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Bull Pass Trail #129, AZ

Guide 138 Triplogs  2 Topics
  3.4 of 5 
no permit
1.4k 138 2
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,303 feet
Elevation Gain 436 feet
Accumulated Gain 506 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3.29
Backpack Connecting Only
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
7  2020-03-07
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6  2019-10-20
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13  2018-12-01
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7  2018-11-18
Black Top Mesa
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Author markthurman53
author avatar Guides 104
Routes 575
Photos 6,927
Trips 477 map ( 4,571 miles )
Age 67 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Nov → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:34am - 5:46pm
Official Route
36 Alternative

Great Views No Bull
by markthurman53

This short 1.6 mile trail connects the Dutchman Trail at East Boulder Canyon just south of Palomino Mountain to the Dutchman Trail to the Northeast of Black Top Mesa in Needle Canyon. The Bull Pass Trail from the North climbs about 450 feet in 0.5 miles to Bull Pass, then drops about 400 feet into Needle Canyon in 0.7 miles and follows alongside Needle Creek for about 0.4 miles to the Dutchman Trail.

From the North at the signed Dutchman - Bull Pass Trail junction the Bull Pass trail crosses East Boulder Creek almost immediately and then begins the 450 foot climb to Bull Pass. This trail is heavily traveled and easy to follow but there are some rather steep sections before hitting the pass. Watch your footing on these steep sections, especially going down. The lower part of this ascent to Bull Pass offers some views of Aylor’s Arch and a little further up some interesting rock cliffs of Black Top Mesa. These sites are a good excuse to stop and take a standing breather break and enjoy these sites. From the Pass there are great view to the west of West Boulder Canyon and Parker Pass, to the North Boulder Canyon and Battleship Mountain. To the Northeast, Malapais and Black Mountain along with the white (Yellow) cliffs on the east side of Labarge Canyon. Once done admiring the views the trail drops about 400 feet in about 0.7 miles to Needle Creek. This portion of the trail has a much more gradual slope. From the creek crossing to the Dutchman Trail is another 0.4 miles along the north side of Needle Creek with very little elevation gain.

This trail offers a shortcut on the Dutchman Trail that follows along the West and South Side of Black Top Mesa but this is not the only reason to take this trail. While at the summit of Bull Pass there is a route that heads off to the right and goes to the summit of Black Top Mesa. Once on the summit at the far southern end of Black Top Mesa there are spectacular views of Weavers Needle and with a little searching, petroglyphs along the far east cliffs of the mesa. Another Option about 250 feet East of Bull Pass is the Little Bull Pass Trail, aka Lost Black Top Mesa Trail, which will take you to the Dutchman Trail where it crosses Needle Canyon (about 0.2 miles from where the Bull Pass Trail connects to the Dutchman). This trail parallels the Bull Pass Trail just to the south and crosses over Little Bull Pass.

This trail is not a destination trail but usually one leg of a much larger loop hike. On some loop hikes it offers some of the best views. While up at the Pass head up to Black Top Mesa, You are already half way up might as well go all the way.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2018-03-03 markthurman53

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To First Water Trailhead
    From Mesa follow Highway 60 East to Idaho Road. Turn North onto Idaho Road which is SR88 and follow North 2.2 miles. SR88 bends right just past Scenic St. and Idaho continues North. Be sure to go right and stay on SR88. Follow SR88 5.2 miles to the signed turnoff for First Water Trailhead, this is FR-78. Turn right on to FR-78 and follow 2.6 miles to the end.

    This trailhead feature restrooms without running water. The large parking area fills up in season. When full utilize the Horse Lot 0.5 miles back.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 43.1 mi - about 59 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 136 mi - about 2 hours 16 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 187 mi - about 3 hours 3 mins
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