username
X
password
register
for free!
help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
Crown King Rd to Bumble Bee on BCT - 10 members in 22 triplogs have rated this an average 2.6 ( 1 to 5 best )
1, 2  Next
22 triplogs
  All Months
22 Triplogs
Jan
1
Feb
4
Mar
4
Apr
0
May
0
Jun
0
Jul
0
Aug
2
Sep
0
Oct
1
Nov
3
Dec
7
 
Feb 06 2021
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 377
 Photos 7,633
 Triplogs 575

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Crown King Rd to Bumble Bee on BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 06 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking13.23 Miles 1,351 AEG
Hiking13.23 Miles   5 Hrs   4 Mns   2.61 mph
1,351 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Got on the trail about 6:45am. It was very windy and chilly when I got out of the car. Used my headlamp for the first 15 minutes or so, but didn't really need it. Most of this all the way up to where it meets FR59 again is in and out drainages. Grade is fairly level, but downhill gradually as you head north. I didn't notice this grade trend until I was on my way back. From FR59, I kept going north another 1.5 miles approximately, to where it crossed another minor dirt road.

On the descent to FR59 in the last segment and for all of next segment that I hiked, the trail was much smoother and less rocky than most of what I've so far. Helped me to make better than normal time along this segment and get a few more miles in on the next segment. Very enjoyable, and nice scenery. The trail also gets away from the main road and all the 4x4 and ATV traffic, making it more peaceful.

Saw one group of hikers, and few trail runners and bikers along the way, not too much traffic. Very quiet in the morning, but on the way back, lots of traffic on the roads below. Some snow was visibile at the higher elevations. Looks very inviting to take a ride up in there eventually to do some more exploration in the Prescott area and get amongst the pines and forest.
_____________________
Oct 10 2019
nancyesan
avatar

 Routes 5
 Photos 110
 Triplogs 10

74 female
 Joined Jul 28 2011
 Phoenix, AZ
Bumble Bee to Government Spring - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2019
nancyesan
Hiking11.20 Miles 690 AEG
Hiking11.20 Miles
690 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
We hiked the alternative route posted by Mudhole, titled "Gloriana Mine to Hidden Treasure," in Feb 2018 using the parking at the large tank rather than Government Spring, which is where the BC trail now crosses Crown King Rd. We hiked it in reverse with more downhill than uphill, starting at Hidden Treasure and ending at Gloriana where we left a second car. Thanks to the excellent route and triplog provided by Mudhole, we had no problems. It is very hard to find info on hiking the Black Canyon Trail since it was designed for bicycles, which can handle a 20 to 30 mile segment between official trailheads. Learning about the Hidden Treasure parking lot was the key to making this hike possible for us. We will probably do the route from the Big Bug trailhead on Hwy 69 to Hidden Treasure next.
Another reason we chose this segment of the BCT for Oct. 10, 2019, was the recent heavy rain and that there are no river crossings on this route. Several of the other segments require crossing the Agua Fria River. Early in 2019 with a very wet winter we started hiking the Little Pan Loop segment, only to find a raging river like we had never seen before. Now we know how the large trees are uprooted and thrown about. It was an awesome sight but spoiled our hike.
Mudhole hiked this route during a long, hot drought, so conditions were disappointing for him. We were delighted to find cool, breezy conditions to start in the morning, with a continuous array of wildflowers and greenery along the way, with no signs of trash or ATV damage. We enjoyed seeing the old cattle trail sign on the left side of the trail and the nearby Bland Mine on the right. Since there is little to no shade on the trail, it did get warm in the sunny afternoon, so we took Mudhole's advice and had lunch under the Bumble Bee Creek bridge where the trail crosses Crown King Rd. About 2 miles before the Gloriana trailhead, we were surprised to find scattered on the steep hillside on the east side of the trail the largest number of Desert Rose Mallow flowers, probably about 3 dozen, we had ever seen in one place. After many years of exploring this area we had never seen any here before this hike.
One advantage of hiking a bicycle trail is that most of it is relatively smooth compared to most hiking trails in Arizona. This allows us to hike faster without constantly looking at our feet. There were a few mildly washed out areas, but nothing I would complain about. Due to recent rains there were many Catclaw bushes reaching out into the trail, but most were easy to get by without getting snagged. Volunteers seem to do a pretty good job of maintaining this trail, so it is likely they will be working on it soon. We enjoyed it.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Species seen: Prickly Poppy,Desert Senna, Jimmyweed, Trailing Four O’clock, Broom Snakeweed, Rattlesnake Weed, Blackfoot Daisy, Fairy Duster, Wright’s Buckwheat, Desert Trumpet,Dogweed, Scrub Oak, Lemonweed, Viguiera, Ratany sp., Desert Broom, Desert Wishbone, Shrubby Deervetch, Desert Straw, Scarlet Gaura, Thick-leaved Groundcherry, Janusia, Fleabane, Arizona Blue Eyes, Desert Lavender, Spiny Daisy, Herissantia, Sweetbush, Twining Snapdragon, Hop Bush, Mesa Tansy-Aster,Camphorweed, Odora, Desert Rose-mallow, Desert Marigold, Pretty Dodder, Red Spiderling, Blue Palo Verde
_____________________
Dec 19 2018
norm5715
avatar

