username
X
password
register
for free!
help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCT - 8 members in 35 triplogs have rated this an average 3.9 ( 1 to 5 best )
1, 2  Next
35 triplogs
  All Months
35 Triplogs
Jan
8
Feb
6
Mar
6
Apr
2
May
0
Jun
0
Jul
0
Aug
1
Sep
2
Oct
3
Nov
6
Dec
1
 
Mar 27 2021
mt98dew
avatar

 Guides 24
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,788

52 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 27 2021
mt98dew
Hiking21.00 Miles 1,170 AEG
Hiking21.00 Miles   6 Hrs   9 Mns   3.41 mph
1,170 ft AEG
 
no photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Beautiful near full moon out this morning. I was hoping to enjoy some of it on my hike but alas I did not get to the TH until just before 6am. Missed the “moonset”, but started at a good time for the early morning lighting. No need for a headlamp. I realized halfway out to Black Canyon City that I forgotten my Garmin ](*,) , but I wasn’t that worried because I had done this trail a couple of times before. Love this section of the BCT. About a mile in and you get some of the best views that this trail has to offer. I remember the first time I did this trail how amazed I was with how the canyon opens up. It still I impresses. The Agua Fria was flowing decently, but it was easily crossed. Some productive individual placed some decent sized logs across the water. (We’ll see how long that lasts through the year). The climb out of the canyon seems daunting, but it shouldn’t be. The trail is in no hurry to get anywhere and takes an amazing amount of time to reach the high point with a lot of sweeping twists and turns. Ideal for bikers and runners alike. :) Trail is well marked and easy to follow. There are a couple of road crossings, but all instances are well signed. The trail is also in great shape though it gets a little rocky after the second road crossing.

I went in thinking I knew where I was going. In my mind I wanted to turn around at the top of Little Pan Loop, but in my mind I was seeing the Boy Scout Loop juncture. Needless to say, I cruised by the Little Pan Loop juncture without realizing it. I realized what had happened when I got to the second major crossing of the Agua Fria. This actually wasn’t a bad occurrence. Last year, when I had tried to this southern leg of BCT I wasn’t able to because the Agua Fria was flowing so strongly. So I ended up doing a section that I had missed last year. That being said I did not do the loop. When I hit the sand (there was no water flowing at this spot, though there were pools of water), I turned around and headed back. Weather was beautiful!!, though windy! Surprisingly not a lot of activity on the trail. Wildlife was only quail and rabbits. Only one runner and 1 hiker west of the Canyon and the flowing water. Lot more activity once I got within 1.5 of the TH. Mileage is just a guess, but I think it is pretty close to what I did.
_____________________
Jan 03 2021
friendofThundergod
avatar

 Guides 28
 Routes 314
 Photos 9,127
 Triplogs 867

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 03 2021
friendofThundergod
Hiking3.00 Miles 395 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
395 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Took the dogs up to walk a short section of the BCT today. We only hiked in as far as the river and then returned the way we came after some fun along the water. The temps were perfect and there were some nice clouds complimenting the crisp blue sky. It appears fall is just now getting under way out there. Does it ever really end in this state? The trail to the river was a little busy with bike and foot traffic, as one would expect on a Sunday morning.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Agua Fria - BCT Horseshoe Crossing Light flow Light flow
_____________________
Oct 31 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 377
 Photos 7,633
 Triplogs 575

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 31 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking14.26 Miles 1,850 AEG
Hiking14.26 Miles   5 Hrs   52 Mns   2.43 mph
1,850 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The weather finally got cool enough to head back up to this trail and knock out some segments of it. I started at the Black Canyon City TH by Rock Springs and headed south towards the Little Pan Loop to where I left off 3 months ago. I marked it with my GPS and also put a cairn there. The cairn was still there today.

Early it was pretty cool and windy for the first couple hours. Even as the sun came up, the trail got higher and the wind picked up there. Crossing the Agua Fria River I got off the trail for a bit but found it again easily. The first couple miles of the BCT here is near or part of another trail system that loops around and back to the trailhead there. Might be something to check out with the family one weekend.

I thought it would be only 6.5 miles to where I left off, but it turned out to be just over 7, no biggie. The hike wasn't too difficult, but the last couple miles on the way back my feet were a little sore. Coming back downhill towards the Agua Fria was the most rocky part of the trail. Other than that, it was mostly pretty smooth.

Up until the last 2 miles back, I only saw bikers and 2 trail runners. Once I crossed the Agua Fria again, the number of dayhikers doing the loop increased considerably. Made pretty decent time getting done in just under 6 hours.
_____________________
Jan 26 2020
rcorfman
avatar

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

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 26 2020
rcorfman
Hiking14.38 Miles 1,857 AEG
Hiking14.38 Miles   4 Hrs   43 Mns   3.28 mph
1,857 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wanted a longer hike so decided to hike the BCT from Table Mesa TH to the road to Tip Top and back. No pictures and no stops except to take my shoes off and on the two crossings of the Agua Fria. The first crossing I had to stop shortly afterwards to dump out the sand I mistakenly got in my shoes. Yes, the Agua Fria was flowing high enough that there was no easy way to rock hop across.

