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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.

Bonanza Bill Trail #23, AZ

Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
no permit
185 9 0
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Distance One Way 12.45 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,587 feet
Elevation Gain 1,253 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,699 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 21.44
Backpack Possible & Connecting
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
10  2021-04-09 AugustWest
8  2020-07-18 friendofThunderg
28  2016-05-27
Bear Mtn Loop - Blue Range
51  2016-05-27
Bear Mtn Loop - Blue Range
27  2016-05-27
Bear Mtn Loop - Blue Range
15  2016-05-27
Bear Mtn Loop - Blue Range
19  2015-07-18 friendofThunderg
18  2013-05-26
Tige Rim Bonanza Bill Loop
Page 1,  2
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,841
Routes 17,031
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 24 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, Aug, Jun, Jul
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:28am - 7:17pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Cow Canyon Fire34.4k
🔥 2011 Wallow Fire29.45
🔥 1995 WS Fire11.1 mi*
🔥 1995 W/s Fire2.9k
🔥 1994 S Canyon Fire11.1 mi*
🔥 1982 Franz Fire3.5 mi*
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

Likely In-Season!
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Bonanza Bill Trail is one of the main trails offering access to the remote eastern reaches of the Blue Primitive Area. In addition to traversing a good portion of this country on its own, Bonanza Bill serves as a connector between several other trails leading into this beautiful, wild country. The trail is named for Bonanza Bill Point, which stands out as one of the more prominent features along the route. This easy to follow pathway snakes along a divide that separates the canyons of the Blue and San Francisco Rivers. It sets a course through ponderosa pine stands so open and clear of undergrowth that in places someone from the brushy forests of the east might swear it is maintained by crews of meticulous gardeners. Of course, that's not true, openness is a natural characteristic of a ponderosa pine forest, especially one that is as dry as this. That openness also makes the surrounding scenery easier to see from the trail. Views include overlooks of Steeple and Tige canyons as well as the larger canyons of the Blue and San Francisco rivers.

This trail also roughly follows the boundary between Arizona and New Mexico, and in one place crosses that line for a two and a half mile visit to Arizona's eastern neighbor. In this vicinity you'll get some good views of Devil's Monument, a prominent landform in New Mexico. Another interesting area along the trail called Hell's Hole is quite a bit closer to the trailhead. Here dwarfed and deformed ponderosas hold to a precarious existence among exposed layers of white rock.

Watch for evidence of black bears in this remote area. As a matter of fact, the sign marking the trailhead usually has teeth and claw marks put there by resident bruins. No one knows for sure why these shy brutes chew on signs, but the conventional wisdom is that their unnatural shape makes them stand out from their natural surroundings enough to serve as excellent bulletin boards for bears to mark their territorial boundaries. Trail side signs that have been splintered or even ripped apart certainly make the point that bears live in the area and you should take special care with food and garbage.

Steeple Canyon has pools of water except during the dry seasons of the year.
Hinkle Springs, located one quarter mile down the adjoining Hinkle Trail is a dependable spring.
WS Lake provides water for stock except during the dry season.
Keep a clean camp so as not to create problem bears (or trash the area).
No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) permitted within the Primitive Area.

Trail Log:
0.0 Trailhead on Pueblo Park Road.
0.9 Junction with Tige Rim Trail #90. Bonanza Bill takes a sharp right at this point.
3.7 Junction with Hinkle Spring Trail, Hell's Hole.
5.9 Junction with Cow Flat Trail, #55.
6.2 Bonanza Bill Point on right.
8.3 View of Devils Monument to east.
8.5 Trail goes through gate in New Mexico State Line fence.
11.1 Trail crosses back into Arizona.
12.1 Junction with Franz Spring Trail.

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.

2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    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 $$
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    Map Drive

    To hike
    Drive 3 miles east of Alpine on US 180 to Forest Road 281 (Blue River Road). Turn south and follow this scenic back road 20.7 miles to the Pueblo Park Road (Forest Road 232). The Bonanza Bill Trailhead is 4.7 miles east on this dirt road just before it crosses the New Mexico state line. A wood fenced corral serves as a landmark.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
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