 Routes 21
 Photos 19
 Triplogs 31

male
 Joined Jan 27 2014
 
Crown King Rd to Bumble Bee on BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 19 2018
norm5715
Hiking10.10 Miles 1,039 AEG
Hiking10.10 Miles   3 Hrs   52 Mns   2.99 mph
1,039 ft AEG      29 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Perfect weather. The temps didn't get above 65 Degrees, with a cooling breeze.
The trail is quite green and lush, considering we're in a desert.
The trial is very easy, without climinbing and not too rocky.
We were able to average 3 miles per hour, moving average. However, the 10 mile hike was long.

We did run into a few folks shooting. The lead members of our hiking party heard shells bounce off some rocks. We did say something and the folks waited for us to pass.

Great, relatively easy hike
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
Dec 08 2018
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 805
 Photos 10,311
 Triplogs 1,630

65 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 245
 Routes 837
 Photos 12,313
 Triplogs 4,968

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 Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
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
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 372
 Photos 8,276
 Triplogs 1,006

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
Feb 19 2018
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 7
 Photos 1,244
 Triplogs 474

56 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Antelope Crk Rd to Old Sycamore Rd, BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 19 2018
toddak
Hiking23.50 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking23.50 Miles   9 Hrs      2.61 mph
1,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
SOBO to finish up the BCT segments between Highways 69 & 74. The Hidden Treasure / Antelope Hill segment is an excellent mtn bike ride going SOBO.
_____________________
1 archive
Feb 03 2018
Mudhole
avatar

 Routes 28
 Photos 1,661
 Triplogs 20

48 male
 Joined Apr 05 2013
 Peoria, AZ
Gloriana Mine to Hidden Treasure - BCT, AZ 
Gloriana Mine to Hidden Treasure - BCT, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 03 2018
Mudhole
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
Nov 12 2017
rcorfman
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 128
 Photos 1,440
 Triplogs 1,145

61 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
Mar 10 2017
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 95
 Routes 230
 Photos 9,161
 Triplogs 721

59 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
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
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Mar 10 2017
rcorfman
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 128
 Photos 1,440
 Triplogs 1,145

61 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
Mar 03 2017
rcorfman
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 128
 Photos 1,440
 Triplogs 1,145

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
BCT Day 1, AZ 
BCT Day 1, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 03 2017
rcorfman
Backpack31.09 Miles 2,217 AEG
Backpack31.09 Miles1 Day         
2,217 ft AEG22 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
My plan was to hike the Black Canyon trail from end to end and continue to my home in three days. That's about 83 miles so I was hoping to cover 30 miles the first and second day and have an easy 23 miles the final day. I previously mapped out half mile waypoints of the BCT and mile 30 was at a good place to camp so that was my target.

