_____________________
Nov 19 2017
MountainMatt
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 194
 Photos 3,422
 Triplogs 517

male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Stehr to Childs via Fossil-Verde, AZ 
Stehr to Childs via Fossil-Verde, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 19 2017
MountainMatt
Hiking13.25 Miles 1,381 AEG
Hiking13.25 Miles   13 Hrs   58 Mns   1.40 mph
1,381 ft AEG   4 Hrs   32 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
JoelHazelton
Jonnybackpack
Well on paper this sounded like a great day trip but a few unexpected hiccups made this "day hike" a little longer than expected.
The shuttle was setup at Childs and we began our descent down to Fossil, along the way my dog found one of the freshest deer kills I have ever encountered, I could have cut off a piece of backstrap and cooked it right there!

We took a vegetation choked drainage from there on which I was not a fan of but once in the shaded cool creek bottom I was a happy camper.
But that did not last long as just downstream we cliffed out and had to bypass up and around one of the many sketchy cliffs of the day.
After some hearty bushwhacking we made it to the scenic narrow canyon area where I had turned around a few years ago, so the rest of Fossil down to the Hardscrabble confluence was all new ground for me.
I made 3 cracked pepper turkey and baby swiss sandwiches on whole wheat but I left them all in my truck so I had maybe 600 calories in me from food and maybe another 400 from beer, so ideally my body was definitely lacking proper nourishment on one of the more rugged hikes I've ever been apart of.
Joel, Chumley and I continued on at a hearty pace while losing sight of Jon and his inexperienced friend as we assumed they turned around and went back at some point since his buddy was in over his head.

After countless creek crossings and more bushwhacking we arrived at a scenic bend complete with great fall colors and a nice campsite and that is near where Joel stayed for photos and we split up.
I made a promise to Joel I would wait for him at the NE corner of the confluence of Fossil and Verde so we can hike back together in the dark from there.

Soon after Chumley and I split up as well and also where I encountered a pool with limited options for travel and after being frustrated of finding no good areas to cross I took a chest deep wade while carrying my dog and attempting to keep my pack full of camera gear somewhat above water.

I eventually made it to the cliff I was at a few years ago for sunset and wanted to recreate the photo I took but this time with fall colors.
I made it to the confluence just after dark and knowing how rough the terrain was behind my I knew it would be awhile until Joel reached me so I started a small fire and began to dry my wet clothes while waiting.
I told myself I would wait one hour for his arrival so when it came close to the hour mark I began to periodically shout Joel's name because the confluence is a wide but densely vegetated area so it would be easy to miss someone and after a few shouts I got a reply and soon saw the glimmer of a headlamp and we were then reunited.

Except Joel was the bearer of bad news, he notified me Jon and his friend were still back there and making there way down Fossil!
Knowing they would be moving slower than Joel we decided to wait a solid hour and fifteen minutes which would end at 8:15 and with still no sign of them we made the tough decision to get moving because we still had to get out of there ourselves and then work on a plan of help for them.
Joel made a very large rock formation that spelled out "Truck" just to give them some sort of info on our whereabouts and just as we left and began to make our first cliff bypass we heard a faint sound shouting "Joel"!
We shouted back and heard no reply for quite some time, we contemplated it could have been an echo after Joel sneezed and I may have been borderline delirious from fatigue and lack of food but I was certain It was Jon's voice and so was Joel.

