T'was my second time out to this harsh, varied terrain this month. Last time out I noticed a great hanging spot called Horse Camp in the Mazatzal mountains. I made a mental note to return here soon. Well, soon was very soon and a buddy Preston led this trip that had a great turnout of backpackers.
We hiked up a creekbed and then started climbing the ridges to pass over a saddle for about 3,300' feet of elevation gain from the valley below. This country is demanding and rugged enough, but to make things more "interesting" there was a huge fire that roasted this land back in '04. Basically every one of the 20 or so trails out here are very hard to follow, with the exception of the Divide trail which is usually maintained by the AZT crews.
After climbing to the saddle just north of a 7,000' peak, we descended into Horse Camp Seep and followed the rest of our very faint trail to camp. It was a great surprise to see one of our group who came in the night before and had a nice fire awaiting us, with camp chairs (rocks, lol) set up and the area cleaned of debris. Seasonal water flowed just behind us, and the canyon just downsteam is little known, but fantastic. All of the snow and rain this range received last month is still melting off and making some great waterfalls.
First photo is looking up from the desert below. About 2 miles of hiking has passed.. We have to go up THERE??!
Second photo is nearing the middle point of the climb. Tough, rocky, typical AZ mountains.
Then we look at Roger, admiring the view of the climb we just made. Still about 1000' to go up!
The pic of the dual falls are each about 120' tall, and there is another 70 footer just downstream.
Next photo is looking south into a fork of Deadman Canyon.
The pic of tewa-ette is taken near a popular waterfall called the Big Kahuna. It is not shown in the photo, this is only the run-off from below the fall.
Here is the lower 1/3 of the Big Kahuna, a lucky shot since its handheld (no tripod) and a 1.3 sec exposure. I could be a surgeon?
A tough hike, rewarding views, great company and of course a good nights sleep in our goose down tacos. Im starting to like the Zpacks tarp. This is what I live for~!