DESERT ES­CAPE

MAZATZAL PEAK MAZATZAL WILDER­NESS, AZ

Backpacker - - The Mountain Issue -

DIS­TANCE 14.5 mi. DAYS 2 EL­E­VA­TION CHANGE 8,070 ft.

JUST 80 HIGH­WAY MILES from Phoenix, the 252,000-acre Mazatzal Wilder­ness’s mix of scrub-oak forests, cac­tus-spiked hill­sides, and rocky canyons is one of the best-kept se­crets in Ari­zona—and this 14.5-mile loop around its 7,903foot name­sake peak is the best way to see it all. Take the Barn­hardt Trail west, trac­ing a re­drock canyon to views of the Mo­gol­lon Rim. At mile 5, con­tinue along the Ari­zona Trail, fol­low­ing it a mile around Mazatzal to an aban­doned cow­boy cor­ral: Chil­son Camp. Spend the night be­neath Mazatzal’s south face be­fore link­ing the Brody, Mazatzal Di­vide, and Y Bar Trails to close the loop around the es­carp­ment.

Trail­head Barn­hardt Sea­son March to April and Septem­ber to Novem­ber Per­mit None Wa­ter Pack your own; springs are un­re­li­able. Climb Mazatzal Peak North­west Ridge (class 2); 4,300 feet in 7.2 miles from Barn­hardt trail­head Con­tact www.fs.usda.gov/tonto

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