Viewing posts about Mazatzal Wilderness.

Deadman Mesa

Tagged clump of grass marking the way out

Last time I spent the night in the Mazatzal Wilderness I had to deal with a midnight bear visitor that scared the crap out of me. This time it was a skunk. I smelled it shortly before I heard the soft scuffles through the leaves and grass under my gear and froze in my hammock, unwilling to give the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 27, 2017
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Descent to Fossil Creek

Dim morning light on Twin Buttes Trailhead

Soft pastels lit the clear sky above me in muted tones, whispers before the terrible forecasted high temperatures this weekend. I appreciated the chilly sixty-odd degree temperatures found on Hardscrabble Mesa this early in the morning. Another early start today, this time leaving Phoenix a few…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 24, 2017
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South Mazatzal Roundup: Sunflower

Shade along FR 25A

Slushy gatorade was a shockingly refreshing beverage. I made a mental note to freeze more bottles for post-hike treats as I lounged against the van. Twenty-five miles behind me and it was only four in the afternoon as I enjoyed the frosty treat. This whole loop might just be possible. The last six…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 12, 2017
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South Mazatzal Roundup: Cornucopia - Thicket Spring Loop

Tall pines along Thicket Spring Trail

Tall pines clumped around McFarland Canyon, survivors spared from the worst of the wildfires by the surrounding hillsides and sheer luck. There were enough to even shade sections of Thistle Spring Trail as it played along the banks, cutting between tall bushes and curving along side drainages. I…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 7, 2017
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South Mazatzal Roundup: Cross F Trailhead to Squaw Flat

Full moon over a burned tree in the Mazatzals

Hiking distance is something that I've always been intimately aware of, from all the way back in the days of exploring Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It started as a question of how many waterfalls I could bag after work, a calculation based on driving distance and walking speed and daylight, and when…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 4, 2017
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Deer Creek: Davey Gowan and Gold Ridge

Morning light near Gowan Camp

Light trickled into Gowan Camp as I sat tiredly and rested, drinking water and chewing slowly on a granola bar. The half mile from where I spent last night to here was trivial, taking mere minutes to knock out, plus I had taken my time waking up and packing my gear. All in all it had been a lazy…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted June 23, 2017
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Deer Creek: Along the Mazatzal Divide

Wide trail leading towards Peeley

An open trail was a blessing and a curse. After miles of route-finding and bushwhacking it was nice to stretch out the legs and walk without watching each step. This section of Cornucopia Trail, and the Mazatzal Divide beyond, had a fine grade that was well-worn and maintained. However, there was…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted June 13, 2017
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Deer Creek: Up to Gowan Camp

Early morning light along Deer Creek Trail

Three trails start from Deer Creek Trailhead and climb up into the Mazatzals: Deer Creek, South Fork, and Gold Ridge. All of them end along Forest Road 201 near Mount Peeley Trailhead, making them more-or-less useless for anyone with a vehicle that can handle FR 201. I don't have a vehicle that can…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted June 9, 2017
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Mazatzal Peak Super Loop

Sunrise from the top of Barnhardt Trail

Early morning light shone down on Barnhardt Trail and I beamed right back. Barely six in the morning and I was already done with a solid section of today's hike, a two thousand foot climb over six miles. Sure, I left the house at a ridiculous time this morning and spent half of this scenic trail…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 25, 2017
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Copper Camp Loop: Sears Trail

Corral near Sears Trail junction

Another old corral sat on the low hill above Sheep Creek and Round Spring. This had to be the fifth or sixth one of the weekend, all of them cobbled together with twisted branches and a rusty strands of barbed wire. At least this one had solid corner posts driven deep into the gravel ground. I had…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 15, 2017
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  • Blogged about hiking | Descent to Fossil Creek.
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