Then we heard the yells again and soon saw two headlamps meandering down the creek, at last we were all reunited and then began to make the "easy" portion of the trek.
For whatever reason I kind of blocked out the numerous sketchy bypasses from my last visit and only remembered the good parts of the hike, well it turns out there was a lot more bad than good and we had quite a few obstacles to navigate in the dark.
To avoid the water we either had to climb a few hundred feet completely up and around the precipices or take them straight on making acrobatic moves clinging on to the skinny sections of cliff high above the water all while carrying a dog for most of the more technical spots.
I specifically remember a section that I had Payton in one hand, clinging on to the cliff with the other hand with the rumbling river below us and my dog literally stiffed armed the wall and almost sent her and I plunging down into the Verde! :sweat:


After what seemed like forever we finally made it to the dirt roads at Child's at 12:45am and seeing the truck was the biggest sense of relief after a very long day!
Arrived at home at 3:30 am with a beaten up body, shredded hiking boots and one tired dog.
Named place
Named place
Fossil Creek Ikes Backbone
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Just a week or two early overall but still some nice patches of color to be found.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Baby Snaggletooth Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Childs Rapid Heavy flow Heavy flow

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



dry Stehr Lake Dry Dry
_____________________
4 archives
Jun 24 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 154

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Verde River / Deadman Mesa, AZ 
Verde River / Deadman Mesa, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 24 2017
jacobemerick
Backpack27.91 Miles 4,568 AEG
Backpack27.91 Miles2 Days         
4,568 ft AEG
 
1st trip
With most of the Mazatzal trails south and east of Chilson Camp knocked out I figured it was time to look in the other direction. Can't get much further northwest than Deadman Mesa #17.

pre-trail
Parked near the powerlines and AZT along 194 and walked the 2.7 miles to Twin Buttes trailhead in the pre-dawn. Almost chilly out. This would be the last time I'd be almost chilly for a long time.

Verde River #11
As others have stated, this trail is rocky. Rocks that rock, rocks that roll, rocks that drop you on your pumpkin and lol. This trail has a lot more than that, though. The views are ridiculously good, starting with the north side of the Mazatzal Mountains and then turning towards Verde / Hardscrabble. There are some genuinely good sections, where the rolly rocks ease up and you can gaze around without watching your step. Plus it's amazing that this is still part of the Mazatzal Wilderness: no wildfire scars, very different terrain compared to the mountainous south, and plenty of shade-giving vegetation. Only had to check GPS once or twice on some faint sections, otherwise this was a breeze to travel. Made it to the trail junction in four hours feeling pretty darn good.

Deadman Mesa #17
Trail sign appears to be gone. Few big cairns marked the junction and a few charred pieces of wood were strewn around, that's it. The cairns marking the start of Deadman Mesa were tiny and obscured by the foxtails - if it wasn't for recent foot traffic pressing some of the vegetation down it would have been annoying to stay on track. Cairns and tracks seemed to give up about 50' above Fossil Creek so I just picked a descent that looked the most painful and rolled down.

Now things get fun. According to the topo maps there are eight crossings to deal with. One of my sandals had fallen off my pack somewhere on the Verde (d'oh! I'll be back on this trail in the fall and will search for it then, until then I'm sorry) so I would either have to do the crossings dry or barefoot. Kept to the track and crossed over some rocks and was faced with an impassable wall of basalt, so I had to backtrack and cross back over, stay on the east bank, and then cross further upstream.

So went the next two miles. I only crossed when I was forced to, usually barefoot and then waiting for feet to dry before hiking a short distance and then re-crossing, making slow and tedious time. Ended up doing six total, might have gotten away w/ only four but the brush got ridiculous. Speaking of, the banks were painful and thorny and had recent flood damage. I only found cairns once where the trail avoided a large swing in the creek - otherwise this section is all bushwhacking. It took me almost five hours to walk those two miles. I'm not a big fan of Fossil Creek right now.

Found where the trail starts the climb up the mesa (someone tagged a few tiny cairns and branches to help with the first hundred feet, so there's that) and camped nearby. Had been tempted to turn this into a dayhike but the heat (well over a hundred now) and the difficult last few miles had taken the oomph right out of me. Napped, swam, drank water, drank some more water, napped again, and eventually drifted off to sleep a bit after sunset. Overnight lows never dropped below 85 (ugh) and a had 2am skunk visitor (yay) so I didn't get much sleep.

