Winding Around the Hills
Overview This section of the Black Canyon Trail (BCT) begins at Soap Creek Road in Black Canyon City where the K-Mine North Section finishes and goes north for 7.2 miles to a trailhead on Crown King Road in Bumble Bee. It is a nice hike amount hills and valleys on the south end and with nice views of the Bradshaws and Crown King on the north half. You'll cross the gas pipeline a couple of times, some washes/small rivers and a couple of dirt roads. Most of the trail is single track. Vegetation is varied and plentiful. Information on the Black Canyon Trail can be found at www.bctaz.com although at the time I hiked this section, there was no information on this particular section.
Hike This can be done from either end. There is more parking at the north end but as I only knew where the south end was when I started, this description is in the northbound direction. Leaving from the trailhead at N34 05.440 W112 09.381 you head down off the road and circle around a deep wash. The trail tends to follow the contours of the hills as opposed to going up and down them. At 0.6 miles (N34 05.673 W112 09.531) you come to a gate. The trail continues to wind around with lots of switchbacks when climbing until coming at 1.9 miles to a major tributary to the Agua Fria River called Black Canyon Creek on my map. The trail on the south side is at N34 06.204 W112 09.344 (for those hiking south). The trail on the north side is directly across at N34 06.204 W112 09.344. At 2.1 miles (N34 06.637 W112 09.378) turn left off two track and at 2.2 miles (N34 06.334 W112 09.364) go through a second gate. Shortly at N34 06.340 W112 09.356 join a two track and at 2.5 miles (N34 06.637 W112 09.378) turn left off two track. Shortly (N34 06.637 W112 09.389) pass through the third gate. Now begins the longest climb on the hike following a drainage up to a saddle.
At 3.4 miles (N34 07.285 W112 09.501) at the top of the saddle go right at a trail sign. At 3.6 miles (N34 07.481 W112 09.444) cross a road and gas pipeline. You can see a cairn and trail sign diagonally to your right at the end of a fence on the north side of the road. At about 3.8 miles you'll cross Arrastre Creek an begin some switchbacks up the other side. At N34 07.777 W112 09.565 (4.3 miles) go right to join a road and at N34 07.981 W112 09.594 (4.6 miles) go right to leave the road. Continue following the trail enjoying the views of the Bradshaws until reaching the Bumble Bee Trailhead. You'll see the paved Crown King Road ahead of you long before you reach it at 7.2 miles (N34 09.058 W112 09.196). The accumulated elevation gain (AEG) is 1,176' going north and 650' going south.
This is a nice hike which can be done as an out & back or as a one way by spotting a car at your end point. It can also be combined with other sections of the BCT for a longer hike.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
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.