My alarm went off at 5, earlier than I'm used to, so it took about 15 minutes to get moving. I broke camp and started my walk at 6, where I went to the Prescott Forest Boundary, to document my start time on the BCT: 6:05 AM. After half a mile, I made a quick stop at Russian Well, where I filled up a liter of water then continued. I carried way too much water on this trip as there was plenty of opportunities to get water throughout the day. I guess I'm used to the desert being a desert...

I enjoyed the sunrise as I was hiking and watching the landscape come to life. There are few trees on this portion of the BCT and the views are large. At about 4.8 miles, the trail crosses the Agua Fria for the first time. The river was flowing quite well even this for north, so I took my shoes off and waded across. The river lives up to its name as my feet got quite cold.

There was a lot of snow on the northern heights of the Bradshaw Mountains. I got to enjoy the views of the snowy mountains throughout the day.

Somewhere after nine miles, I met another backpacker heading north. He was heading to the north end of the BCT today, and planning to camp at Russian Well, then SOBO the BCT the following six days.

I was really hoping for 10 by 10, but missed it by 4 minutes. Shortly after that, I got to Big Bug trailhead and took a short break. Big Bug creek was flowing fairly well too, similar to the Agua Fria, so I took my shoes off and waded across.

A couple miles south of Big Bug, the trail has some areas that get muddy after rain. There were a few muddy spots, but nothing too bad and the rains earlier in the week had flattened a lot of the tracks from the runners sloshing through on the BCT 100K race last month.

When I got to the 15 mile mark, I had a quick break and ate another bar. A bit before windmill and cattle tank at mile 16, there was some running water across the trail. Around mile 17 I stopped to find geocache, Black Canyon Trail. A little past that, I met two lady equestrians coming the other way. I saw them leaving Big Bug when I arrived and they had turned around at Antelope Creek Rd and were heading back. We had a nice chat.

About a mile after crossing the road, the trail drops into a canyon. There was water trickling down it most all the way and there were flowers alongside the trail. I really enjoyed that part of the trail. After the canyon, the trail winds back and forth working in and out of drainages as it heads towards General Springs. It seems to take forever. Finally I made it to General Springs were I stopped to get water from the lower trough. There were four people there, two playing Frisbee. One asked me where I came from.

It was just past 4 pm when I left General Springs and I had about 7 miles left so I figured I'd have no problem making my thirty before dark. My legs were surely tired by then, but I felt good and had no trouble continuing. I like the stretch of trail from General Springs to Bumble Bee Creek. It's in good repair and is fairly level and easy to walk so I was surprised I wasn't making as good as time as I expected. I figured I was more tired than I felt. While the Bradshaws shaded me, the sun lit up the hills to the west.

The sky started to turn pink as I crossed Bumble Bee creek. From there the trail follows the road for a bit before turning onto an old road where it ascends for a bit before crossing another road and turning into single track. That was my 30 mile spot and I reached it when it was getting dark. I set up camp on the edge of the road as I didn't expect any traffic there, and there wasn't.
Flora
Flora
Wiry Lotus
Named place
Named place
Big Bug Creek
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Russian Well 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Jan 01 2016
rcorfman
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 128
 Photos 1,440
 Triplogs 1,145

61 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
 
triplog 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.

triplog for Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 3
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
2 archives
Nov 15 2015
mt98dew
avatar

 Guides 24
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,788

52 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Crown King Rd to Bumble Bee on BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Nov 15 2015
mt98dew
Run/Jog10.22 Miles 525 AEG
Run/Jog10.22 Miles   2 Hrs   3 Mns   4.99 mph
525 ft AEG
 
no photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did this run as an in and out. Started from the Crown King Road TH and jogged to just past the gate mentioned in the trail description. Wanted to verify the next parking spot for the next stage. Saw the lot, but I'm not sure how accessible it will be for a low riding car. I guess I'll find out when I do the next stage. Wanted to do the run in under 2 hours and just missed my mark. I blame having to lock the gate -twice - at the Bumblebee end. :D Weather was chilly but ideal for jogging. Had the trail to myself. Didn't see a soul.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bumble Bee Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
_____________________
Feb 13 2015
muskybankr
avatar

