Winding Through the Hills
The Black Canyon Trail (BCT) is recognized as a National Recreational Trail and when complete, will meander 78 miles from Carefree Highway (AZ74) north to about 8 miles north of Mayer. There are a number of hike descriptions on this website covering various segments of this trail. This description covers the trail from the Hidden Treasure Mine Trailhead (aka Government Springs) north to where it crosses FR259 on Antelope Hill about 1.1 miles south of Cordes.
This hike can be done as an out and back or one way with a spotted car. It can also be combined with other adjacent segments. I describe it from South to North beginning at the Hidden Treasure Mine Trailhead. It is a gradual climb to the high point over 5 miles. I saw lots of jack rabbits but not much else in terms of wildlife.
From the parking (N34 15.321 W112 10.499) the trail heads east on the north side of the corrals indicated by a sign. At .21 miles it crosses a dirt road. At .53 miles it passes under some powerlines more than once as it meanders. At .81 miles (N34 15.709 W112 09.999) it reaches the gas pipeline. This is an area which is just coming back from defoliation, and is now covered with lots of desert marigolds. At 1.08 miles you'll notice a sign and some rocks on a small hill to the right. I thought it might be an indian site and checked it out but it wasn't. At about 1-1/4 miles in you begin the winding climb through the hills, following the contours, gradually gaining elevation over the next 2.6 miles. This is the most interesting part of the hike. There are views and ravines without any steep climbing. This is the Bumble Bee Creek Drainage. At 3.45 miles (N34 16.916 W112 09.955) you pass through a gate. At 3.88 miles (N34 17.066 W112 09.931) turn left onto the dirt road. You'll soon come upon the only shade on the hike, a couple of small trees by the trail. At 4.14 miles (N34 17.171 W112 10.112) turn right at the fork and at 4.28 miles (N34 17.270 W112 10.184) turn right off the dirt road. At 5.08 miles (N34 17.612 W112 10.454) you reach the road crossing after a couple of switchbacks on the east side of the gas pipeline. The trail continues north across the street to the right. Parking for this access point is about .1 miles south on FR259.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.