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Bumble Bee to Government Spring - BCT - 6 members in 13 triplogs have rated this an average 2.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Oct 10 2019
nancyesan
avatar

 Routes 4
 Photos 92
 Triplogs 7

72 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 trip log 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
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Mar 23 2018
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 185
 Photos 8,007
 Triplogs 640

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Bumble Bee to Government Spring - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2018
kingsnake
Hiking7.65 Miles 819 AEG
Hiking7.65 Miles   2 Hrs   51 Mns   2.68 mph
819 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had planned to hike Black Canyon Trail segment #9, from Bumble Bee to Government Spring, and segment #10 on to the ghost town of Cordes, last week. At this time of year, the BCT segments north of Black Canyon City are awash in spring flowers.

The last time I hiked from Bumble Bee to Government Spring, seven years ago, I had a topo, but no GPS. Just past the mine claim gate, I went left when I shoulda taken a right toin at Albuquerque. I mean, split right. I ended up a gulch, unsure exactly where I was. I eventually managed to get myself back on the Black Canyon Trail.

You are not lost unless you both don’t know where you are and don’t know how to get to where you want to be.

The BCT was damp from light rain last night. Temperatures have also been increasing. So, once the sun was fully up, illuminating the various washes and spurs, I was hoping to enjoy some quality flora.

The first color I saw was an orange Aravaipa Running trail ribbon.

Four miles north of Bumble Bee, I turned up a wash to do a wee bit of mine exploring. The topo indicated a vertical shaft, but I did not find it, nor any evidence of past human presence other than a man made retaining wall paralleling the wash. Near the end of the wall, there was a thin metal plate across the wall. I could not pull it out, or peer past it. I wonder if it was covering an adit?

Finally, two thirds of the way into my hike, I spotted a flower, a yellow wiry lotus. And … that was it. One flower all day long. 😕

Due to the lack of flowers, I called it quits at the oasis, rather than continue on Black Canyon Trail segment #10 to Cordes. Not only did I avoid the subsequent Sunset Point brush fire, but my wife & I had time to stop at historical Rock Springs Cafe for lunch and a slice of their best-in-Arizona pie. 🤗🥧

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Fauna
Fauna
Cow
Named place
Named place
Bland Hill Government Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
One. Just one.

dry Government Spring Dry Dry
I don't know what it was pumping, but the spring box was full, with a fair amount of algae. More a pond -- complete with reeds -- than a tank, it had quite a bit of water in it. Some bikepackers were filtering from it.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Feb 19 2018
toddak
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 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,071
 Triplogs 399

54 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.
_____________________
Feb 03 2018
Mudhole
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 Routes 27
 Photos 1,661
 Triplogs 20

45 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
Mar 10 2017
rcorfman
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 88
 Photos 1,309
 Triplogs 809

59 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 88
 Photos 1,309
 Triplogs 809

59 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 88
 Photos 1,309
 Triplogs 809

59 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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2 archives
Nov 22 2015
mt98dew
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 Guides 16
 Routes 19
 Photos 398
 Triplogs 1,454

50 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Bumble Bee to Government Spring - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Nov 22 2015
mt98dew
Run/Jog12.37 Miles 750 AEG
Run/Jog12.37 Miles   2 Hrs   20 Mns   5.30 mph
750 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did this run as an out and back from Bumble Bee to Government Springs. Parked just past the bridge at the first spot that my low riding car could turn in to. Trail blazed about .15 miles to get to the trail and then followed the single track to Government Springs. Little chilly at first, but with the rising of the sun it warmed up nicely. Pretty windy too. Funny with the wind. I could feel it blowing into my face fairly hard, but when I was running the other way it didn't seem like it was there at all. It was a nice little single track. Very engaging. Quite a few twists and turns with gradual elevation change. Never ran in a cross country race, but it is hard for me to imagine running with others and trying to pass on a trail like this. There haven't been a lot of passing zones on the last two stages that I've done. But still, it is a very nice trail to run on. Saw three jack rabbits in about 1 mile increments. On the way almost ran into a cow....literally. I had just come over a rise and coming around one of those "twists" when "poof" there she was about 4 feet away from standing on the trail. Gave us both a scare. However, she and a mate ran off into the brush quickly thereafter. Otherwise, had the trail to myself.
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Feb 13 2015
muskybankr
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 Routes 20
 Photos 188
 Triplogs 23

80 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?
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Nov 23 2014
SpiderLegs
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 Guides 1
 Routes 6
 Photos 35
 Triplogs 534

52 male
 Joined Jul 12 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Black Canyon Trail - Mayer to Bumblebee, AZ 
Black Canyon Trail - Mayer to Bumblebee, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar Nov 23 2014
SpiderLegs
Run/Jog19.50 Miles 1,130 AEG
Run/Jog19.50 Miles   3 Hrs   49 Mns   5.11 mph
1,130 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Aravaipa Running put on this training run to get ready for the BCT Ultra Race in February. So we did the first third of the course. Started off in brisk weather at Mayer High School's parking lot and worked our way through the residential streets of Spring Valley. Hit the BCT at around the 3 mile mark and it was all trail until we got to Bumblebee. Couldn't have asked for better weather, in the upper 40's and 50's for the run. Luckily the strong breeze was on our backs for most of the run, would not have wanted to run into it.

