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Soap Creek Rd to Crown King Rd - BCT - 7 members in 19 triplogs have rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jan 09 2021
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 337
 Photos 7,091
 Triplogs 531

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Soap Creek Rd to Crown King Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking14.20 Miles 1,579 AEG
Hiking14.20 Miles   5 Hrs   48 Mns   2.45 mph
1,579 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finally made it back up this way to hike more of the BCT. Started from Soap Creek Road and headed south to where I left of nearly two months ago. I had the spot marked on my GPS and I also made a cairn when I was there last, which I spotted as I got there.

Nearly the first mile was in the semi-dark, needed a headlamp to see even though the sky was a little light. Most of the hike in was in the shade due to the sun low in the sky and the terrain. First person I saw was a biker 6 miles in. Saw a trail runners on my way out. On my way back the wind picked up quite a bit. I didn't mind at all since it kept me cooler. Over 14 miles and didn't even kill a 100oz bladder in my Camelbak.

The trail seemed rockier on the way back in spots than it did on the way in. Fatigue and age played a part in that for sure. A road parallels the trail for a section on the north end, on the way back I saw an ATV meandering down that road very slowly, looking like rolling it was a possibility. The crossing of Arrastre Creek gave some nice views into that valley. Saw an interesting cave while headed southbound.

Finished up in just under 6 hours, making an average speed of just over 2 mph. Started of mid tempo, picked up speed in the middle part, then slowed down towards the end. Nice day with cooler desert weather.
_____________________
2 archives
Nov 02 2019
rcorfman
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 Guides 1
 Routes 115
 Photos 1,418
 Triplogs 981

60 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Soap Creek Rd to Crown King Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 02 2019
rcorfman
Hiking13.87 Miles 1,623 AEG
Hiking13.87 Miles   4 Hrs   36 Mns   3.06 mph
1,623 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I started at the Glorianna trailhead off the road to Bumblebee maybe a mile from the I17 Bumblebee exit. There was a burn through here a couple years ago. Most of the brush has recovered nicely but the trees and cactus still have a ways to go. The catclaw and some fairy dusters have encroached on the trail through the burn area. A good brushing is in order. There was some trail erosion through the same area that really could use some love too. Other than that, the trail was generally in good condition. I noticed a new gate had been installed on the drop between Maggie Mine road and Black Canyon Creek.

From the trailhead, I headed south to Soap Creek, where I had a Gatorade, and got some food out, then headed back. I spotted a tarantula in the middle of the trail but it turns out it was dead. It wasn't squished so I don't know what happened to it. I moved it off the trail. I didn't see any other wildlife of note. I might of seen some yellow but nothing worth noting. All the water sources on this stretch were dry.

The trailhead parking was empty when I arrived and the trail was quiet today. I didn't see anyone until the last couple miles where I saw two mountain bikers, then another who commented I was brave going barefoot (I had sandals on), then I passed two hikers in the last quarter mile. When I left, there were three trucks with trailers for ATVs and a couple other vehicles.
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Dec 08 2018
The_Eagle
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 Guides 7
 Routes 799
 Photos 9,897
 Triplogs 1,392

64 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
BCT- Black Canyon TH to Bumble Bee, AZ 
BCT- Black Canyon TH to Bumble Bee, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 08 2018
The_Eagle
Hiking18.51 Miles 2,575 AEG
Hiking18.51 Miles   7 Hrs   4 Mns   2.88 mph
2,575 ft AEG      38 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
We had a full house for our second sampling of the BCT. LP, Kacklin' Karl and Ray joined us on this one.

We set up the shuttle and started from the south at the Black Canyon Trailhead.
We were greeted at the TH by a man in a suit and tie and a woman in a dress, :-k as well as 2 young ladies from Alaska sleeping next to their car.

It was a brisk start, but felt good. The desert is real green from all the recent rains and the crossings all had some water in them. I enjoyed this hike more than I thought I would, with the highlights being the decent trail conditions and crossings of the river beds and numerous creeks. Fall was hanging on in spots.

We finished up by Bumble Bee, where Karl ticked off the neighbors.

Good hiking with the gang again


_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
2 archives
Dec 08 2018
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 241
 Routes 829
 Photos 11,881
 Triplogs 4,722

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
BCT - Black Canyon TH to Bumble Bee, AZ 
BCT - Black Canyon TH to Bumble Bee, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 08 2018
joebartels
Hiking18.70 Miles 2,579 AEG
Hiking18.70 Miles   6 Hrs   59 Mns   2.99 mph
2,579 ft AEG      44 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Black Canyon City TH to Soap Creek Rd
Best part of our hike. Heavy october rains likely has it greener than ever. After super lazy switchbacks it's horizontal ravine slicing with occasional views of Black Canyon City. The thought of which has intrigued myself ever since hearing of the BCT long long ago. Decent low-flow creek crossings aced by all. Lots of nice buckhorn cholla.

Soap Creek Rd to Crown King Rd - BCT
Wanderlust dropped a few notches. Enjoyed. Once, ought suffice for life. A few nice pockets, forgettable compared to above.

Crown King Rd to Bumble Bee on BCT
Majority is toast. Okay. Prefer other trails. Pop pop gunfire. Lots of trucks parked in dirt lots along the nearby road. Very little atv activity. A civilized West El Oso. Bradshaw views semi intriguing, rather be up in 'em.

Synopsis
All except maybe a half mile of trail around 2 miles in was good to great condition. That half mile was just baseball sized rock needing a rake crew. 3 mph for this distance speaks for itself.

