Viewing posts about Mazatzal Wilderness.

Back to Sheep Bridge

A quick descent along a deep tributary

Ten miles sat between me and the trailhead as I began my descent from the unplanned bivouac site. My original plan, which had started yesterday, was to do the Midnight Mesa Loop, a 36 mile adventure in the central Mazatzal Wilderness, in a single day, and I would have made it if it wasn't for some…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted November 25, 2018
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Red Hills Romp

Easy, cleared trail beyond the creek

Hopping across Wet Bottom Creek was lovely, clear water trickling around the red rocks in the most scenic of fashions. On the far bank was a large cairn and wide path, an open invitation to continue forward on Midnight Trail on my long walk around Midnight Mesa, and yet I paused. It was just after…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted November 19, 2018
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Around Midnight Mesa

Early morning light on the Mazatzals

Sheep Bridge towered above my vehicle, steel foundation rising dimly in the starry sky, a stoic sentinel guarding passage across the Verde River and into the wilderness on the other side. I shuffled humbly underneath its watch, collecting my gear and checking everything twice, more in an effort to…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted November 14, 2018
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Sheep Bridge Loop

Early morning light over Sheep Bridge and the Verde

Sheep Bridge, and the greenery around the Verde River, did not look far enough away. Sunlight was beginning to leak into the five o'clock sky and I had already walked five miles along the Dutchman Grave Trail this morning, yet from this saddle my progress looked minuscule. I sighed in frustration. I…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 3, 2018
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Barnhardt - Sandy Saddle Loop

Early morning light on Barnhardt Canyon

When June rolled around I had a startling revelation: it was almost halfway through 2018 and I hadn't stepped foot in the Mazatzal Wilderness. That's a dirty shame. With time constraints holding me back from doing anything too intense I came up with an easy day hike starting from Barnhardt Trailhead…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 12, 2018
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Fig Trail and a Kayak

Tara being far too excited about the trip

There is a lonely trail on the east side of the Verde River that doesn't connect to anything, barely sees any traffic, and isn't even part of the Mazatzal Wilderness. It's along the foothills of those mountains, though, so I decided to include it in my general 'hike all the Mazzies' project. Getting…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted March 3, 2018
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Fuller Seep

Early morning light on North Peak

Heading out on an ambitious backpack in the Mazatzal Wilderness seemed like the perfect way to end 2017. Of course, backpacking in the end of December meant dealing with cold temperatures, even in Arizona, so my pack was heavy with all the cold-weather gear that usually collects dust in my closet.…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 17, 2018
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East End of Davenport Wash Trail

Red rock formations about Red Rock Spring

Finding a good spot to continue east on Davenport Wash Trail was more difficult than I anticipated. The wash below Club Cabin was nothing but a tangled mess of cat claw that obscured any reasonable path forward. After pacing back and forth for a few minutes I spotted a lonely cairn across the wash…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 9, 2018
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Sheep Creek Trail

Early light on Squaw Flat

Dim morning light cast the twisted, fire-damaged tree trunks of Squaw Flat into bizarre silhouettes. I shivered and pushed forward on the overgrown trail. This was the third time I've been on Squaw Flat this year and, while the path is becoming easier to remember, the aftermath of 2012's Sunflower…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 5, 2018
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Resolutions for 2018, I Suppose

My goals for last year got massively derailed. I did not hike the Grand Canyon, take my boys backpacking, or do any significant work on my website. Two events forced me to pivot: the creation of the Mazatzal Project and joining up with a local search and rescue group. So, I suppose that 2017 was…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted January 2, 2018
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