Fairly uneventful, just a fun point to point run with a couple of low key aid stations along the way to refuel with cookies & pretzels.

Have to give props to the guys at Aravaipa Running for putting this together. Made sure that they had enough volunteers to shuttle everyone from Bumblebee up to Mayer, had two aid stations and beer at the finish.
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Dec 11 2011
mt98dew
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 Guides 16
 Routes 19
 Photos 398
 Triplogs 1,454

50 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.
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Jan 02 2011
kingsnake
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 Guides 83
 Routes 185
 Photos 8,007
 Triplogs 640

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Bumble Bee to Government Spring - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2011
kingsnake
Hiking6.10 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   2 Hrs   10 Mns   2.82 mph
750 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
2011-01-02

Black Canyon Trail -- Bumble Bee to Government Springs

Directions: North on I-17 to exit 248. North on Crown King Road / County 59. Go about 2 miles to intersection. Turn right / north on Crown King Road. Go three miles to trailhead, just past bridge, and before Bumble Bee. For a less confusing hike, continue through Bumble Bee. Just past the town, on the left, is a major jeep trail. Start there instead.

Report

Time out: 09:25 a.m. Weather: Sunny, slightly breezy, upper 40s. Trailhead, and the first mile or so, jeep trail, obvious and well-marked with brown trail posts. You will cross a mine-claim fence to stay on the trail. Make sure you close the gate behind you. Just past the fence, the jeep trail splits. Left dead ends in about 100-200m. Right, not sure. Trail actually continues as a single track between the two jeep trails. I continued up the single track, until I came to a small mound. Trail split left and right. Not sure which way to go, followed white ribbon to left. Wrong answer. Trail petered out. Continued up arroyo, hoping to hit the jeep trail which is on the map. Didn't. Decided to bail east, hoping to either cross the hiking trail or, failing that, Crown King Road. Had to cut across two ridges, so I am pretty sure I was up American Gulch. Hit the jeep trail right next to the abadoned mine at Hill 2875. Turned south a few hundred meters, finding Black Canyon Trail. If you are also travelling without a GPS, I recommend getting your drop-off in Bumble Bee, then hiking up the jeep trail to Black Canyon Trail, rather than hiking from the formal trailhead south of town. After that, hike was very straight forward, and marked by blue ribbons. Smooth, fast single track, if you are on a MTB. Nice views of snowy peaks. Trail mostly dry, though slightly muddy in spots from snow four days prior. Ground clear of snow. Meet your pickup near large metal water tank near corral, at split in road. (After hike, take right of split through Cordes -- not Cordes Junction -- to I-17.) Time In: 12:15 p.m. Duration: 2h 50m. Hike time, minus breaks and being lost: 2h 10m. Distance 9.9 km. Pace: 4.57 km/h.

References

Spring Valley Weather: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=spring%20valley,%20az&wuSelect=WEATHER
Black Canyon Trail Coalition: http://www.bctaz.com/index.html
Rock Springs Cafe: http://www.azcentral.com/travel/features/articles/2008/03/05/20080305road0306.html
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Dec 14 2010
MEWhiteman
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 Guides 40
 Routes 91
 Photos 790
 Triplogs 351

75 male
 Joined Dec 24 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Bumble Bee to Government Spring - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 14 2010
MEWhiteman
Hiking13.62 Miles 1,400 AEG
Hiking13.62 Miles   5 Hrs      2.72 mph
1,400 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
hiazny10
Tom and I did this as an out and back as we explored north from where we left off the last week. It was a nice hike. While the AEG added up, it was gradual and did not wear us out. However, the mileage did make my feet hurt. The Hidden Treasure Mine was an interesting place to explore. Government Spring had plenty of water. The trail north from here is a little less clear than it has been up to this point. We found trail markers on Yavapai County 179 going to Cordes and also on a small two track going east from Government Spring, although the latter was quite old. According to a mountain biker forum it appears the trail passes the spring heading east. We'll need to check out whether it follows the two track or parallels it as a single track.

The length of this segment was 6.1 miles each way with AEGs of 750 going north and 650 going south.
Culture
Culture
Spring Box
Named place
Named place
Government Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Government Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
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average hiking speed 2.31 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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