Most trail users were mtn bikers today. With our group hikers came in second followed by runners. Equestrian on all signage, zero encountered. No sign of Russell the BCT valedictorian extraordinaire. Enjoyable day with the group in fab weather. I'd hit the first 6 miles again in a heartbeat.

Bruce was a trooper rolling his ankle in the first furlong. His luck had a sucker punch ending with a rock just smaller than a fist smacking his windshield in the last few miles back into the valley.

Fanny packed 2.3 quarts net, finished with 0.9 qt. Like the AZT 1 mi North = 2 mi trail.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Lots of Parish's goldeneye. Brittlebush mania, tiny shoots all over too. Flattop buckwheat, Wiry Lotus, Desert Marigold, Desert Broom, Yuma Sandmat, Desert Globemallow, Desert Lavender, Christmas Cholla, Golden-Beard Penstemon, Desert Senna, Creosote Bush.

1 Mexican Gold Poppy. If it ain't red it's dead & poppy lovers would call the above display light.

Other / Not Blooming
Anderson Thornbush berries, Canyon Ragweed, Gooding Verbena

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Agua Fria @ BCT South of Slate Creek Light flow Light flow


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Black Canyon Creek @ BCT Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bumble Bee Creek Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Slate Creek @ BCT Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout

dry Soap Creek Dry Dry
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout
_____________________
- joe
Dec 08 2018
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 361
 Photos 7,786
 Triplogs 927

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
BCT - Black Canyon TH to Bumble Bee, AZ 
BCT - Black Canyon TH to Bumble Bee, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 08 2018
BiFrost
Hiking18.70 Miles 2,579 AEG
Hiking18.70 Miles   6 Hrs   59 Mns   2.99 mph
2,579 ft AEG      44 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
First time on the BCT. Bruce setup it up as a through hike with a short easy car shuttle before the hike. We woke up two mountain bikers from Alaska sleeping at the Black Canyon Trailhead as we arrived. Packed up and ready to go within the first 500 feet Bruce rolled his ankle. Said it was the worst ankle roll he’d ever had but he walked it off. Unfortunately, he had to walk it off for 18 plus miles.

First part of the BCT was filled with wide nicely graded switchbacks down to the Agua Fria River crossing. Lots of water in the creek but we managed to find an ok crossing. Up the other side the trail wanders in and out of side drainages. Being really good trail we knocked out the first 9 miles in 3 hours. About mile 10 we decided to take our lunch break on a saddle. We caught up to Alaska on the saddle who had passed us earlier also having lunch. They winter in Arizona and summer in Alaska….sounds like a solid strategy!

After lunch we continued on some more really nice trail. Out of the 18 plus miles the highlight was from about mile 6 to 12. This section was generally further from the highway and featured some lush desert landscapes especially with all the rain over past few months. However, after mile 13 we hiked into a burn area that continued for several miles. The trail also traversed back to the road around Bumble Bee trailhead so we had more traffic within earshot of the trail.

Last few miles were uneventful but we encountered more mountain bikers heading southbound. All told we ran into 4 mountain biker groups, half dozen trail runners and 1 hiker that I recall. Once back at the vehicle we all enjoyed a beverage to cap off the hike :D
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
1 archive
Jan 27 2018
Mudhole
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 Routes 27
 Photos 1,661
 Triplogs 20

47 male
 Joined Apr 05 2013
 Peoria, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Gloriana Mine TH - BCT, AZ 
Black Canyon City TH to Gloriana Mine TH - BCT, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 27 2018
Mudhole
Hiking14.06 Miles 2,266 AEG
Hiking14.06 Miles   8 Hrs      1.76 mph
2,266 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
My third northbound section of the Black Canyon Trail was another one-day trip from Black Canyon City Trailhead just behind Rock Springs, AZ and finishing at the Gloriana Mine Trailhead on Crown King Road just south of Bumble Bee. My brother-in-law Todd joined me on this next passage, looking to hit his single-day personal record for mileage in one hike. We shuttled my truck to the Gloriana Mine trailhead and drove back down to the Black Canyon City trailhead to get started at just after 8am.

The first climb out of the Black Canyon City trailhead takes you up to the east for about a mile and tops out at the T-junction in the actual trail itself. That's where you either make a right and head north, or left to go south. Right we go, and the views start paying off now that we're on high ground.

Within 3 miles of the trialhead, we descend down into the Agua Fria river canyon to make one crossing. A little route finding with the help of some colored ribbons on the brush leads us to an easy log crossing at a shady pool. We cross to the north side and take a break in the shade to enjoy this little oasis, knowing that the rest of the trail ahead is going to be much more exposed.

After the Agua Fria river, we climb back out of that canyon and start the usual ups-and-downs through the various desert drainages and small canyons. The trail quality itself is still very high quality, as it has been for the first 35 southernmost miles.

In this middle section, there is an old grave about a dozen yards off trail to the west. It's very visible due to the white quartz that marks it. No signage or names on anything, but there are a few old trail gifts left behind.

We spot some various mine tailing piles on the hills all around, and investigate one that was just west of the trail. The tailings were chalky grey, and behind them was a small rocky canyon that was overgrown with Palo Verde trees that were hiding a small mineshaft. It was about 2' tall and about 3' wide, just big enough to scoot through on your stomach if you so desired. I decided not to tempt the Hanta Virus gods that day and stayed out of it.

Moving along, we have intermittent views of Black Canyon City downhill to our east. At one point we drop quite close to the town as we cross the actual Black Canyon drainage, where we stop for lunch in the limited shade. An older couple was day hiking up the canyon, and they were the only other hikers we saw all day with the exception of a couple of trail runners.

