Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
7,328.00 ft (2,233.57 m)
Trail type
Shuttle
Distance
24.30 mi (39.11 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

AZT Passage 23: Mazatzal Divide is a 24.3-mile point-to-point section of the roughly 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail. This section runs from Mt Peeley to Red Hills Trail junction and is located southwest of Payson, AZ. This passage is rated as difficult and is accessible for hikers, trail runners, long-distance backpackers, and equestrians (mountain bikes are prohibited in the Mazatzal Wilderness). 

Passage 23 traverses near the top of the Mazatzal Mountains, with expansive views in the heart of a large wilderness area. The entire passage is spent walking the Mazatzal Divide Trail (#23), a well-built singletrack trail that runs north-south through the wilderness. 

This section features the longest stretch through designated wilderness along the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT). The Mazatzal Wilderness is also one of the oldest and largest wilderness areas in the state. 

This section begins with a steep climb up a number of switchbacks along the east side of Mount Peeley. The trail works its way up and around the mountain and then follows a ridgeline with incredible views. The trail skirts deep canyons across steep slopes and passes through old growth ponderosa pine, alligator juniper, and scrub oak. There are multiple seeps and springs, as well as numerous campsites.  

It passes under the steep, red-rock cliffs of Mazatzal Peak and climbs through thick manzanita. Past Hopi Spring, the trail reaches a rocky section and climbs to a high point with expansive views of the valleys to the west and the low country along the East Verde River to the north-northwest. On a clear day, you can see the snow capped San Francisco Peaks about 75 miles to the north!


DIRECTIONS
Follow Arizona National Scenic Trail Signs/Trail Markers

WATER
Check the Arizona Trail Water Report for current information at: https://aztrail.org/explore/water-sources/.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION INFORMATION

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Pristine Wilderness. Solitude. Scenic Views.

Cons

Some precipitous terrain.

Trailhead Elevation

5,731.00 ft (1,746.81 m)

Highest point

7,138.00 ft (2,175.66 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Superstition Mountains Area, Mesa, Arizona

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