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Ups and Downs
The Black Canyon Trail is a historic trail which when completed, will run from Carefree Highway in Phoenix to Williams. This section runs from just south of Bumble Bee to Government Spring on Crown King Road at the junction with Yavapai County 179. It gradually climbs to its high point over 3 miles and then follows the terrain's ups and downs to its endpoint. It is easy hiking on a newly maintained trail (as of Dec 2010) and provides many distant views of the Bradshaws, the Mazatzals, and areas between. There are numerous mines in the area, with the largest being the Hidden Treasure Mine near the north end.
From the south trailhead, it is a short easy bushwack to the trail. I placed a cairn at the north side of the parking area, indicating a clear area to walk down into a wash. Cross this wash. I placed another cairn at a pile of rocks (N34 11.838 W112 09.674) where there is a spring. Walk along the right side of this small wash that ends at the spring. In a short distance, you'll be able to cross the small wash to the left and reach the trail. You can pick up the trail anywhere along the west side of the small wash, so you don't have to be too precise. Pick the easiest path.
On reaching the trail, turn right. In about 0.1 miles after reaching the trail, the trail intersects with a two-track coming in from the left. Turn right, and the trail shortly becomes single track again. Follow the single track up and down and all around, enjoying the views and desert vegetation. You'll cross a dirt road at 1.3 miles (N34 12.606 W112 09.518). Continue on the single track. We spotted a building across the valley and wondered whether it was a mine, a home, or a cabin. It had a good road leading to it. You'll cross another dirt track at about 4.3 miles (N34 14.402 W112 10.281) and a third dirt track at about 4.6 miles (N34 14.618 W112 10.383). Soon you'll be able to spot your destination at Government Spring by the large, old water tank in the distance. At 6.08 miles, you reach a dirt road (N34 15.296 W112 10.530). From here, the trail goes right, crosses Crown King Road, and reaches parking at Government Spring. The spring itself is on the south side of the corrals (N34 15.307 W112 10.466) and drains into a tank where some large trees are.
If you go left on the dirt road, reached at 6.08 miles, it will take you to the Hidden Treasure Mine. There are two large holes here, so don't get too close, but it is an interesting place to explore. Northeast of the mine itself appears to be some ruins of water collection and containment constructions. Again, more to explore.
This ends this segment. We did it as an out & back, but you can do it one-way or as a leg of a longer hike. It was a nice hike!
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.