Having studied the elevation profile beforehand, I knew we had our biggest climb at the 10 mile mark. The ascent goes up the west side of a rising valley, up and over a saddle to a second smaller climb before leveling out on its way to the finishing trailhead. The day was warming up pretty good by now, so we started the big climb.

Up we went, and quickly. I had pictured this climb as a 3 mile gradual ascent, but it was more like 1/2 mile of stairmaster. We pushed through it and took a much-needed rest at the top where there was a small saddle that gave view to the next climb. Hydrated again, we knocked out the next climb and were rewarded with a huge valley view below and the Bradshaws to our left.

I had read that there was a burn area near the end of this section, and I was actually very interested to see it. I find them fascinatingly beautiful, and not ugly as others might think. Remember that this is the natural cycle of nature, giving way to new life as areas such as this recover in a few years.

To get the chance to walk through a piece of terrain that was recently scorched by fire is rather unique. I've seen plenty of old burn areas that are recovering, but not one quite as fresh as this. The views in this area were not-of-this-world, that's for sure. Exposed red soil, fresh ashes still on the topsoil, an eerie silence to it all, and dead vegetation that somewhat resembles its original self. I could have spent hours here, but we were tired and ready to finish this section.

Not long after the burn area, we come around a system of winding drainages to see the parking lot at Gloriana Mine trailhead. It's always a moment of excitement to see your vehicle waiting there for you and knowing what you've just accomplished. We jump in my truck and head back to Rock Springs Cafe for a celebration beer and some gluttonous comfort food.
_____________________
"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
Jan 15 2018
toddak
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 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,187
 Triplogs 451

55 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Soap Creek Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 15 2018
toddak
Hiking13.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles   5 Hrs      2.60 mph
2,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
NOBO. Hit 5,000 HAZ miles logged.
_____________________
1 archive
Nov 12 2017
rcorfman
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 Guides 1
 Routes 115
 Photos 1,418
 Triplogs 981

60 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
BCT Yo-Yo No Go, AZ 
BCT Yo-Yo No Go, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Nov 12 2017
rcorfman
Backpack58.15 Miles 5,714 AEG
Backpack58.15 Miles3 Days         
5,714 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
My plan was to hike from my home, to the south end of the BCT, then hike the BCT to its north end at the Prescott NF boundary, turn around, and head home. The goal was four days out and three days back for a total of ~166 miles.

In preparation, I stashed a gallon of water and food resupply at the Big Bug trailhead, 2 gallons at the Glorianna TH, 2 gallons near the Table Mesa TH, 2 gallons at the Emery Henderson TH, and a gallon at the southern end off of Carefree Hwy. I also performed some trail maintenance trimming brush from the southern end of the BCT. It's not maintained and is overgrown and I wanted an easier time through there on my return which I expected to be in the dark.

Day 1 - Sunday, 15 miles
I left my house about 2pm and saw my neighbor unpacking from a trip along the Escalante Route, GCNP. We chatted for a minute before I continued. I took my trail access into the SE side Deem Hills Park, and got on the Circumference trail and followed it up to the saddle and then took the Basalt trail down to the other side of the Circumference trail and followed it to the NW of the park where I got on the Canal road to 51st Ave, crossed the bridge over the CAP, and continued on 51st to near the 303 where I diverted east a bit to cross under it. From there I headed to Gibson Tank, an old cattle corral and watering station that was fairly large. I think it was last worked in the mid 80s, so about 30 years ago. From there, I finished my walk NW to the Carefree Hwy and about 57th ave, where there is a locked gate just west of Carefree Hwy mile 28. A bit west of the gate is a wildlife crossing in the fence that I took, then I headed east on the dirt road until I turned north onto where I believe the BCT is supposed to start, there the Bob Bentley TH may one day be built. There are no trail markers until reaching the Maricopa Trail, (which aligns with the BCT about a mile north of Carefree Hwy and a bit west of 51st Ave, north to Pioneer Rd.), not long after that, the first BCT trail signs are seen.

It was getting dark where the BCT and MT part ways and there was thick brush to the west filled with birds making quite a racket. I stopped and listened to them for a few minutes. I was able to make it past the federal pen before turning my headlamp on. The only tricky part in the dark was crossing New River. Normally I'd look for trail signs across the way but wasn't able to in the dark, so I depended on some GPS tracks I had on my GPSr to pick the trail back up on the other side.

I made it to the Emery Henderson TH a bit past seven and found my cached water and set up camp under the north most ramada. Technically, there's no camping at the TH but I figured I'd be in and out without anyone knowing I was there with a minimalist footprint. There is a camp host there now too, something I haven't seen there for a few years.

Day 2 - Monday, 23 miles
I don't know when I got up, but there was a beautiful sunrise. I was on the trail about 7. The sky was overcast and temps were perfect for hiking through the morning. I took the west side of the Boy Scout loop and then enjoyed walking through a stand of giant saguaros along one of my favorite sections of the BCT. The sun came out and it started to warm as I headed up and over the hill into the Table Mesa area. I had took a short food and water break at my water cache in Table Mesa. When I reached the Little Pan Loop, I went right to the east side. It was getting warmer as I finished the loop and I was ready for a break by the time I reached Cottonwood Gulch, about 17 miles in.

From there, I knew I could make it to the Agua Fria before 5 so no night hiking today. This is the part of the trail I'm most familiar with too as I've done it several times. I passed the only crested saguaro I know of along the BCT. If you know of any others along the BCT please let me know. Most of this section is all up hill until the final descent to the Agua Fria. When I reached the descent, I decided to call home and check on some things before finishing, as I wasn't sure I'd have phone service by the river. I did, so it didn't matter but it was nice to relax for a few minutes before finishing up for the day.

