- Mt Peeley to Red Hills Trail junction
- 24.3 miles
Southern Trailhead: Mt Peeley Trailhead
- GPS Coordinates: 34.00219° N, 111.47724° W
Drive 4.8 miles north of Sunflower/Bushnell Tanks on AZ 87 to MP 222.8. Turn left (west) onto a paved road (FR 627) which is opposite the Mt. Ord turnoff. Follow FR 627 downhill for 1.2 miles and then turn right over a cattle guard onto FR 201. Drive 9.3 miles on FR 201 to the Mount Peeley TH where there is a small parking area. The sign here says Cornucopia Trail (#86) and indicates a 0.5-mile hike to the Mazatzal Divide Trail (#23) and the AZT.
Northern Access Point: Red Hills Trail Junction
- GPS Coordinates: 34.18046° N, 111.50359° W
- NOTE: There is no vehicle access to this wilderness trailhead. See adjoining passages for additional information.
From Payson on AZ 87 drive west on Main Street. Stay on the main road past a golf course, where the pavement ends and the road becomes FR 406. About 10 miles from AZ 87, park at City Creek Trailhead on the east side of the road. Hike southwest up the Mazatzal Divide Trail #23 for approximately 5.75 miles to the junction of the Mazatzal Divide trail and the Red Hills Trail.
Trail Route Description
This entire passage is on the Mazatzal Divide Trail (#23). From the junction with the Cornucopia Trail 0.5 miles from the Mt. Peeley Trailhead the route works its way up and around Mt. Peeley. It passes the wilderness boundary, gets around the head of a drainage and then turns to the north and follows a ridgeline. It circles counter-clockwise around an unnamed peak and then descends down to the Bear Spring turnoff. It climbs up and over the previous ridgeline and drops down to the Shake Tree Trail junction. From here the trail continues north and downhill, passing Mazatzal Peak. The trail climbs and then drops again down to the Barnhardt Trail junction. Turning west the trail continues downhill, passing Chilson Spring, contouring for a short ways and then climbs above the North Fork of Deadman Creek. It passes Horse Camp Seep, continues climbing and reaches Hopi Spring. The trail crosses the upper end of Deadman Creek, heads west and then turns north and begins descending along the east side of Maverick Basin. The trail continues northbound and then turns to the west and comes to The Park and the intersection of the North Peak Trail (#24). A few miles further north it reaches the end of the passage at the Red Hills Trail junction.
All year. Snow can be present at higher elevations after winter storms and lower elevations can be quite warm in summer
Water can usually be found at Bear Spring, Chilson Spring, Horse Camp Seep and Hopi Spring. Check the online Arizona Trail Water Report for current information at https://aztrail.org/explore/water-sources/.
- All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
- Mountain bikes are prohibited in the Mazatzal Wilderness.
- USGS Topographic Maps: Mazatzal Peak and North Peak.
- Tonto National Forest map.
- BLM Information Center maps.
For more information
- The Passage Steward
- Tonto National Forest, Payson Ranger District, 1009 E. Highway 260 Payson, AZ 85541 (928) 474-7900.
- BLM Information Center (602) 417-9300.
Current Passage Info
Photos from the Arizona Trail Association’s Flickr galleries, for this specific passage. View the entire Flickr account.