Mazatzal Wilderness posts, page 4 of 5.

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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Copper Camp Loop: Down Sheep Creek

Morning view of the moon over the trail

A distant white dot of moon hung above the tortured remains of the Sunflower Fire. Sunrise would come soon and overpower the moon's dim light and I took some time to savor this moment. With the sunlight would be uncomfortable warmth, and right now I was so cold my fingers felt numb. The chill felt…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 9, 2017
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Copper Camp Loop: Climbing Squaw Flat

Tough going along the banks

Copper Camp Trail was turning out to be a real mixed bag. Since leaving the shaded pool along Sheep Creek, where I had stopped for a quick breakfast and water refill, I had strolled along an easy path, hacked through overgrowth, crawled on all fours under low tree branches, and scrambled over loose…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 4, 2017
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Copper Camp Loop: Road to Copper Camp Creek

Early morning light on Davenport Peak

Pale light began to seep through the morning sky, throwing the Mazatzal mountains into sharp relief in the distance. It wouldn't take long for my route, sitting far to the west and blocked from the sunrise by those mountains, to be in full sunlight. I paused and stretched and looked at the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 1, 2017
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North Peak Trail and the End of the Mazatzal Divide

Early morning light on North Peak

Six weeks had passed since Charlotte was born. More than six weeks without a solo hike and the only adventures being short jaunts with the boys. I was ready for a challenge, ready to get started on the ambitious Mazatzal project, ready for sweat in the eyes and cramps in the legs. Katie gave me the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted April 24, 2017
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Mazatzal Wilderness Dreaming

The idea of conquering the Mazatzal Wilderness has slowly taken over my daydreams and random internet browsing. And why shouldn't it? Hiking in Arizona has not been as free-ranging as my Michigan adventures, thanks to hostile terrain and less-than-amiable property owners, and exploring designated…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted February 13, 2017
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Mount Ord

Mount Ord in the distance

Looming over AZ-87 like a great green giant, Mount Ord climbs to over 7100' and is the most accessible peak of the Mazatzal Range. The Beeline Highway (AZ-87) crests at 4000' in a narrow saddle next to the mountain, and FR 626 branches off from that saddle and winds its way up to the summit. Another…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted December 27, 2016
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The Park of Mazatzals: Retreat down Barnhardt

Dim morning light from the park

All things considered I had a decent night in the Mazatzals, camping at The Park. My tarp kept the wind from stealing too much of my heat and I never woke up from the cold. However, my sleeping pad burst early in the evening, and I had left the patch kit at home and had to make due with overlapping…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted October 13, 2016
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