Deer Creek - Y Bar Loop

Mesa, Arizona

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This loop starts from the only Mazatzal trailhead reached from a paved highway. The hike climbs a deep, scenic canyon to the south end of the Mazatzal Divide Trail. The trail winds along the crest of the Mazatzal Mountains and provides 100-mile views of the central mountains. Although this trip can be done as an overnighter, it is much more enjoyable as a three-day trip. During the cool season both Deer Creek and the South Fork usually have flowing water. Water is scarce on the Mazatzal Divide Trail. To complete the loop, you’ll need to do 2.5 miles of cross-country hiking. Except for a bit of brush at the start, the cross-country section of the route is easy and obvious, and there is an informal trail much of the way.

Deer Creek - Y Bar Loop Professional Review and Guide

"This loop starts from the only Mazatzal trailhead reached from a paved highway. The hike climbs a deep, scenic canyon to the south end of the Mazatzal Divide Trail. The trail winds along the crest of the Mazatzal Mountains and provides 100-mile views of the central mountains. Although this trip can be done as an overnighter, it is much more enjoyable as a three-day trip.

During the cool season both Deer Creek and the South Fork usually have flowing water. Water is scarce on the Mazatzal Divide Trail. To complete the loop, you’ll need to do 2.5 miles of
cross-country hiking. Except for a bit of brush at the start, the cross-country section of the route is easy and obvious, and there is an informal trail much of the way."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Mesa
Distance: 26.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,950 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 3 days
Season: Best April–May, October
Additional Use: Camping
Features: Views
Local Contacts: Tonto Basin Ranger District, Tonto National Forest, HC02 P.O. Box 4800, Roosevelt, Arizona 85545, (928) 467-3200, and Payson Ranger District, Tonto National Forest, 1009 E. Highway 260, Payson, Arizona 85541, (928) 474-7900 www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto
Local Maps: Mazatzal Peak U.S.G.S., Mazatzal Wilderness U.S.F.S.
Driving Directions: Directions to Deer Creek - Y Bar Loop

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May 2018