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Big Bug TH to Russian Well - BCT, AZ

Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.3 of 5 
no permit
88 7 0
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 13.23 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,023 feet
Elevation Gain 205 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,359 feet
Avg Time One Way 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 17.76
Interest Ruins & Historic
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
18  2021-03-27 DarthStiller
12  2021-03-27 joebartels
11  2021-03-27
Big Bug TH to Orme Rd - BCT
10  2021-03-27 wallyfrack
3  2018-12-28 toddak
21  2018-10-20
BCT: Big Bug TH to Russian Well and Beyond
13  2018-05-19 topohiker
Author topohiker
author avatar Guides 14
Routes 113
Photos 4,533
Trips 2,226 map ( 34,422 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  5:16am - 7:43pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

From Bugs to Russia
by topohiker

The Black Canyon Trail (BCT) is recognized as a National Recreational Trail and, when complete, will meander from Carefree Highway (AZ74) north to the city of Williams (about 130 miles). There are several hike descriptions on this website covering various segments of this trail. This description covers the trail from the Big Bug trail-head to the Russian well. As of this writing, the completed BCT ends about a half-mile north of the Russian well at the Prescott National Forest boundary.

This hike has a couple of options.
Big Bug TH to Russian Well
Loop on the side of Copper Mountain
Big Bug TH to a rancher road just north of the Aqua Fria river
Or a combination of the above. You can dial in your mileage.

From the Big Bug Trailhead, you go under SR69. Once on the north side of SR69, you’ll see a ranch to the West with Oreo cows. They are very friendly. About 1.6 miles (from the TH), you’ll hit an intersection. Decision time. Going to the left is the Copper Mountain loop. It’s about 8.40 miles on a newly (and nice) constructed trail that meanders along drainages. It provides some views and you travel through the U Cross Ranch.

Going to the right (or straight) is the quickest way to get to the Aqua Fria River. Along the way, you’ll pass through the “X lazy B” ranch. The Copper loop terminates at the river gate. You’ll have nice views of the Aqua Fria and the “X lazy B” ranch. The times I cross the Agua Fria River, the river was almost not there. I think the river is underground, and the ranch pumps the water out. The BCT gets very thin and sketchy north of the Aqua Fria. The nice wide trail gets replaced with catclaw and a touch of route finding. Once you get north of an un-named ranching road, the trail gets a bit nicer while the views get bland.

About a mile north of the ranching road, you’ll cross through a gate. About 1.4 miles from the gate, you’ll cross a dirt road, and the scenery starts to get more interesting. After a couple of creek/wash crossings, you’ll hit FR9603B and be within a third of a mile of the Russian well. The BCT trail continues about a half-mile down the FR, but this hike ends here. At this point, you're very close to the Prescott National Forest and the Tri-Metals Mine.

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.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2018-09-03 topohiker
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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
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Phoenix take I-17 to Highway 69. Take the 69 about 4 miles, just past mile marker 266 be ready to turn left onto a gravel entry.
page created by topohiker on Sep 03 2018 12:29 pm
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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