Started the climb before sunrise and made it to the basalt fins with the first light. Trail was well-marked and easy to follow, though I suspect downhill would be a bit crumbly and tedious. Plenty of cairns and good tread, especially for being this remote. Route-finding on the mesa was only slightly tougher with thicker vegetation, but a two-track showed up after a mile. Next mile was on-and-off the two-track, then the trail 'ended' (I think, again there were no signs). Then I 'just' followed the road for five miles and 1300' and powerlines for four and a Hardscrabble crossing.

Another quiet day in the Mazzies. Didn't see a single person on trail or on the road sections.

Mazatzal Miles: 143.1/275 (52%) :y:

dry Bills Tank Dry Dry

dry Bull Tank Dry Dry

dry Deadman Tank Dry Dry

dry Hardscrabble Creek Dry Dry
No flow at the mouth. Did not venture upstream to check.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Strawberry Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Some promising pools where it flows into Hardscrabble, under the powerlines.
_____________________
Feb 14 2015
topohiker
avatar

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

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Verde River #11 - Twin Buttes to RiverCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 14 2015
topohiker
Hiking28.89 Miles 4,643 AEG
Hiking28.89 Miles   13 Hrs   30 Mns   2.69 mph
4,643 ft AEG   2 Hrs   45 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
It’s been almost 7 years since I last hiked this section of the Verde River trail. I remembers the trail being rocky, but not this rocky. Did someone bring in more rocks?
The FS put in a new trail-head sign with the correct mileage to the river. There’s also a new vehicle barricade at the wilderness boundary. The barricade is interesting as in it won’t keep any determine people out. Plus it’s not necessary because the TH has posts that block all vehicles except motorcycles.

The hike down to the river was slowly than expected due to the ankle twisting rocks along the way. On my final descent to the river, I spotted 3 canoes going down the river.
I saw cows all the way down to the river. I was surprised to see them that far out. The Verde river trail got choked out by the vegetation along the river. I found it easier (and cat claw free) to follow the cattle paths by the river. The East Verde River crossing was more than I expected. I had to go up and down the river to find a good crossing spot.

Once I crossed the East Verde, the trail went into a grassy shaded area. This helped with the warm temps. I heard some noise and came across the canoes people setting up camp by the river bank. We chatted a bit. I went back to the well-worn trail and it ended at a Verde River overlook. I went back and forth from the last known cairn to the overlook. I couldn't find any other trails. I pulled out the GPS / HAZ track and it showed I just off the trail. The GPS showed that the trail started to climb up and pull away from the river. I still couldn't find it. Then I bushwhacked up a ridge to where the trail should be. I came across a path!, But then I saw something ahead of me. It was a cow :o ! The ‘trail’ lead me to another trail?!?! I was on a series of cattle paths. I set 3 o’clock as my stopping point. If I wasn't on THE trail by then, I would turn around. This is not an area you want to be hiking in the dark. At 3:05 I turned around . The GPS showed I was crisscrossing the trail and I never saw a cairn ( just cattle prints) ](*,) . Or any evidence I was on THE trail. It might be easier to hike this section from south to north.

Along the way back I looked for the Dead Man’s Mesa / Fossil Creek intersection sign. I saw it 7 years ago. I found the trail, but not the sign. The temps were perfect when I started out and got very warm by the river. It got very cold on the way back when I got above 5,000 feet.
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
1 archive
Aug 30 2014
friendofThundergod
avatar

 Guides 28
 Routes 314
 Photos 9,127
 Triplogs 867

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Twin Buttes to Fossil Creek, AZ 
Twin Buttes to Fossil Creek, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Aug 30 2014
friendofThundergod
Backpack21.17 Miles 4,364 AEG
Backpack21.17 Miles2 Days         
4,364 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Returned to Twin Buttes over weekend. Just a quick trip down to the Fossil for some rest and relaxation.

Blanco and I started just before 7:30 on Saturday. Ideally, I would have liked to hit TH a little earlier, but that was about the best we could do for driving up from Phoenix that morning. Made it to Fossil Creek in about four hours on the dot. We certainly felt some of the heat of the day, but for the most part were sparred its wrath and were playing in the creek by 11:30.