I enjoyed the day's hike, but my legs were bothering me all day, I got a blister on my right heel which totally surprised me, and a mild case of chafe which I didn't notice until I stood up after my break at Cottonwood Gulch. Thank goodness for Body Glide to finish the hike with and medicated powder before bed.

Day 3 - Tuesday, 20 miles
I was slower getting out of camp this morning than yesterday even though I started earlier. Ugh. After about 2.5 miles, I reached the next Agua Fria river crossing and stopped for a few to clean up some. I didn't feel like cleaning last night and it was a bit chilly this morning. Plus, I was stopping for water anyway as there was no reason to carry extra water for the distance from camp to here. The past few years, there has been a large pool of water here but it seems to have got washed away since last spring. The river is always changing. Slate Creek was dry and then it was warm walking to Soap Creek. I felt like I was moving okay, but I was slow. Then from Soap Creek to Black Canyon Creek I was loosing muster and halfway up from Black Canyon Creek to Maggie Mine Road, I was really flagging and stopped in some small shade and drank a bunch and ate some. That helped a bit, but I was still dragging. By the time I reached the Glorianna TH, I was ready for another break and my water cache, especially so after walking through the scorched desert from a summer wildfire. At least the trail is in good shape.

I had about 10 miles left from Glorianna to General Springs, the next water and my day's target. It was looking like I'd finish in the dark. The trail continued in and out of the burn and I was not enjoying myself at all. the whole day I'd had little energy and was wanting off trail. When it took me well over an hour to hike 3 miles and all I wanted to do was lie down, I figured it was time to go home. I tried calling my family but no answers, so I sent a text to come get me and I turned around and headed back to Glorianna TH. My wife was there waiting for me and we headed down the hill and had dinner at Chileen's in Black Canyon City. Just so you know, it was Taco Tuesday with $1 tacos.

Aftermath
Not sure what my problem was. I think I'm getting a cold as my nose is getting stuffy. Perhaps it was that, perhaps not. This morning I went and picked up all my cached water and resupply. It was nice not walking today.

More water reports
I crossed the Agua Fria in three places: The north east end of Little Pan Loop, going south from BCC TH and going north from BCC TH. The BCT crosses it in five places (in addition to the three I mentioned, the SW end of Little Pan Loop [usually has water] and way north [normally dry]). There was flowing water at all three crossings I passed. The Agua Fria goes above and under ground many times on its length, so perhaps there should be a few Agua Fria water sources?
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Sep 17 2017
rcorfman
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 115
 Photos 1,418
 Triplogs 981

60 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Soap Creek Rd to Crown King Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 17 2017
rcorfman
Hiking10.22 Miles 1,088 AEG
Hiking10.22 Miles   3 Hrs   46 Mns   2.84 mph
1,088 ft AEG      10 Mns Break9 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did an out and back hike starting at the Glorianna Trailhead to Black Canyon Creek and back. When did the area around the trailhead burn? I was saddened to see so much of this desert scorched. It appears to have burned pretty hot and there was very little islands of green in the burn area. Some of the bushes are coming back such as jojoba, fairydusters, and regretfully, cats claw. It took me 45 minutes to get out of the burn area but that includes a lot of time clearing brush that had fallen on the trail. Most of it was broken Palo Verde branches. Some areas of the trail were completely blocked from them.

At Black Canyon Creek, I finally got around to checking out the ruin of a building on the north side of the creek bed, just east of where the trail crosses. There's an old road or ramp up to it. It looked like someone just stacked up the rock but there was some parts of the wall that had mortar. It looked like pretty shoddy construction from whenever it was built.
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
May 27 2017
rcorfman
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 115
 Photos 1,418
 Triplogs 981

60 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Soap Creek Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar May 27 2017
rcorfman
Hiking16.42 Miles 1,761 AEG
Hiking16.42 Miles   5 Hrs   23 Mns   3.07 mph
1,761 ft AEG      2 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
Partners none no partners
Thought I'd see how sere the desert has become along the BCT from Black Canyon City trailhead to Black Canyon Creek. The last time I was on this part of the BCT (mid March), there was water in most every wash, the desert was green, and the wildflowers were in bloom. Well, it's dried up a lot and the green and yellows have been replaced with brown.

There is still flow along the Agua Fria river, however it was easy to rock hop across. Besides the flowing Agua Fria, all the washes were dry except for some pools of water in Soap Creek and Black Canyon Creek.

I had a great walk but it was warm on my return and I was happy to finish and get out of the heat.

dry Black Canyon Creek Dry Dry
Still some stagnant pools


dry Soap Creek Dry Dry
Some stagnant pools
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Mar 10 2017
rcorfman
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 Guides 1
 Routes 115
 Photos 1,418
 Triplogs 981

60 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Bct Fkt, AZ 
Bct Fkt, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 10 2017
rcorfman
Backpack80.29 Miles 6,374 AEG
Backpack80.29 Miles4 Days         
6,374 ft AEG21 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Last week I got just over halfway hiking the BCT when I threw in the towel due to a swiftly flowing Black Canyon Creek and Agua Fria River. What I didn't mention, is that I was attempting to set an initial mark for the Fastest Known Time (FKT) for hiking the BCT from end to end. I believe the BCT is a gem of a trail and my purpose in the attempt was to hopefully garner this National Recreation Trail some more interest and recognition. I knew any mark I would set could be bested by many others but I hoped my endeavor would at least let people know of the trail and hopefully hike it too. Since I had publicly announced the attempt, I figured I better give it another shot.