 Routes 30
 Photos 266
 Triplogs 36

82 male
 Joined Dec 11 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Bumble Bee to Government Spring - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 13 2015
muskybankr
Hiking11.10 Miles 1,252 AEG
Hiking11.10 Miles   3 Hrs   50 Mns   3.10 mph
1,252 ft AEG      15 Mns Break11 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
bdurrell
If this is Friday, we must be doing another segment of the BCT; this one, 11.24 miles from the Glorianna Mine TH to the Hidden Treasure TH, both on Crown King Rd. Luck was with us today as someone has scheduled a 100 kilometer trail run from somewhere near Alaska down to New River on the BCT this Sunday and bright little ribbons fluttered from every tree; the trail, in good shape to begin with, was brushed clear of dust and seashells and someone had tweaked what I think may have been desert sage along the trail which had a very strong, pleasing, and western aroma, not skunky at all, as the books say it is, so it might have been something else. There were plenty of deer vetch and fairy duster in bloom. I will say that the trail running committee failed to sweep a baby rattler off the trail somewhere outside of Bumblebee, but we pitched in and coaxed him onto a higher vantage point from which to watch the race. He seemed pleased enough with the concept but that may have been due to not having molted any rattles onto his tail yet and thus not having learned to speak “rattlesnake.”

As you climb above 3000’, you drop over a ridge that temporarily obscures the Bradshaws to your west but opens a huge field of prickly pear scattered all the way to Rt. 17. As best as we could make out, some sheep had posted a sign in a pile of rocks(see photos) there next to just about the last saguaro one encounters above 3000’ heading north. The significance of this escaped us. Perhaps someone has a better description of the sign’s purpose. We saw one juniper a mile or so south of the northern trailhead.

Despite the Bumblebee sign(see photos) boasting of citizens, cattle and horses, we saw just the rattler for the entire hike although we did run into a small herd of cows, calves, and one bull out for a hike of their own on Crown King Rd. while spotting the cars for the shuttle and just short of the green gate leading out of Bumblebee we heard some mooing from down around the creek, but I don’t think that counts.

About a mile short of the northern trailhead, there is an intermittent stream that runs down into the Government Spring Wash, and the rocks we crossed seemed to be heavily blue stained with what may have been copper sulfate possibly leached from the Hidden Treasure Mine. We would have preferred they leach a little of that gold. A little bit further you cross some crushed granite outcroppings that strongly resemble the Badlands and Death Valley. They don’t last long.

All in all, a very pleasant jaunt on a smooth trail with big sky, wide open views and excellent signage.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Deer Vetch, Fairy Duster and Desert Sage?
_____________________
Mar 29 2014
Randal_Schulhauser
avatar

 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

61 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Road to Crown King, AZ 
Road to Crown King, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2014
Randal_Schulhauser
Hiking8.36 Miles 510 AEG
Hiking8.36 Miles   8 Hrs      1.05 mph
510 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Road to Crown King with Drew and Janice - March 2014
FitBit totals = 8.36 miles, 510 AEG (51 floors)

Road to Crown King map :next: www.crownkingaz.com/directions/
Impossible Railway history - Mayer to Crown King (Bradshaw Mountain Railroad) :next: www.crownkinghistoricalsociety.org and http://www.azoffroad.net/bradshaw-mount ... 4541828919

Senator Highway - Crown King to Prescott :next: http://www.experience-az.com/adventures ... orhwy.html
For Google Map, get directions for Crown King AZ to Bradshaw City AZ to Groom Creek AZ to Prescott AZ. Result is 39.0 miles, 2 hours 27 minute drive time.

