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Gloriana Mine to Hidden Treasure - BCT, AZ
mini location map2018-02-03
74 by photographer avatarMudhole
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Gloriana Mine to Hidden Treasure - BCT, AZ 
Gloriana Mine to Hidden Treasure - BCT, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 03 2018
Hiking11.04 Miles 1,213 AEG
Hiking11.04 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   2.01 mph
1,213 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
1st trip
My fourth section of the Black Canyon Trail starts at the Gloriana Mine trailhead and heads northbound to finish at the Hidden Treasure trailhead.

I won't lie, this section of the Black Canyon Trail was a real grind. The scenery throughout this 11 miles was a mix of burn area, some great views of the Bradshaws again, a decent climb, and a rather blah 3 mile finish. However it was a warm clear day with a little bit of a breeze at the end to help ease the brutal sun coming down.

My brother-in-law joined me again for this next section, as I think I got him hooked on doing the entire BCT. Since I'm sticking with the northbound approach to this entire trail, we started out at the Gloriana Mine trailhead from the south side of Crown King Rd and headed north through more of the burn area that we came through at the finish of the previous section. This part is about 4 miles to the south side of the town of Bumble Bee, and old mining and stagecoach town that only has a few old homes left. After this first 4 miles of half-burnt trail, we descend back down to Crown King Rd and take a break under the bridge that goes over Bumble Bee Creek. Every time I've been down to this spot, there's always at least a 2-4' wide flow of clear water in the creekbed. This day also had water. We took a little break in the shade before heading up the next 4 miles of uphill.

After a rest under the bridge, we headed towards the only significant ascent of the day - an approximate 700' ascent over the next 4 miles. The grade was very manageable and the scenery in this part was the best of the entire section. We could see Sunset Point directly to the east, and had views of the Bradshaws to the west. The desert flora was healthy throughout, and the mix of geology kept it interesting. The trail continues to be in excellent shape.

As we approach the top of the ascent, we pass through some granite hoodoos reddish soil. Orange-colored quartz, some with crystals, were scattered around one area. I found a loose small cluster of orange crystals growing out of a dark colored rock, just laying 2' off-trail.

At the top of the climb, we had a nice breeze coming through so we sat for a few, rehydrated, ate a snack, and started our descent.

This is where things get ugly. It was a warm day and the descent back down to Crown King Rd to get to the Hidden Treasure trailhead was very exposed. This last 3 miles seemed to go on forever. The lower we hiked, the uglier it got. The last mile or so was a very overused and overgrazed area that had some scrappy vegetation, lots of quad tracks, and spent shotgun and bullet casings all around. A very anti-climactic finish to this section.

Hidden Treasure trailhead is officially on the south side of Crown King road, directly across from another parking area next to a large old rusty water tank. I've passed this tank many times on my trips up to the town of Crown King, and had always wondered why I saw cars parked there on many occasions. I chose to park next to the tank when we staged my truck that morning, and I had no issues.

All-in-all, this is probably my least-favorite section of the Black Canyon Trail thus far. Looking north to the next section that takes you to Highway 69 near Mayer, I'm excited to make yet another climb and hopefully get to a more interesting part of this trail to wrap it up.

Saw 17 mountain bikers and 2 trail runners on this section.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bumble Bee Creek Light flow Light flow
Nice and cold clear flow in the creek below the bridge on Crown King Rd just south of Bumble Bee. Creek was about 3' wide and a couple inches deep. Could easily filter here. Saw a roadrunner getting a drink downstream.
"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clean away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." - John Muir
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