March 10, Staging - 2.6 miles, 255 aeg

Not much to say here. My daughter dropped me off at Orme Road and FS 68B at dusk and I walked for about an hour to near the Prescott National Forest Boundary, the northern end of the BCT. I had thrown my gear together last minute and unfortunately, had left my wind jacket and groundsheet at home. I didn't bring a shelter and the moon was big, so I pulled my beanie over my eyes so I could sleep.

March 11, Day 1 - 31.13 miles, 2188 aeg

I set my alarm for 5 and was stirring by 5 after. It didn't take too long to get going and I was heading to the PNF boundary, the start of the BCT about 5:40. I officially started my FKT attempt at 5:47 AM.

With the moon out, it was nice hiking as the sun slowly made its appearance. There was some cloud cover, so the sunrise was very nice. In the early light, I thought all the snow had melted from the Bradshaws but as the day brightened, I was able to see that there was still some snow on the north facing slopes. When I reached the Agua Fria river, I quickly took my shoes and socks off and waded across. The water wasn't as cold nor as swift as the week before.

After I crossed Old Sycamore Rd and was heading down towards Big Bug Trailhead, there was a group from the Black Canyon Trail Coalition doing some trail work. I talked to a couple of the men for a few minutes. It appears that the Prescott National Forest has approved a corridor for extending the BCT north, all the way to the Verde River. There's a route over jeep roads for now. I don't know if there is any schedule for building actual trail.

I took a short break at the Big Bug Trailhead, then took off my shoes and socks and waded across Big Bug Creek. I grabbed a liter of water, before continuing.

The trail had dried out some since last week and there was no longer any mud and a few of the creeks that were flowing last week were just a trickle or small pools this week. There were more flowers out though, especially when I dropped down Antelope Hill and beyond.

I stopped for water at Government Spring. I left there a half hour earlier than last week. It was hotter out too and I was starting to fade, so when I was a couple miles before my planned stop, I took a break. I took my shoes off and actually laid down for a few minutes. That helped a lot and afterwards, I was able to cruise the rest of the way to my planned camp.

So this day ended up being a repeat of last week. I started and ended at the same places. I kept the same plan, even down to this trip's menu.

March 12, Day 2 - 28.93 miles, 2872 aeg

I hit the snooze button a couple times this morning and didn't make it on the trail until a bit past six. I had no trouble moving once on the trail though, so that was good. There was still water flowing just north of the Gloriana trailhead, but as before, I had water cached at the trailhead, so I continued to it and filled up there. I didn't leave with as much water as last week since I knew there would be plenty ahead.

Shortly past the trailhead, there was a bike packer breaking camp. He gave me some beta on the upcoming trail, namely Black Canyon Creek. Supposedly, he was meeting a friend at the trailhead and riding back to Rock Springs. I expected to see him again, but I never did.

There was still good flow of water through the canyon just north of and below Maggie Mine Road. There was a lot more flowers than last week as I went through there and then dropped down to Black Canyon Creek. The creek had dropped about a foot from last week and wasn't flowing nearly as swiftly. I wasn't concerned about crossing it today. I did make sure everything was sealed up in my pack before I crossed, just in case I might fall. I did take my shoes and socks off and waded across as I figured it wouldn't be that bad, and it wasn't.

There was some water in Soap Creek, and when I was climbing up towards Soap Creek Rd, there was a nice pool of water below, with what appeared to be a slide. That would have been a great place to relax and splash around at. Once I reached the road, I was surprised to see trail on the other side. I've always followed the road for a quarter mile or so until it turned to trail again. I don't know if this is new trail or if I had never noticed it before. I think it's probably new trail. Anyhow, it was nice to avoid the road.

When I reached Slate Creek, I quickly grabbed a liter of water before continuing. I knew I would reach the Agua Fria shortly, but the water here was cool and clear, and I didn't know how turbid the Agua Fria might be. As I neared the Agua Fria, I found a good stick to use as an aid crossing the river.

The Agua Fria was flowing pretty good. There's a large pool of water where the trail is as it gets backed up from a bunch of debris. Usually, one walks down stream a ways until there is a good place to cross. The current was very swift as the water poured out from the mass of debris. After securing everything in my pack, I ended up crossing over to the debris and working across it for a ways. Once I was off the debris, it was easy to finish fording the river. The stick helped a lot and I decided to carry it the two miles to the next crossing and not have to worry about finding another.

The next crossing of the Agua Fria was much simpler. One walks upstream a short distance where the river is shallower and breaks into two parts. The water was maybe knee high. Again, I sealed everything inside my pack just to be safe, though it really wasn't necessary.

Once across, there is a huge pile of sticks and branches and other debris that has piled up that I had to walk across to get to the trail. It's easy enough to walk across but it was just amazing how much stuff there was.

Shortly after the river, the trail starts climbing. About halfway up the climb, the trail goes around a false summit before continuing the ascent. I had some sand in my shoes from the river so I stopped under a tree and took a break to clean them out and to wring my socks out too. I cleaned the shoes out too well, because afterwards, my insoles started slipping around. I had to stop a couple of times in the next few miles to reposition them. What I finally tried, was rubbing the bottoms of the insoles in some dusty sand. That worked, and they stayed in place after that. Moral of the story: don't clean between the insole and sole of your shoes.

When I reached Little Pan Loop, I took the west side of the trail. The west side is all trail while the east side follows road for the first part of it. I like the west side better, so that's why I took it.