HAZ description (Backroad to Crown King) :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder=16852
HAZ description (Old Senator Highway) :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder=19273

My cousin Drew and his wife Janice came to visit Arizona from their home in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada. They spent the first part of the week at the Orchards Inn (check out :next: http://orchardsinn.com ) before staying a few nights at our Ahwatukee home. I booked off Friday to to take them on the Apache Trail Circle Route and offered up a Saturday trek to Crown King plus a possible continuance to Prescott via the Old Senator Highway (time permitting).

Bumblebee ghost town :next: http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/bumblebee.html
HAZ description :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder=15853

First planned stop was the Bumblebee General Store where I can recall viewing gold nuggets, gold dust, and other prospecting-for-gold paraphernalia. The General Store appears abandoned (or has become a little used residence). The Bumblebee Ranch seems to be the hub of local commerce :next: http://bumblebeeranch.com/aboutus.html

Our supposed set back in Bumblebee was soon muted by an obliging gopher snake that I could see crossing the Road to Crown King. We stopped for the photo op. A Jeep and ATV stopped to see what all the fuss was about. When I said "gopher snake", they said they just saw a "Gila Monster" back around the corner by the wash. Guess a gopher snake was uninteresting to them as they left in a cloud of dust. We doubled back to see if we could find a Gila Monster. After poking up and down the wash for what seemed to be half an hour, we gave up the hunt (for now)...

Cleator ghost town :next: http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/cleator.html

Stopped at the Cleator Bar for a beverage and chat with the locals and those just passing through. It was Jimmy's birthday and friends were gathering to celebrate and make some music with their "jam-band". Crock pot was slow cooking some rattlesnake chilli - Drew even posed with the snakeskin and rattle from the donating reptile. With our stomachs offering hints it was time to dip into that picnic lunch, we left colourful Cleator and looked for a suitable spot to set up lunch.

Muldoon Gulch & Swastika/Peck Mines :next: http://www.apcrp.org/ALEXANDRA/Peck_Vir ... 012311.htm
HAZ description :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder=19272

We set up our tailgate lunch near a gurgling stream - Muldoon Gulch. After lunch we boulder hop our way upstream climbing over a series of small waterfalls and crystal clear pools. Plenty of wildlife encounters with small frogs and garter snakes. Walked a little ways up FR89 towards Swastika Mine and Peck Mine ruins.

Eventually we packed up my F-150 and headed into the bustling community of Crown King. We felt out of place driving a pick-up truck that branded us as "out of towners". All the locals (or veteran visitors) arrived in ATV's. Checked out the local saloon sampling the local beverage from a mason jar.

With time approaching 4pm, we decided that traversing the Senator Highway in the dark wasn't our best option so we retraced our route back to Cleator, Bumblebee, and Black Canyon City.

Got home at sundown to once again sample a couple of choice wines and a couple of racks of pork ribs from the BBQ while watching UA getting bounced from the Elite 8 and the Yotes squandering another 3rd period lead...






Sent from my iPad

:)
Named place
Named place
Castle Creek Wilderness
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Nov 10 2013
Booneman
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 33
 Photos 736
 Triplogs 3,636

40 male
 Joined Nov 25 2008
 Chandler, AZ
Antelope Hill to Antelope Creek Rd, BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Nov 10 2013
Booneman
Run/Jog19.20 Miles 753 AEG
Run/Jog19.20 Miles   2 Hrs   40 Mns   7.20 mph
753 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
I returned to run my favorite section of the Black Canyon Trail as part of a group outing that started from the High School in Spring Valley. We shuttled cars from Crown King Rd to the top so we could run downhill on the BCT. The weather was perfect and a great turnout for such a long trail run.
_____________________
Aug 03 2013
SpiderLegs
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 9
 Photos 42
 Triplogs 708

54 male
 Joined Jul 12 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Crown King Rd to Bumble Bee on BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Aug 03 2013
SpiderLegs
Run/Jog11.00 Miles 1,105 AEG
Run/Jog11.00 Miles   1 Hour   50 Mns   6.00 mph
1,105 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Little slice of trail running paradise only 35 minutes from north central Phoenix. Very easy to find the trailhead, about a mile off the freeway and well marked with signs. According to the temperature gauge in my car it was 8 degrees cooler than Phoenix. Plus it was obvious that it's been raining up there, it was surprisingly green.

