Mazatzal Wilderness Trails

Carefree, Arizona

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Not counting the grand canyon, with its 1.2 million acres, only three other Arizona backcountry areas—Organ Pipe Wilderness, Cabeza Prieta Refuge Wilderness, and Kofa Refuge Wilderness—exceed the Mazatzal Wilderness in size. Originally established as a Forest Reserve in 1908, the Mazatzal was changed to a Primitive Area in 1938 and upgraded to wilderness classification in 1940. The 1964 Wilderness Act confirmed its wilderness status; then in 1984 the Arizona Wilderness Act added 35,000 acres, increasing the Mazatzal to its present quarter-million acres. Stretching from the Salt River on the south all the way north to the Mogollon Rim, the Mazatzal Wilderness spans sixteen miles at its widest. The Verde River, Arizona’s only Wild and Scenic River, flows nearly twenty-eight miles through the northwestern portion of the wilderness before meandering just outside its southwestern boundary. Draining the basin to the west of the wilderness is Tonto Creek, which spills off the Mogollon Rim to flow south into the Salt River. This trail guide covers an area with over 240 miles of trails.
Guide to Arizona's Wilderness Areas

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Guide to Arizona's Wilderness Areas

by Tom Dollar & Jerry Sieve (Westcliffe Publishers)

Not counting the grand canyon, with its 1.2 million acres, only three other Arizona backcountry areas—Organ Pipe Wilderness, Cabeza Prieta Refuge Wilderness, and Kofa Refuge Wilderness—exceed the Mazatzal Wilderness in size. Originally established as a Forest Reserve in 1908, the Mazatzal was changed to a Primitive Area in 1938 and upgraded to wilderness classification in 1940.

The 1964 Wilderness Act confirmed its wilderness status; then in 1984 the Arizona Wilderness Act added 35,000 acres, increasing the Mazatzal to its present quarter-million acres. Stretching from the Salt River on the south all the way north to the Mogollon Rim, the Mazatzal Wilderness spans sixteen miles at its widest. The Verde River, Arizona’s only Wild and Scenic River, flows nearly twenty-eight miles through the northwestern portion of the wilderness before meandering just outside its southwestern boundary. Draining the basin to the west of the wilderness is Tonto Creek, which spills off the Mogollon Rim to flow south into the Salt River. This trail guide covers an area with over 240 miles of trails.

©  Tom Dollar & Jerry Sieve/Westcliffe Publishers. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Carefree
Distance: 240
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Easy to Difficult
Trailhead Elevation: 2,100 feet
Top Elevation: 7,904 feet
Local Contacts: Tonto National Forest, Payson Ranger District
Local Maps: USGS Mazatzal Peak, North Peak, Cypress Butte, Table Mountain, Horseshoe Dam, Lion Mountain, Reno Pass, Chalk Mountain, Wet Bottom Mesa, Verde Hot Springs
Driving Directions: Directions to Mazatzal Wilderness Trails

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