I was hoping to make another 30 miles but it was getting late and that wasn't looking likely. Plus, the heat was getting to me and I was worried about water. I had a gallon cached near the Table Mesa Trailhead at 27.5 miles or so, so I decided to make it there with enough water for the night and then use the cached water for tomorrow. My main concern though, was getting across the Agua Fria for the third time, before dark.

From above, it looked like the best place to cross would be downstream a bit from the trail, but when I reached the river, the crossing looked pretty good right at the trail. It looked deep for the first few steps, but then would get shallow quickly and be easy the rest of the way. Again, I sealed everything inside my pack, then I rolled my shorts up and took the plunge. It wasn't as deep as I was expecting; it was just above my knees and was easy to get across. I grabbed a liter of water along the way and barely stopped to get my camera back out of my pack.

The sun was starting to set as I climbed up from the river and it wasn't long before I stopped to get my headlamp and finish the hike to my water cache. I found a nice place to camp, but I kept finding small clumps of cactus spines as I was cleaning the area. I ended up setting camp up right in the middle of the trail since I didn't want to poke a hole in my Thermarest.

A BLM Ranger saw my headlamp as he was driving by making his rounds, so he stopped to see what I was doing there. We talked for a few minutes before he left.

March 13, Day 3 - 17.6 miles, 999 aeg

I knew it would be hot today, so I wanted to get going early but didn't get on the trail until a bit past six. Not far down the trail, I realized I didn't know where my bag of spare batteries was. I would need a set for my GPSr later in the morning, so I stopped to figure out where it was. I opened my pack up and started pulling things out but didn't spot it. I finally found it at the bottom of the pack, outside the pack liner. It was 6:20 by the time I was finally on the trail.

Despite my intentions of being hydrated this morning, my mouth seemed too dry when I was trying to eat. I was able to get the food down, but I had to drink more than I figured I should have had to. Somewhere in the morning, I saw a burro. That was nice, especially since I hadn't seen much wildlife so far. Most of the trail is pretty easy from Table Mesa south and it is easy to make good time. I especially like the part that winds through the saguaros north of the Boy Scout Loop. When I reached the Boy Scout Loop, I took the east side. The west side is mostly roads while the east side is all trail. When I reached the south side of the loop, I stopped to change out the batteries. It was nice to know right where to find them.

I made it to Emery Henderson Trailhead a little past 10. I had a gallon of water cached there so I grabbed it and rested at one of the ramadas for a bit. I took my shoes off and drank a bunch of water and ate a bit too.

The temps had been pretty nice so far, but when I left Emery Henderson, it seemed very hot, especially when I crossed New River Road and entered Biscuit Flats. Once south of Emery Henderson, the trail isn't used nearly as much and it is narrow and overgrown in places. This whole section of trail could use some love. There was one part completely overgrown that I was walking through absent mindedly when I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. The Diamondback didn't want to be stepped on so it let me know it was there. The Commemorative Air Force was also out flying in formation so I got to watch them make a few passes too.

By the time I was near the Federal Penitentiary, I was hurting. I wasn't able to slake my thirst and I carried a bottle so I could easily get a drink. I had no desire to eat either. In hindsight, I think overall, my food was lacking in sodium and having to drink more with the heat, I became a bit hyponatremic.

When I was about past the penitentiary, there was water running down the trail for a ways. My guess is that some convict tried to tunnel out and broke a water pipe. Ha!

The last mile and a bit of the BCT is not marked in any real way and is very difficult to follow. I mapped it out November, 2015 and was following the tracks on my GPSr. It was especially overgrown in places this year. There are places where you can tell the trail is there and there are other places where it's just gone. Every once in awhile, there is some old flagging on a bush. I really don't know where the trail is supposed to end, so I took it to a gate on the Carefree highway just west of mile post 28. My official finish time was 1:19 PM.

My plan was to hike from the end of the BCT another 8 miles or so to my house. I knew I was in a bad way, especially when I wasn't recovering after resting a few minutes, so I called my dear wife and she came and picked me up.

FKT
I was able to complete the BCT in 2 days, 7 hours, and 32 minutes (Saturday 3/11 05:47 to Monday 3/13 13:19).
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Lots of wildflowers after crossing Antelope Road and dropping down Antelope Hill. Before then, not so much.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Black Canyon Creek @ BCT Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bumble Bee Creek Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Government Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Troughs at coral full, pond full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Purcell Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
Muddy

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Slate Creek @ BCT Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Soap Creek Light flow Light flow
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Jan 01 2016
rcorfman
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 115
 Photos 1,418
 Triplogs 981

60 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 2, AZ 
Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 2, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jan 01 2016
rcorfman
Backpack24.28 Miles 1,911 AEG
Backpack24.28 Miles   23 Hrs   44 Mns   1.02 mph
1,911 ft AEG26 LBS Pack
 
Trip Log for Black Canyon Trail to Home - Parts 0 & 1

Last night we camped near the corral/water near the intersection of Crown King and Antelope Creek Rds. For some reason I didn't hear my watch's alarm and overslept close to 15 minutes even after nine hours in bed. I must have been tired after yesterday's long hike and we get to repeat it today. Happy New Year! We were finally on the trail about 7:25.

The hike started out with a cold wind blowing into our faces as we followed the trail towards Bumble Bee. After two hours, I still had my gloves and beanie on and hadn't shed any layers. When we were a bit past Bumble Bee, I dropped my pack to go find a nearby geocache while Craig continued up the trail a ways. He stopped a short distance past a gate before the trail reaches Bumble Bee Creek and I joined him where we had some food and finally shed some layers.