After some fun in the water we both took extended naps. I was still trying to shake a cold so only did some very minor exploring. Initially, I planned on finally picking up where ever Deadman Mesa Trail climbs out of that area and preparing for a loop the next day, but I lost my patience for that section of trail near the Fossil and decided with warm temps I would just out and back it anyways. There was also water the whole way on our return route and Deadman Mesa was unknown, so we went with the safe route on day two.

Left camp earlier then day before on Sunday, hiked out in just under five hours. I was surprised to see the TH bumping when we arrived, all orv people but they were friendly enough.

Blanco and I did just fine with the warmer temps, warm but nothing too unbearable. Blanco rocked his pack both ways and was able to cool off in tanks at four miles, and eight miles, just about perfect distances for the ground we were covering and the hotter weather. Over night temps were perfect for sleeping was able to go pretty light for the trip with no rain fly or sleeping bag.
Culture
Culture
Campsite
Named place
Named place
Fossil Creek Ikes Backbone
_____________________
2 archives
Mar 15 2014
friendofThundergod
avatar

 Guides 28
 Routes 314
 Photos 9,127
 Triplogs 867

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
East Verde RiverPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 15 2014
friendofThundergod
Backpack44.40 Miles 11,372 AEG
Backpack44.40 Miles4 Days         
11,372 ft AEG
 
1st trip
The idea for this trek came from reading the blog of someone who found some pretty nice cliff-dwellings in area of the northwestern Maztzals called the Gorge, the details were vague and it was not clear whether they were found along the East Verde or in one of the side canyons leading into the Gorge. So I made a big loop in route manager utilizing Saddle Ridge Trail #14, the Gorge the East Verde, and Verde River Trail #11. I showed the loop to a couple of HAZers and was a little disappointed to find out someone had already pretty much did the same loop. I thought for a minute I had designed quite the unique off trail back-pack adventure, but of course somebody had already did it, no worries though I knew it would be a good rugged adventure, and I felt I was kind of overdue for one. Bob P joined me for most of day one.

The trip into the Gorge went smooth, I actually overshot my own route by a mile and half because I had hiked in so quick with Bob, I did not realize I was so close to where I wanted to turn-off by the time we split and I hiked another two miles before realizing I wanted to turn-off long ago.

Speaking of splitting, Bob seemed to have had a pretty ambitious route planned for entering the Gorge, so I thought best with dogs and a four day pack to stick to my route and meet him near L.P. Canyon. Bob went on to find a pristine set of petraglpyh, a full elk's head mount, and I got a much steeper and rockier descent into the Gorge. I only went back about six tenths of a mile before saying pumpkin it and taking the quickest route I could find into the sheer sides of the Gorge, rather than the gentle northern slopes of my intended route. In hindsight, I should have stuck with safer first route, as I nearly took Blanco out with a couple boulders that some how managed to find his five hole. I actually almost took Bob out with one as well, I think it was the heavy pack, I was not light on my feet at all..

Had a great time in the Gorge with Bob. We both really enjoyed the scenery in there, the sheer drops, tinkling water falls, deep pools, and mini oasis. Speaking of sheer drops, I was actually relieved to have Bob with me, I would have obviously had to navigate the drops in the canyon regardless, however, it was nice to have company. Bob actually led the way on most, and I cringed as the dogs confidently followed him along 10 inch wide paths a 100 or so feet above the canyon floor, lined with agave for good measure. However, these walks on the wild side were few and generally negated by a quick little "Yahtzee" trail or two that made travel down the Gorge not as horrible as I had thought it could be. I left Bob at Green Horn Canyon and continued down stream towards the East Verde where I almost immediately encountered one of my biggest fears, another huge water fall, we got through it and one more fine, but we were all very happy to be finally reaching camp along the East Verde. I was beat and the dogs were beat, day one ended up being a 14 mile day, with 8-9 of those miles being off trail, oh and I was wearing a four day pack..

