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Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 4, AZ
mini location map2016-01-03
14 by photographer avatarrcorfman
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Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 4, AZ 
Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 4, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 03 2016
Backpack14.05 Miles 450 AEG
Backpack14.05 Miles   5 Hrs   47 Mns   3.01 mph
450 ft AEG   1 Hour   7 Mns Break22 LBS Pack
triplog for Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 3

We spent the night at the Emery Henderson Trailhead at one of the ramadas. It was a bit breezy but definitely warmer than the previous three nights we'd been out. Craig slept on a table and I slept under the stars. We were on the trail around seven.

It was definitely warmer than the previous mornings as it wasn't long before I removed a layer and not long after that when I removed my beany and gloves. Not long after sunrise, passed by four wild burros. I've seen burros out here several times but it's always a pleasure to see them. They tend to group a short distance away and watch you, instead of running away.

We sort of lost the trail when we crossed the New River Wash. It was difficult to spot the trail sign on the other side with the sun in our eyes.

The whole Biscuit Flats area is basically worn out ranch land that is no longer being used. We passed by some old water tank pads and windmill pads and also by a stock tank that had some water in it. I heard a lot of shooting that I figured was from the Ben Avery Shooting Range but as we neared the range, the gun reports quieted.

After passing the Federal Penitentiary, the BCT is shared with the Maricopa Trail heading south until it crosses Deadman Wash where the Maricopa Trail heads west and the BCT continues along the wash. This is the sketchiest part of the BCT as there are no trail signs nor cairns. I did see some old flagging which I believe is marking the trail. Anyway, the trail first travels a short distance along the east side of the wash, then crosses over to the west. Once on the west side, it stays between the wash and an old road. A lot of times the trail is not noticeable and other times it just seems like an old burro trail. Then there are times where it seems obvious it is a trail. It's tough to follow and I was using tracks I had on my GPSr that I created in November to help navigate. This part of the trail may very well disappear in the next few years unless something is done.

Eventually the trail disappears completely but it is only fifty yards or so south to a dirt road that parallels the Carefree Hwy. We followed that road west to around where 67th avenue would be and stopped for a break, happy to have hiked the BCT from end to end in one outing. :y: :y:

After our break, we crossed through the fence at a game opening (the top wire is removed and a yellow tube covers the next wire), crossed Carefree Highway, and crossed another fence through its game opening onto State Trust land. From there we headed cross country towards Gibson Tank. Actually, we were following an old jeep trail that essentially no longer exists. Once we reached Gibson Tank, we followed a road that angles toward 51st Avenue. It reaches 51st just north of Loop 303.

Craig had developed quite a nasty blister so instead of heading east a ways and crossing under the 303, we just hopped the fence and crossed the 303. The traffic was so light we didn't even have to slow down to cross either direction of traffic. The fence on the south side of the 303 is about 7' tall and would not be easy to climb over without ripping clothes or skin. Fortunately there was a spot where Craig slid under the fence. I handed our packs over, then followed him.

Once on the other side, Craig tended to his foot, then we continued on, following 51st Ave towards the CAP canal. We decided that I would go ahead and once I crossed over the canal, I'd call my wife so she could get Craig there while I continued walking to my house. Craig's main objective was to walk the BCT and he had done that, so his motivation was slipping.

Once I crossed the canal, I turned my phone on and called my wife, then turned into Deem Hills and made the last push to home. I felt really good here and was walking fast, passing several people. I walk these trails all the time so I was on very familiar ground. I turned off the Circumference trail and followed the trail that dumped me out at the top of Hackberry. From there it was just an easy eight minute walk home, where I rang the door bell. Not sure my wife was thrilled about that.

Craig was already there eating lunch. I joined him and we had a beer. Then we headed out back and enjoyed more beers and the spa. What a great way to end a hike!
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