I got a bit later start as I spent some time sewing up the tears of a torn pocket on my pack so I wouldn't lose my food like I did last week.

The trail was busy from the trailhead to the Agua Fria, both out and back. South of the river, I only saw three mountain bikers.

Besides the Agua Fria river, there was water flowing at the creek about 5.75 miles out and lots of standing water (probably underground flow) at Cottonwood Gulch.

This time of the year sure is prime hiking time.
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Oct 27 2019
rcorfman
avatar

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

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2019
rcorfman
Hiking14.38 Miles 1,857 AEG
Hiking14.38 Miles   4 Hrs   49 Mns   3.02 mph
1,857 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
What a beautiful day for a longish hike. I started at the Black Canyon City TH and headed south on the BCT to the road to Tip Top, where I turned around and headed back. Shortly after the turn around, I stopped in Cottonwood Gulch where I sucked down a Gatorade and grabbed a packet of trail mix that I ate once I was walking again.

On the way out, I saw a good sized gopher snake. It was stretched out about 5' with it's tail on the trail. I touched it's tail just to scoot it off the trail. It wasn't happy and coiled up in a striking pose hissing. The hissing sounded similar to a rattlesnake. It was interesting.

Surprisingly, I only saw three mountain bikers and one hiker today. The hiker was just starting when I was finishing. I figured I'd see lots of people, it being Sunday and the weather being about perfect for a day on the trail.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Agua Fria - BCT Horseshoe Crossing Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Dec 16 2018
rcorfman
avatar

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

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 16 2018
rcorfman
Hiking7.08 Miles 949 AEG
Hiking7.08 Miles   2 Hrs   12 Mns   3.27 mph
949 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finally back on the BCT after my PCT hike. It's about time. Basically, I started at the Black Canyon City trailhead and went south, crossed the Agua Fria, then climbed the hill. At the top, I turned around and went back.

The trailhead was packed full for a training run from Bumble Bee to here. I actually parked along the road next to the trailhead parking.

There were a few runners as I made my way up to the BCT but as soon as I passed the junction, no more runners, which was expected since I went south and they were coming from the north. A lady bagged her dog's poo at the junction and left it. I believe she actually picked it up on her way out as I didn't see it on my return. Amazing!

I actually felt like crap and was tempted to turn around after 45 minutes, but by then I figured I might as well tough it out and go to the top. Glad I did.

When I finished the hike, there was actually room to park and some runners were still trickling in but most had finished and left.
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Mar 10 2018
joebartels
avatar

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

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Little Pan Extended Loop, AZ 
Little Pan Extended Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 10 2018
joebartels
Hiking22.00 Miles 2,760 AEG
Hiking22.00 Miles   9 Hrs   15 Mns   2.51 mph
2,760 ft AEG      30 Mns Break4 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Signage, tread and trail maintenance is remarkable. Passed several mtn bike groups, all friendly. Our loop included an out-n-back to Black Canyon City TH on the NE end of our loop. Apparently this 3 mi/340 aeg out-n-back to Agua Fria River is a popular day hike.

Our return followed Agua Fria River for 1.2 miles. It was low enough to cross multiple times without major mishap. A biker said the river was much higher just a week ago. We explored Gillette Arizona. The area is very trashed since it's easily accessible by wild groups and not monitored.

Then we picked up the east side of Little Pan Loop back to Table Mesa TH. Equally scenic to the west side. Appears less used and a hint less maintenance love.

Great hike, recommended!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
ocotillo, that's it folks

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Agua Fria - BCT 2 mi NW Table Mesa TH Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Pooled, easy to cross and stay dry.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Agua Fria - BCT Horseshoe Crossing Light flow Light flow
Very light flow, large pool for sure. Tree trunk bridge was good enough to cross dry.
_____________________
- joe
Mar 10 2018
The_Eagle
avatar

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

65 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Little Pan Loop-Table Mesa TH to Black Cyn TH, AZ 
Little Pan Loop-Table Mesa TH to Black Cyn TH, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 10 2018
The_Eagle
Hiking22.01 Miles 2,762 AEG
Hiking22.01 Miles   9 Hrs   13 Mns   2.53 mph
2,762 ft AEG      30 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
A dawn start at the Table Mesa TH, with nice temps and orange skys.

I cobbled together a loop using the BCT-Little Pan Loop, the Agua Fria River and a side trip to Gillett.

After last weeks all off trail jaunt, it was refreshing to have well groomed trails. Taking the CW options, we had the trail to ourselves until just before we started the drop to the Agua Fria towards the Black Canyon TH. Here we started seeing a few groups of bikes. Down at the river, we opted for the 3 mile out and back to the Black Canyon TH.

This is evidently a popular family hike. Quite a few people/couples/families were doing this portion. It would make for a great Arizona Sampler Hike for out of town guests. Close to the valley, short, nice geology, and a riparian area.