I kind of changed my plans I intended to spend two nights along the East Verde, but after not finding the ruins, I decided to just push through to the Big Verde and plan something from a base camp there. The East Verde was beautiful, I started the morning off trying to stay dry and taking the steep out of the way bypasses the cattle take for the deeper spots, however, I think the law of diminishing returns quickly kicked in for me, and I decided they were too hard on the dogs, too over-grown half the time and annoying, so I just started plopping the pack on my head and wading through the river. This actually was a decent strategy in parts where it got thick I just took the water. Although, I learned quickly how a waste deep wade can turn into an arm-pit and neck deep wade. But it really was not that bad, reminded me of trout fishing back home. I camped early after hitting the Verde, I stayed in a really nice spot located in a side canyon off the Verde River Trail. The camp site was awesome and it became even more rewarding when the discovery of a piece of pottery led me to climb three levels of hills to find the largest Pueblo style site I have every found blindly. Just a really large compound with large sections of preserved walls and defined rooms, I have not seen anything that large or preserved outside of the Agua Fria monument area, so that helped alleviate the disappointment of not spotting in cliff-dwellings the previous two days.

The nights were all great, did no rain-fly for last two. The full moon almost literally made it hard to sleep it was so bright. I scaled back day three because Cup seemed a little stiff in the morning. But by scaled back I mean we only hiked the Verde River Trail to Dead man Mesa Trail to Fossil Creek then up to Hell's Hole via Hard Scrabble, then an off-trail cross country route back to the Verde River Trail where we took a nap at camp and went back out again after the temps cooled. Side note Hell's Hole was not that impressive, and I think we need to work on an official route for Dead man Mesa Trail, hike bot seems way off, I followed a well cairn path to Fossil Creek and it was considerably different than hike bot, and I find this is usually not the case?? Likewise, am I the only one who could not follow Dead man Mesa Trail once it hits the Fossil Creek area? I ended up just wading back and forth looking for something that resembled a trail, and think ultimately I just took a series of cattle trails. Hard Scrabble Creek was a bush whack and wet going up to Hell's Hole, so we climbed out there and just rode the contour lines back to the trail while stumbling across ruin sites and ravines that always looked much work at first glance. However, I considered it a success because we never had to drop back into the Fossil or Hard Scrabble Creek drainage's and I was done with creek walking for a while.

Our second hike of the day consisted of following the Verde River Trail past the confluence with the East Verde and towards High Water Trail, but I am not going to lie, I lost the trail after awhile and turned back, it can be tough to follow in spots. However, the parts where we were on trail were pretty cool, you go through a mesquite and hard wood forest that provides a a great canopy through a grassy stretch full of nice spots to camp and close to the river. But then I lost patience with trying to follow the trail and turned back. We actually went back up the East Verde River a little to find the fishing pole and case that I had found the day before, but also left along the trail. I cached that pole and case and will now only need a reel and line if I want to go fishing down there. I explored a few hills, dogs were showing signs of being beat, and it was warm out, so we headed back to camp.

I only did some modest exploring on way out, I went out to Ross' Tank to gain an idea of the canyons leading into the Gorge, and marveled at their depths and drop offs. Then I thought I wonder which one Bob climbed out of? Then the thought crossed my mind, maybe he is still climbing out of one.

Hike out was nice for training Blanco around cows, pretty much indifferent to them now. He was never really bad before, but occasionally he would run up to and startle them, not cool when they have horns. I swear the dogs smelled the car when we hit Twin Buttes Road because they found a second wind. I don't know why I felt I had to scale it back for Cup she finished stronger than ever. In the end the miles were not all that crazy for four days, but they were definitely rugged with about half of the total coming from off trail miles. I was also able to just get some nice chill time around the campsite, finally finishing my book on the English Civil War, so if anyone ever wants to discuss the underlying implications of the Presbyterian and Puritan led Parliament overthrowing the Catholic Monarchy and Charles I feel free to P.M. me. Finally, I did not find the set of ruins I was looking for, but it gives me an excuse to come back.
Fauna
Fauna
Gila Monster
_____________________
2 archives
Apr 16 2011
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 7
 Photos 1,244
 Triplogs 474

