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Crown King Rd to Bumble Bee on BCT
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mini location map2017-03-10
8 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Crown King Rd to Bumble Bee on BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 10 2017
kingsnake
Hiking8.32 Miles 1,078 AEG
Hiking8.32 Miles   3 Hrs   37 Mns   2.30 mph
1,078 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
As I discovered last year, the Black Canyon Trail is a sorely underrated area for bagging #flowerporn. I don't understand why more folks don't seek out interesting alternate sources of spring flowers or fall colors.

I planned to hike south from Bumble Bee, up a jeep trail to the top of a mesa I named "Bum Mesa", after the benchmark that is on it, checking out some possibly interesting things along the way: An outcropping of white rocks, a possible rain apron, and then the benchmark. Aftewards, head straight down to Crown King Rd., then following BCT #8 back to Bumble Bee.

The first interesting thing I encountered, that I was not expecting was the informal firing range at the BCT / jeep trail intersection. Thankfully, it is back stopped, and aimed away from the trail. That's more than you can say for the many, many, many informal firing ranges along the length of the Black Canyon Trail.

The angle of the sun on the white rocks made them look silvery & metallic. It looked like there might be crystals, but I did not spot any. The outcropping had a nice view down into Bumble Bee and of Sunset Point, which reminded me of the Emerald Hills of Ireland it was so lush & green.

Where I turned off the jeep trail towards the benchmark, had a great view of I-17 and Black Mesa, which was also brilliant green. Bum Mesa has many volcanic bombs, pricly pear and some other kind of plant that may have been a less stabby type of agave, but travelling across it was easy. It too was covered with very green grass.

The benchmark is marked by a white sign, making it easy to find. As I was leaving, I stumbled across reference mark #2, which I was not expecting. I easily found #1, but could not find any possible #3.

There are several spurs off the south side of Bum Mesa. I headed towards the one immediately south of Bum Benchmark and started down. I soon disabused myself of that notion, as it was slipperier than I was comfortable with. I side sloped west to the next spur which, though steep, was much easier to negotiate.

It may have been location, or time of day (nearly 11:00 a.m.), or both, but the side of Bum Mesa was covered with flowers: Chuparosa, lupine, fairy duster, and more. Some of the flowers were only 1-2 mm. This is what I came for! I photographed 15 different flower species.

There is no shade at all on the jeep trail up Bum Mesa, nor on the mesa itself, and only very minimal shade on the BCT.

Where the jeep trail was often rocky, the Black Canyon Trail is smooth as glass, and almost level, and I spotted several secies of flowers that I did not find on Bum Mesa's slopes.

My wife, who again patiently waited for me, describe Crown King Rd. as a highway. Indeed, my car was covered with dust. On the way back to I-17 we passed a green Discount Cab. I never expected to see a taxi in the middle of nowhere!

On the way back into Phoenix, the I-17 media through Anthem was absolutely choked with Mexican Gold Poppy, lupine & globemallow!

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
I spotted at least 15 species. Many on the slopes of "Bum" Mesa.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bumble Bee Creek Light flow Light flow
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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