Ran south from Crown King road towards Bumble Bee. Trail is perfect for trail running, just enough hills and curves to keep things interesting. Not too rocky, so don't need to worry about twisting an ankle. Hit the trail right after day break and well over half of the trail stayed in the shade for the two hours I was out there.

Trail is well marked for the first four miles until you hit Crown King Road again. Did not have the trail description with me and I could not find the trail after I hit Crown King Road. Looks like I did not go down the road to the right far enough. So turned around and made up the lost mileage by going south of my car for a few miles.

Will have to keep this place in mind for future trail runs. The lack of people, slightly cooler temps and easy access from Phoenix make for a great weekend workout.
_____________________
See my pics on Instagram @tucsonexplorer
Dec 31 2011
cabel
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 2,750
 Triplogs 400

56 male
 Joined Nov 13 2005
 Cave Creek, AZ
Crown King Rd to Bumble Bee on BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 31 2011
cabel
Hiking10.00 Miles 525 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   5 Hrs      2.00 mph
525 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
All who wander are not lost...just me.
Dec 11 2011
mt98dew
avatar

 Guides 24
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,788

52 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Crown King Rd to Bumble Bee on BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 11 2011
mt98dew
Hiking22.13 Miles 2,245 AEG
Hiking22.13 Miles   6 Hrs   27 Mns   3.43 mph
2,245 ft AEG
 
no photosets
Partners none no partners
Been doing the Black Canyon trail in weekly installments. This week decided to combine two installments (Crown King/Bumblebee and Bumblebee/Government Springs) as an in and out.

Got on the trail around 6:40. It was still dark but with a full moon and my headlamp it wasn't too bad. Missed out on a lot of the scenery, because of the lighting. But it had kind of a surreal feeling. Awesome, watching the the full moon set behind the Bradshaws as the sun began to highlight the upper reaches of the Bradshaws. Made good time as the trail was virtually flat as it hugged the side of the hills. A lot of in and outs. Made Bumblebee a little after 8am. This was the one time where the trail/ and markers let you down. If it hadn't of been for the previous write-up, I would have been unsure where to go. (Make a right when you hit the Crown King road, cross the bridge, and you'll see your next BCT marker). Also, at this point you'll see a sign for Castle Creek Trail 239, but I didn't see a TH.(??)

Did some very gradual climbing as I left Bumbleebee behind. Once again, a lot of in and outs as the trail climbed the hills. Had the Bradshaws looming to the west and the reststop on top of the mesa on the horizon to the east. One of the interesting things of doing the BCT as I have is that I've been able to see the foliage change as I've moved north. The saguaros practically dissappeared after Bumblebee. Growing fewer and farther between as I hiked. The last one that I saw that was relatively close to the trail was about 9-10 miles into the hike. About the same time saw my first Juniper Pine. There was a couple of others scattered near it, but they were isolated. The foliage for the most part after Bumblebee was unamazing. A lot of bushes and brush .... and prickly pear. Government Springs amounted to a large water tank, an abandoned mine, a broken down corral, and a very busy Crown King Rd.

One of the nice things about this trail is the sense of isolation. Crown King Rd was usually at a distance and seemed to be lightly used (except when I got to the end, where I saw five cars zooooom by in under a minute). Didn't see anyone on the trail until I was headed back. Came across a couple of groupings of bikers. Wildlife was minimal. Two jacks and peter.
_____________________
average hiking speed 2.31 mph
1, 2  Next

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.

help comment issue
embroidered

HAZ Patch

end of page marker