56 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Verde River #11 - Twin Buttes to RiverCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2011
toddak
Hiking26.00 Miles 3,300 AEG
Hiking26.00 Miles   13 Hrs      2.00 mph
3,300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Long stroll down to the Verde River and Fossil Creek, return via Deadman Mesa. Typical gnarly, rocky Rim country. Lots of good views though, and any visit to a relatively unspoiled section of Fossil Creek is worth the effort.
_____________________
May 29 2010
Adventure Seeker
avatar

 Triplogs 26

39 male
 Joined Aug 15 2009
 North Scottsdale
Deadman Mesa Trail #17Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar May 29 2010
Adventure Seeker
Hiking13.90 Miles 2,800 AEG
Hiking13.90 Miles   5 Hrs   52 Mns   2.37 mph
2,800 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hard backpacking trip, but its all worth it we you get to Fossil Creek....
_____________________
Oct 17 2009
topohiker
avatar

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

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Deadman Mesa Trail #17Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 17 2009
topohiker
Hiking16.12 Miles 2,329 AEG
Hiking16.12 Miles   7 Hrs   25 Mns   2.17 mph
2,329 ft AEG
 
no photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
May 29 2009
Adventure Seeker
avatar

 Triplogs 26

39 male
 Joined Aug 15 2009
 North Scottsdale
Deadman Mesa Trail #17Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Backpack avatar May 29 2009
Adventure Seeker
Backpack13.90 Miles 2,800 AEG
Backpack13.90 Miles   7 Hrs   25 Mns   1.87 mph
2,800 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
First time on this trip, but it won't be my last... My best advice is to pack lite. Only the bring what you'll need. Caught a 6 ft Bull Snake...
_____________________
Oct 04 2008
Grasshopper
avatar

 Guides 47
 Routes 487
 Photos 8,980
 Triplogs 551

76 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Deadman Mesa Trail #17Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2008
Grasshopper
Hiking13.90 Miles 3,204 AEG
Hiking13.90 Miles   8 Hrs   15 Mns   1.68 mph
3,204 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
topohiker
This seldom used and remote northern Mazatzal Wilderness- Deadman Mesa TR#17 (out of Strawberry,AZ) is a slow/tough 4x4 HIGH clearance only hiking trail to reach, BUT the last 1.6mls of hiking "down from" 4300' at Deadman's Mesa Plateau ending point "down to" 2815' at beautiful, clear, and strong flowing FOSSIL CREEK was well worth the pain and agony of 5.7mls of additional one way, very rocky FR591 and semi-trail hiking to reach this Deadman's Mesa Plateau ending point where the real hike payoff begins..a most scenic -1485' ridgeline hike drop to Fossil Creek visible on the west side, rugged Hardscrabble Canyon/Creek on the east side, and the Verde River gleaming in the distant south.

The last time I was still hiking after dark to reach my TH end was last March'08 while finishing up the last segment of the tough Sierra Ancha- Moody Point TR#140. This was not the plan that Ken and I wanted to happen again, but due to a very late 10:40am hike start(due to leaving town late, me getting us on the wrong 4x4 TH access road, us not safely able to drive the entire 6.2mls distance on FR591 to the actual TH start, and a 7 mile +2765' hike back out), I ended this hike 35 minutes after dark at 6:55pm totally wasted :sweat: and pleased :GB:

Here are some "key" waypoints for a planned hike on this alternate trail access to beautiful FOSSIL CREEK(with a nice shaded,sand beach campsite right next to F/C):

