Midnight Mesa Loop

Carefree, Arizona

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1 Review
3 out of 5
This is a classic loop hike in the western Mazatzal Mountains, starting from cactus-studded desert and looping around Midnight Mesa. The highlight of the trip is the Red Hills Trail, which passes through remote country at the headwaters of Wet Bottom Creek. Some of the trails are little used and can be dif?cult to follow. You should gain experience on easier trails in the Mazatzal Wilderness before tackling this trip. Carry both the U.S.F.S. wilderness map and the U.S.G.S. topographic maps. All the trails are shown on the wilderness map, while the terrain is shown more accurately on the 7.5 minute U.S.G.S. maps.

Midnight Mesa Loop Professional Review and Guide

"This is a classic loop hike in the western Mazatzal Mountains, starting from cactus-studded desert and looping around Midnight Mesa. The highlight of the trip is the Red Hills Trail, which passes through remote country at the headwaters of Wet Bottom Creek.

Some of the trails are little used and can be dif?cult to follow. You should gain experience on easier trails in the Mazatzal Wilderness before tackling this trip. Carry both the U.S.F.S. wilderness map and the U.S.G.S. topographic maps. All the trails are shown on the wilderness map, while the terrain is shown more accurately on the 7.5 minute U.S.G.S. maps."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Carefree
Distance: 40.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 7,650 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: 5 days
Season: Best October–November, March–April
Additional Use: Camping
Features: Views
Local Contacts: Cave Creek Ranger District, Tonto National Forest, 40202 North Cave Creek Road, Scottsdale, Arizona 85262, (480) 595-3300 www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto
Local Maps: Cane Springs Mountain, Verde Hot Springs, Wet Bottom Mesa, Chalk Mountain U.S.G.S., Mazatzal Wilderness U.S.F.S.
Driving Directions: Directions to Midnight Mesa Loop

Recent Trail Reviews

1/7/2008
0

Plan on two hours of travel from the main roads to the trail head. All are somewhat maintained NF dirt roads only passable with a 4x4. This area suffered from some of the Mazatzal wildfires creating blockages of the trails in certain areas. Trails are sometimes difficult to find and to follow. Rock carins are sparse but are detectiblle on most trails. Don't leave home without topos and a GPS. Views at higher elevations are spectacular.



Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018