After the break, the trail crosses Crown King Rd and contours above it to the Glorianna trailhead. This was the busiest stretch of trail for us. Seven bike-packers passed us and we passed a few hikers and mountain bikers going the other way. Craig got ahead of me as I slowed to take pictures. At one part of the trail there was a strong skunk scent. I silently prayed Craig didn't startle it and get sprayed.

We had lunch and rested for a few minutes at the Glorianna trailhead. Craig had already retrieved the water we previously cached when I arrived. The trailhead was a busy place and several people came and went while we were there. I was able to get a visitor to dispose of our empty water jug from the cache. At this point, we both were a bit disappointed with our day's progress. We had a long way to go to keep our schedule.

The trail continued contouring south only now Maggie Mine Rd was west of us instead of Crown King Rd. Shortly before we reached Maggie Mine Rd, three Mt Bikers that we'd seen earlier passed us again. They were at Maggie Mine Rd when we reached it so we talked for a few minutes before continuing along the trail descending down the old stage coach path to Black Canyon Creek. The day had warmed up nicely, so we stopped in the shade of the canyon wall and had some food and a short rest before continuing. There was no water running at the creek, but there were some pools of water.

The trail climbs steeply out of Black Canyon then makes a nice run to Soap Creek. I think we both felt good along here and enjoyed the hiking. The trail crosses Soap Creek, then climbs up to Soap Creek Rd which happened to be about midpoint for our hike. The trail is very rocky after it leaves the road; It's probably the worst section for mountain biking on the whole BCT. Heck it isn't even that great for walking.

The K-Mine section of the trail contains a fair bit of road walking. I kept the pace up since it was looking sketchy whether we would finish before dark. Finally the trail turned back to single track and soon crossed Slate Creek and a short time later, the Agua Fria. It seems the pools of water where the trail crosses the Agua Fria have been getting larger the past few years. Anyhow, they were the largest I've seen them. They aren't much of a problem if you know to go downstream a ways where it normally isn't hard to find a place to rock hop across. We knew that and that is exactly what we did.

Our plan was to camp where the trail next crosses the Agua Fria, near Horseshoe Bar. We were only a couple miles away and it looked like we would just make it before dark. As we climbed up the hill from the river canyon, I turned my phone on and checked in with my wife as I figured there probably wouldn't be service in the canyon at the night's camp. While climbing, the sun set behind the Bradshaws. We dropped back down to the river in the last vestiges of light; I would have needed a light if it was any farther.

The evening was really nice for camping. There was no wind and wasn't nearly as cold as last night. The Agua Fria had good flow and clear water. It was comfortable making my bed on the sand.

Trip Log for Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 3
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Go find a LonelyCache
2 archives
Oct 25 2015
mt98dew
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,691

51 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Soap Creek Rd to Crown King Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Oct 25 2015
mt98dew
Run/Jog13.81 Miles 1,176 AEG
Run/Jog13.81 Miles   3 Hrs   11 Mns   4.34 mph
1,176 ft AEG
 
no photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Trying to knock out the BCT before the year ends. Started from Soap Creek a little before 6:30. Very windy and actually kind of cool out :) . Weird. I haven't been chilly on a trail in a while. As I revisit the BCT, I'm discovering that every section has appealing aspects. This section has a very nice beginning from Soap Creek Rd. and engaging single track that has decent elevation change as it winds through the hills and crosses a couple of washes. As you follow the trail you'll notice piles of telephone poles that have been taken down and chopped into piles. Several years ago when I did this trail you could find the remains of the glass bulbs made of thick glass that were commonplace in the 50's(?). Didn't see any shards this time round. Also, this section of the BCT crosses the gas line about 6 miles into the hike. This gas line strip still scars the land but it is amazing to see the recovery that has occurred in the last 3 years. This strip use to be a blight. Now it is starting to blend in with its surroundings. Jogged the whole thing, but my knee was giving me issues on the return. Didn't see anyone on the trail, though I did meet a biker at the Crown King TH. He was on his fourth day of biking from Flagstaff to Tuscon. Wildlife was minimal. Some cows and chipmunks.
_____________________
Jan 28 2015
muskybankr
avatar

 Routes 29
 Photos 259
 Triplogs 34

82 male
 Joined Dec 11 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Crown King Road - BCT, AZ 
Black Canyon City TH to Crown King Road - BCT, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 28 2015
muskybankr
Hiking6.10 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   4 Hrs   52 Mns   1.36 mph
1,500 ft AEG      23 Mns Break11 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
We hiked our second segment of the Black Canyon Trail 1/28/15, 13.8 miles from the Black Canyon City trailhead to the one on Crown King Road and never saw another human. One female tarantula provided company for a while. The trip reminded me of Edward Abbey’s observation in Desert Solitaire about the implacable indifference of the desert. Narrow foot trails carved into the sides of 500 foot high canyon walls. And they ride bicycles on this-they must be CRAZY!

The vistas on this segment are about equivalent to those on the portion headed south from Black Canyon City to Table Mesa with the exception of the 500 foot trek down the canyon wall to Black Canyon Creek itself which should probably have its own poem.

It would be useful to have your own geologist along for this trip. Many different rock types. What was that bedrock on the bottom of Black Canyon Creek? I included a long distance shot in the photoset of something that looks like granite but probably isn’t.

One difference between these two segments is the signage. The BCT folks apparently stuck the signs in going north to south and ran out just short of Table Mesa. This current segment is very well signed(and it’s a good thing too since there are many intersections). We never even had to consult a map but thanks to MEWhiteman we had some just in case. The Agua Fria crossing is pretty well cairned, involving a diversion to the left(west) to access a sand/gravel bar in the middle of the river from where there are stepping stones and small logs to get you to the other side. Will probably work until the next monsoon season as my GPS shows a straight–forward route I’ve taken there as well. But then, it’s an old GPS.

