Deer Creek Hike

Mesa, Arizona

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This loop hike traverses several deep canyons in the eastern portion of the Mazatzal Wilderness and has several options for exploring the forks of Deer Creek. The return portion of the loop descends a spectacular ridge, taking you from pine and fir forest on the crest of the Mazatzal Mountains to desert grasslands and treating you to yet more stunning views along the way. From the trailhead, start northwest on the Deer Creek Trail (Forest Trail 45) as it climbs onto a low ridge. The Gold Ridge Trail, which will be our return from the loop portion of the hike, branches left. Soon the South Fork Trail also branches left; stay right on the Deer Creek Trail at both junctions. The Deer Creek Trail crosses the South Fork of Deer Creek, then turns west into Deer Creek just upstream of a ranch located on private land. Now the trail follows the creek west toward the mountains.
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by Bruce Grubbs (Falcon Guides)

This loop hike traverses several deep canyons in the eastern portion of the Mazatzal Wilderness and has several options for exploring the forks of Deer Creek. The return portion of the loop descends a spectacular ridge, taking you from pine and fir forest on the crest of the Mazatzal Mountains to desert grasslands and treating you to yet more stunning views along the way.

From the trailhead, start northwest on the Deer Creek Trail (Forest Trail 45) as it climbs onto a low ridge. The Gold Ridge Trail, which will be our return from the loop portion of the hike, branches left. Soon the South Fork Trail also branches left; stay right on the Deer Creek Trail at both junctions. The Deer Creek Trail crosses the South Fork of Deer Creek, then turns west into Deer Creek just upstream of a ranch located on private land. Now the trail follows the creek west toward the mountains.

© 2008 Bruce Grubbs/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking, Horseback Riding
Nearby City: Mesa
Distance: 15.8
Elevation Gain: 3,800 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 10 hours-2days
Season: Fall through spring
Local Contacts: Mazatzal Wilderness, Tonto National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Mazatzal Peak
Driving Directions: Directions to Deer Creek Hike

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May 2018