Saturday, February 21, 2015

Arizona National Scenic Trail ~ Part 7 ~ The Mazatzal Wilderness to Roosevelt Lake through the Four Peaks Wilderness

From the Mazatzal Wilderness we descended into and out of washes, sometimes following vague routes. 

In one instance we were not sure if we were on the trail anymore since the passage did not resemble anything we had encountered before. But after more traversing through washes, we finally came to an AZT marker that confirmed we were right on track despite our doubts.

We usually slept under the wide open sky unless there was potential rain on the horizon. In such cases, we had a tarp that we put up for protection from the elements.

I love waking up throughout the night and noting how the earth is constantly moving in relationship to stars and constellations.  I could usually make out how close we were to sunrise by where Orion and other star clusters had shifted over time.

Even the Cacti were in celebration of this special time of year.

Crossing under Highway 87 at Sunflower, we climbed up and over into the Four Peaks Wilderness with grand views of Roosevelt Lake.

Earlier in the year a fire raged through this trail segment. However, water was flowing plentifully despite the lack of green vegetation.

Tarantulas were common along our journey.  We were even amazed to find a giant centipede hunting through some deciduous leaves. 

The trails were wonderfully maintained with constant views in all directions.

Rumor had it that a tropical depression was coming into this region the next day.

Therefore we wanted to get to Highway 188 before dark set in. 

Our plan was to hitch north 17 miles into Tonto Basin which had a small store and a motel to wait out the storm. 

However, when we got to the Roosevelt Lake Bridge next to the dam, we simply could not get a ride in the limited day light that still existed. Therefore, we spent the night and tried to hitch the next morning. After the second car went by, it crossed the bridge and decided to turn around.  However, the gentleman in the car was heading southbound but insisted that he could give us a ride into Globe which had every service a hiker could dream of. That sounded wonderful. Within minutes the sky let loose and it began to pour rain for two days straight. 


  1. The Roosevelt Lake view at sunset is one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen on a photo. And thanks for doing this walk, so I could be on the Arizona Trail too, virtually. Best wishes Pepe

  2. Hi...I was wondering if you recall what date range you spent between Flagstaff and Roosevelt lake.
    My son & I hope to do that stretch NOBO from Oct.24 to Nov. 14 approximately, and are naturally concerned about average water availability at that time of year. Did you have any stretches greater than ,say, 20 miles without water of some quality? Also,to a lesser extent, what temperature extremes should we expect ,from your experience?
    Thanks for your suggestions , Paul.

    1. Hi Paul....We did this stretch from September 28th to October 7th.... we only drank water of quality for the entire trip... Looking at the maps we got our water from Flagstaff, Pinegrove Campground, Mormon Lake, Rock Crossing Campground, The town of Pine, Polk Spring near the East Verde River, Red Hills Trail with flowing pools, Horse Camp flowing pools, tiny pool of so so quality at Bear Spring, seasonal flow near Little Saddle Mountain Trail, Boulder Creek, Bear Spring and Shake Springs Flowing, and that should do it. There was definitely a lot more water in between everything mentioned. Have fun out on your adventure.


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