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Russian Well Segment - BCT
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mini location map2022-04-28
29 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Big Bug TH to Russian Well - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking11.18 Miles 1,218 AEG
Hiking11.18 Miles   4 Hrs   1 Min   2.78 mph
1,218 ft AEG
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16 BCT miles are located between Big Bug and Orme Rd. A steep & rough jeep trail splits the middle, so rather than doing the long haul, I did the segment in two parts: Big Bug to the Old Sycamore Rd. substation [ photoset ] and, today, from the substation to Orme Rd.

I had intended to hike my 13th Black Canyon Trail segment a day earlier, but our younger cat Gizmo threw up after dinner on Monday & Tuesday night. So, we stayed home on Wednesday. She seemed well enough to hike on Thursday morning. Then she threw up three times on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Off we rushed to the Blue Pearl Pet Hospital in north Scottsdale, where they found Gizmo had swallowed a linear foreign body ... mptations/, and required emergency surgery. Thousands of dollars — and many hours — later, looks like she’ll make it. It’s a lot of money, but she’s a sweetheart. 😻

As a result, I haven’t had time to type up a full length triplog for the Brushy Wash to Orme Rd. BCT segment. I’ll hit the highlights instead:
  • To drive from the substation, across Yarber Wash and Brushy Wash, to the Black Canyon Trail, requires high clearance 4×4. (No SUVs, and cerainly no cars!) It’s not far or high, but the final climb to the BCT is quite steep, with a difficult lip.
  • The first mile north on the BCT was often indistinct, with catclaw sometimes close to the trail. The next ¾ mile, to the second Brushy Wash crossing, were much better, thanx to the efforts of two trail workers I passed. Thanx trail ladies! 👏
  • Russian Well is a neat little area, with the ruins of a stone cabin. Plenty of shade from junipers. No camping is allowed within a ¼ mile due to being a water source for cattle, some of whom were in the corral with very young calves.
  • The Tri-Metals Mine tailings are visible from Russian Well. The mine has building and mill foundations, two collapsed shafts, some prospects, and somewhat intact explosives locker. Nothing I could get into, like in my old mine exploring days.
  • From Tri-Metals Mine, the Black Canyon Trail parallels a half decent jeep trail over the ridge, under the high-tension powerlines, across Yarber Wash (for the second time), to Orme Rd. On the BCT, it is 4.0 miles; on the jeep trail, only 2.5 miles. Holy hell, those mountain-bike optimized switchbacks got old quick! 😫
  • There was no visible flower coverage — like I could see patches from a distance — but there was a wide variety of species. Besides the ones below, I also photographed rattlesnake weed, lesser yellowthroat gilia, what I think were wirelettuce, chia and verain. There were at least five other species I did not photograph.
Hike Video:
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Desert woollystar, several desert mariposa lily (first in years!), trailing four o’clock, plains blackfoot daisy in multiple dense clusters, strawberry hedgehog, paintbrush (right before Orme Rd), silverleaf nightshade, threadleaf groundsel, New Mexico thistle, plus those mentioned above.
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