..FR708/FR591 intersection out of Strawberry: N34 24.139 W111 34.428
(5.2mls west on FR708-Strawberry Rd, From Hwy 87)
..Alternate TH Parking(~2.62MLS IN ON FR591 before going down hill) IF you own a stock '95YJ Jeep with P225R15 tires :lol: : N34 22.892 W111 36.266
..Actual TH Parking and signed Hike Start for TR#17(~6.2mls in on FR591..close to Deadman Tank): N34 21.855 W111 38.835
..Intersection of Deadman Mesa TR#17 and Fossil Creek: N34 19.509 W111 39.769
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Oct 04 2008
topohiker
avatar

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

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Deadman Mesa Trail #17Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2008
topohiker
Hiking13.90 Miles 3,204 AEG
Hiking13.90 Miles   7 Hrs   45 Mns   1.79 mph
3,204 ft AEG
 
no photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was a tough hike, but it's worth it to see the Fossil creek flowing. If your willing to cross the Fossil Creek 6 times, this trail connects to the Verde River trail #11
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
May 27 2006
desertlavender
avatar

 Photos 109
 Triplogs 23

67 female
 Joined Nov 29 2004
 Tucson, AZ
Deadman Mesa Trail #17Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Backpack avatar May 27 2006
desertlavender
Backpack
Backpack2 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
TopoZone shows a faint dotted line running across Deadman Mesa and down the nose of a ridge to Fossil Creek, but extensive surfing produced only a few brief references to any trails in this area. And while I'm usually reluctant to provide much detail about my special places, this area could use a bit more traffic just to keep the trails open!

The access road is west of Strawberry on signed route FR 591 just past the Fossil Creek trailhead. Don't even think about taking a passenger car on this road, which leads six miles across a flat, featureless mesa littered with tire-biting bits o' basalt.

Unless you have a death wish or something to prove, park at the flat spot with the fire ring at the first of two hairpin turns, elevation 4800. The "official" trailhead is about another half-mile downhill, past the remains of an old ranch and (dry) Deadman Tank.

The trail signs are long gone, but an ATV track is well-marked with cairns. The first section is a deadly boring trudge across a bleak, dried-up mesa.

About two miles out, at an elevation of about 4400 feet, the mesa narrows to a nose dividing Fossil Creek from Hardscrabble Creek. The tip of the nose affords the first heart-stopping glimpses of a maze of steep-walled canyons and the Verde River shimmering in the distance.

The trail tiptoes along the backside of a spectacular basalt fin. There are knee-weakening views of the 2000-foot drop to Fossil Creek from two breaks in the fin. The fin terminates about 2-1/2 miles out at an elevation of approximately 3700 feet.

The map shows the trail continuing over the nose of the ridge, but it actually hooks west and plummets 1100 feet to the streambed.

The relentless descent over loose stones made the last mile very difficult, but soon we could see the path of the stream marked by loops of lime green vegetation, and we were lured onward by the siren song of a thousand waterfalls.

We toyed with hiking another 2-3 miles to the confluence with the Verde River, but a series of stunning pools convinced us to stay right where we were. The water was a very temperate 61°, making it warm enough for extended swimming. We set up camp on a sandy point across from a mottled limestone cliff.

Minus the packs, we explored downstream to the red sandstone swirls that David photographed two years ago when he trekked down Fossil Creek to the Verde River confluence: http://www.desertlavender.com/fossil_creek/verde_hellareve.asp

With a long hot climb ahead of us, we were up at 5:30 and on the trail by 7:00, and we reached the tip of the fin about an hour later.

Total hiking time was 3-1/2 hours out and four hours back. Distance was about four miles, with an elevation loss/gain of 2200 feet.

This would make a great three-day trip, with an extra day for the out-and-back to the Verde River. If you are aiming for the Verde, be aware that the streambed is choked with thorny vegetation and a better route would be overland with a GPS and good maps.

Full story and photos at http://www.desertlavender.com/fossil_creek/deadman_mesa.asp
_____________________
average hiking speed 2.06 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.

help comment issue
embroidered

HAZ Patch

end of page marker