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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Blackjack Spur Trail #568A, AZ

no permit
15 3 0
Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Safford
3 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,238 feet
Elevation Gain 290 feet
Accumulated Gain 303 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.52
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
3  2009-03-19 PrestonSands
12  2008-10-16 PrestonSands
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 149
Photos 5,534
Trips 1,317 map ( 6,690 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:04am - 6:13pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Flora Nearby
It's not the destination, it's the journey.
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
Overview: This hike follows what is known as the "Blackjack Trail" (trail #568), and its spur trail #568A, from Blackjack Campground to a little hilltop overlook in Arizona's Big Lue Mountains. If you are camping in the area, this hike makes for an easy outing. If you are looking for something more adventurous, it should be possible to connect with the 8345 trail in Coal Creek canyon, roughly a 1.5 mile off trail journey to the northeast from the end of this hike (study a topo map first). Although this hike follows a road and atv trails, it is highly unlikely that you will encounter anyone else in this out of the way place.

Hike: The hike begins at the Blackjack Campground, along highway 78. About 500 feet east and directly across from the campground entrance is a spur road that passes through an opening in the barbed wire fence, near a large dirt pile. This is mile 0.0 for this hike. Although unmarked, this is trail #568 (Blackjack Trail). Park at the campground, and start following the road (trail 568), which, after passing through the barbed wire fence, immediately turns north to parallel it. After passing a cattle pond, the road makes a sharp bend to the right, and reaches a pass among the tall pines. The road rapidly deteriorates into a lightly used, atv trail when it drops down the east side of the pass.

At 0.6 miles, trail 568 reaches the bottom of White Mule Creek, and makes a sharp right to follow it upstream. After traveling along the west bank of White Mule Creek for a tenth of a mile or so, the trail descends into the creek bed. At this point (33.06112 N, 109.07308 W) trail 568A, in the form of an atv trail, splits off to the left to begin a climb up the east side of the canyon. Tall ponderosa pines give way to a healthy stand of border pinyons, before the trail reaches a "T" junction at the top of a ridge at 1.0 miles. Go right (south) at the junction.

Trail 568A now heads south along the rocky spine of a ridge that offers views of the surrounding wooded canyons, and comes to a rain gauge/weather station tower at 1.1 miles. At this point, the trail becomes a bit more primitive, but is still readily apparent.

Turning southeast to continue along the rocky ridge, the trail crosses a saddle and passes a nice viewpoint ledge on the north side of a rounded hill, before reaching another saddle at 1.3 miles. At this saddle, our trail makes a left (northeast), climbs briefly, and reaches an open hilltop overlook at 1.4 miles. At this spot, one can enjoy 360 degree views of Maverick Hill, the Big Lue and White Mountain ranges, and New Mexico's towering Mogollon Mountains.

A vague path does continue east from the hilltop along the gentle ridge, but it peters out within a quarter mile.

Return the way you came.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-10-22 PrestonSands
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Blackjack Spur Trail #568A
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Another after work hike to the end of trail 568A, for some exercise and cactus study. I turned south on the way back to follow trail 568 (Blackjack Trail) to the 6674' hill. Snowy looking plumes drifted down from ragged clouds onto the Mogollon Mountains on this unusually cold Spring day. Nice little hike.
    Blackjack Spur Trail #568A
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    After work hike. I hiked to the end of trail 568A, enjoying absolutely PERFECT spring weather, and studying specimens of the mystery cactus along the way. On the way back, I turned south at White Mule Creek to follow trail 568 (Blackjack Trail) aways, to get a bit more exercise. The ponderosa resin smelled especially sweet today in the cool canyon bottom. Enjoyed a great sunset at my 6674' turnaround. Most of the snow appeared to be gone from the high peaks of the Gila Wilderness. Didn't see anyone, as usual, but hauled out 18 beer cans and 3 bottles from some dirty pigs. :gun: So, my own personal mountain range is once again pristine. :D
    Blackjack Spur Trail #568A
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Explored this little side trail on a perfect fall day. Turned onto 568B which was a dead end, before I found 568A (this hike). As is the norm in the Big Lues, I had the place to myself. I wouldn't recommend driving a long distance just to hike this trail, but if you are passing through the area it offers a nice little hike and pretty scenery.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To Blackjack CG Trailhead
    From Safford, head east on Highway 70/191. 10 miles from Safford, the highway splits, turn left onto Highway 191 and follow it for another 23.75 miles to a (4-way) highway junction known as "3-Way" (old drive-in movie theater and store). Go straight at the intersection. You are now on Arizona highway 78. Follow highway 78 for approximately 14.4 miles, to Blackjack Campground, at milepost 168.9. Turn right and park at Blackjack Campground.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 212 mi - about 4 hours 4 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 177 mi - about 3 hours 6 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 299 mi - about 5 hours 23 mins
    page created by PrestonSands on Oct 22 2008 12:17 am
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