West Fork Trail #628 - Black River, AZ | HikeArizona
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West Fork Trail #628 - Black River, AZ

Guide 39 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.5 of 5 
no permit
365 39 0
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,900 feet
Elevation Gain -318 feet
Accumulated Gain 153 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.86
 Interest Perennial Creek
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33  2021-08-06
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4  2021-06-03 hikemonk
3  2020-09-02 Sun_Ray
21  2020-08-26 outdoor_lover
17  2019-10-06
Thompson Trail #629
1  2019-09-03 hikemonk
16  2019-06-05
Thompson Trail #629
7  2017-05-15 fricknaley
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
author avatar Guides 20
Routes 5
Photos 3,177
Trips 443 map ( 3,122 miles )
Age Female Gender
Location Chandler, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Alpine Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:45am - 6:15pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2011 Wallow Fire29

Riverside jewel
by desertgirl

West Fork Trail #628 is a short and mostly easy trail that leads you to a picturesque grassy meadow on the West Fork of the Black River.

The trail heads out at an easy grade from the developed trailhead through mixed forests of pine, spruce, fir, and stands of aspen. About 3/4 mile from the trailhead, you run into the 1st of 2 meadows - Neck Tank. The meadow had quite a bit of flowers (iris) blooming, and the dog had a blast chasing large yellow butterflies. The green meadow, flowers, buzzing bees, fluttering butterflies, dappling warm sunshine, and the dense forest beyond presented quite a sight. The trail continues and encounters another meadow. This is a smaller meadow and had a similar ambiance as the earlier meadow. Done with chasing butterflies, we continued, and at about the 2-mile mark, the trail reached the edge of the canyon, the west fork of Black River... vistas opened up to dense slopes of coniferous trees that descended sharply to the river. You proceed along the rim for a bit, taking in expansive views. After the 2.5-mile mark, the trail descends gently. You cross a wooden footbridge across a scree slope. It becomes steeper and rockier as it progresses down the slope; switchbacks at a reasonable grade quickly take you down to the river and a welcome swathe of greenery. The river is relatively narrow, and you find quite a few boulder-hop paths across. This a welcome break from this hike down, and there are many points along this river for a quick break. At many locations, you see the work of the industrious beaver as water spills over their dams. Greenery glittering under the crystal clear water, the babbling brooks and darting fish, trees like willow & alder add to the beauty of this shimmering green riverside community. This is in stark contrast to the surrounding mountainside environment.

After spending a few hours playing in the water and catching up on snacks, we headed up the slope back to the trailhead. It was a quick walk back, and along the way, we encountered some mountain bikers - the trail is open to mountain bikes, so watch for them.

Note: You can access this trail from Indian Springs Trail #627.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2003-06-30 desertgirl
  • 100 Classic Hikes - 2007
    area related
    100 Classic Hikes - 2007

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 $$

FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
From Eagar, drive west on 260, turn south on 261 & drive 18.3 miles to turnoff for 273. Turn left and continue to the end of 273 and the start of Forest Road 249 (You should see the turnoff for Big Lake camping areas at the end of 273). Head down Forest Road 249 for 0.7 miles, and you will see the turnoff to the right for Forest Road 249E. Turn right onto 249E and drive 2.2 miles to where FR68. Follow this road 1.5 miles to the developed trailhead for West Fork Black River. ( At 0.5 miles down this road is the trailhead for Indian Springs loop)

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