The more or less continual vistas of the Black Canyon City sprawl are a distraction and it takes nearly 10 miles of trail to get rid of them if you don’t look backward. Minimal flowers–two deer vetch. AEG going north is 2147 and 1480 coming back which might have the advantage of pointing you away from downtown BCC.
Fauna
Fauna
Tarantula
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
two deer vetch
_____________________
Dec 21 2014
Booneman
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 33
 Photos 736
 Triplogs 3,424

40 male
 Joined Nov 25 2008
 Chandler, AZ
Soap Creek Rd to Crown King Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Dec 21 2014
Booneman
Run/Jog12.30 Miles 1,176 AEG
Run/Jog12.30 Miles   1 Hour   51 Mns   6.65 mph
1,176 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Aravaipa group run on the BCT. Perfect weather and some great people to run with today.
_____________________
Mar 26 2013
AZWanderingBear
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 Guides 27
 Routes 61
 Photos 2,620
 Triplogs 700

64 male
 Joined Jan 23 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Soap Creek Rd to Crown King Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 26 2013
AZWanderingBear
Hiking7.20 Miles 1,176 AEG
Hiking7.20 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   2.62 mph
1,176 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A little geocaching along the BCT. Stated on the southern end and did an out and back. Late log, just catching up on my 2013 hikes.
_____________________
All you have is your fire...
And the place you need to reach
Jan 28 2012
Booneman
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 33
 Photos 736
 Triplogs 3,424

40 male
 Joined Nov 25 2008
 Chandler, AZ
Soap Creek Rd to Crown King Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Jan 28 2012
Booneman
Run/Jog18.01 Miles 1,667 AEG
Run/Jog18.01 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   6.55 mph
1,667 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Ran the next section of the Black Canyon Trail, this time from Crown King Road to the Black Canyon City Trailhead.
_____________________
Dec 03 2011
mt98dew
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,691

51 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Soap Creek Rd to Crown King Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 03 2011
mt98dew
Hiking14.00 Miles 1,176 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   4 Hrs   12 Mns   3.33 mph
1,176 ft AEG
 
no photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Continued with my weekly hike along the Black Canyon Trail. There was a 50% chance of rain today, but I got lucky with only periodic light sprinkles. But it did get chilly, especially with the wind!

Started off at 7am at Soap Creek Rd. The ravine at the side of the road was quite eye-catching and one of the nicer features of the hike. The trail was easy to follow as it wrapped around the hills. (Once again, this trail, with its switchbacks and gradual elevation change, was designed with bikers in mind). But it didn't look as if the trail was seeing much use of any sort. About 2 miles in crossed a significant wash. The trail was easy to pick up going from one side to the other. Saw clawed tracks in the sand here. The print was a little under three inches in length with about a 1/4 inch of claw being evident. Not sure if it was bear or just a very, very large racoon, but it did make me more alert as I continued. :scared: After climbing out of the wash the trail joined an old dirt road that ascended between two tall hills.

I didn't see my first BCT marker until 3 miles in, until after climbing the old dirt road. At this point the trail returned to a single track. It continued to wind through the hills, crossing a well-used dirt road and then dropping down into another wash. At this point, I-17 came back into view. (I played hide and seek with the highway for much of the hike. Though even when I couldn't see the highway, I could hear it for most of the hike - wind allowing). The trail rose nicely from the wash with a number of switchbacks. At the top, it briefly joined another dirt road. With bears still on my mind it was here that I had a little scare. With foggy glasses, I was in the midst of trying to adjust my backpack. When of all of a sudden, there IT was :o ... a BIG BROWN cow. I had come upon 7 cows (and 2 steers) without realizing it and sent them crashing through the brush.

Shortly thereafter, the BCT left the road and became a single trail again. For the next mile (plus) this trail paralleled a well used dirt road as it headed toward Crown King Rd. This portion of the trail exposed and very windy, but it gave a great view of the mountains off to the north. Reached Crown King a little after 9am without seeing anyone, except for a few cars along the road. Turned around and headed back to the car. Excluding the cows (and birds), never saw any wildlife - bears or very large racoons.

The trail was fairly easy to follow, though it could have been marked better as it joined and left the old roads, especially the first. However, the trail is cairned at these sections and the roads go in the direction that you expect the trail to take you so the lack of markings aren't a huge detriment. It is comforting to have a gps route to confirm your trail as you go along. Thx MWhiteman.
_____________________
Dec 02 2010
MEWhiteman
avatar

 Guides 42
 Routes 93
 Photos 802
 Triplogs 354

76 male
 Joined Dec 24 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Soap Creek Rd to Crown King Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 02 2010
MEWhiteman
Hiking14.40 Miles 1,825 AEG
Hiking14.40 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   2.62 mph
1,825 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
hiazny10
We had seen the south end of this trail at the end of another hike on the K-Mine Section of the Black Canyon Trail (BCT) last spring and wanted to follow it to see where it went. At the time neither the BCT website nor HikeAZ had any information on this hike. We planned to hike for 5 - 6 miles to a logical spot or until the trail ended and turn around. As it turned out at about 5.5 miles, we decided we'd turn around when the trail crossed or came very near to the gravel road we could see was nearby. Unfortunately neither happened. Eventually we saw a partially paved road in the distance which Tom correctly thought was the road to Bumble Bee. As the road didn't seem too far we decided on that as the turnaround. Well, it was another 1.5 miles via trail. After a break and snack we headed back.
_____________________
average hiking speed 2.38 mph

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.

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