Off to the Gillett ruins via 1.25 miles of easy travel in the Agua Fria.

Short History Lesson:
The town of Gillett is incorrectly spelled as Gillette on most maps. It was named for Dan B. Gillett, the Tip Top mine's superintendent. It was where the mill for the Tip Top Mine was located and was a stage coach stop for the Phoenix-Prescott route.

At its height in 1878, Gillett had six streets the Mill, post office, a bank, assay office, hotel, real estate office, livery stable, lumberyard, meat market, truck farm, dairy, warehouse, two blacksmiths, two stagecoach stations, four stores and nine saloons/gambling houses. There was also a cemetery with 40-50 plots.

252, 25'X100' lots were for sale in Gillett in 1875 - 1878. The only obvious remains are that of the Burfind Hotel.


We took the eastern potion of the loop back to the Table Mesa TH. The last hour or so was in a steady drizzle.

Jack Rabbits, a swarm of Javelina, a gaggle of quail, and covey of Burros were among the fauna observed on the day.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Agua Fria - BCT 2 mi NW Table Mesa TH Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Agua Fria - BCT Horseshoe Crossing Light flow Light flow
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Feb 26 2018
rcorfman
avatar

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

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 26 2018
rcorfman
Hiking14.53 Miles 1,910 AEG
Hiking14.53 Miles   5 Hrs   22 Mns   2.79 mph
1,910 ft AEG      10 Mns Break9 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I decided to go for a longer hike today as I haven't done anything much over ten miles so far this year. I hiked about half of this a few weeks ago with my daughter and that wetted my appetite for a longer stretch along the BCT.

The weather was great today. A bit warmer than I expected, especially wearing long sleeves.

I saw seven mountain bikers and didn't see any other hikers until the last mile or so on my return. It was pretty quiet out but that was no surprise for a Monday.

I was expecting to see some brush starting to grow for the upcoming spring flowers but there really isn't anything. The flower show this year is looking to be dismal at best. :(
Flora
Flora
Saguaro - Crested
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Feb 01 2018
rcorfman
avatar

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

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 01 2018
rcorfman
Hiking7.31 Miles 997 AEG
Hiking7.31 Miles   2 Hrs   52 Mns   2.79 mph
997 ft AEG      15 Mns Break9 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Daughter and I hiked from the Black Canyon City TH south on the BCT to the top of the climb past the Agua Fria River, then turned back to the trailhead.

When we arrived at the trailhead, there were 15 cars, several with out of state plates. It turns out there was snowbird convention, er, a hike sponsored by the North Mt. Visitor Center.

We had a great hike, the weather was calm and mid seventies. Very nice. The Agua Fria was flowing reasonably well but we had no trouble rock hopping across.
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Jan 09 2018
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 7
 Photos 1,244
 Triplogs 474

56 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2018
toddak
Hiking25.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking25.00 Miles   10 Hrs      2.50 mph
2,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
SOBO Rock Springs to Emery Henderson on a quality trail with nice scenery and views. Not a lot of wilderness feel though, with I-17, power lines, gravel pits, shooting, etc. Good water at the 2 Agua Fria crossings.
_____________________
Jan 06 2018
Mudhole
avatar

 Routes 28
 Photos 1,661
 Triplogs 20

48 male
 Joined Apr 05 2013
 Peoria, AZ
Table Mesa TH to Black Canyon City TH - BCT, AZ 
Table Mesa TH to Black Canyon City TH - BCT, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 06 2018
Mudhole
Hiking13.61 Miles 1,904 AEG
Hiking13.61 Miles   8 Hrs      1.70 mph
1,904 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
My second northbound section of the Black Canyon Trail was a solo one-day trip from Table Mesa Trailhead to the Black Canyon City Trailhead just behind Rock Springs, AZ. A friend of mine helped me shuttle my truck to the end, and he drove me back to Table Mesa Trailhead and asked me again "what the hell are you doing out here besides hiking?" I didn't really have a solid answer for someone who doesn't understand why we do this kind of stuff.

The morning weather was comfortable enough at my 8:30am start for shorts and a light shirt, which is always a good thing because I hate hiking in long pants unless it's going to be cold all day. Compared to the sections south of Table Mesa, the desert here feels more remote and has much more vegetation and terrain change. With 4 liters on my back for the day, I got moving.

Within only about 2 miles, you come across the first of 2 crossings of the Agua Fria River. This first crossing is less dramatic than the second one because the canyon is much shallower here. The river was just a 5 foot wide nearly stagnant trickle this time of year because of how dry our winter has been, but the interesting part was how the river disappeared under the gravel riverbed in a 100' section and re-emerges in pools right on the west bank where the trail resumes to the northwest. I sat on a rock on the west bank to take in the scenery and get some pictures.

Moving on, the trail conditions are excellent for the next 3-4 miles. Smooth single-track makes for fast travel, and the little ups-and-downs through the drainages are smooth.

Huge saguaros. Clusters of broken-up white quartz. Jeeps playing in the canyons below. Javelina. A family of burros. Moderate ups and downs through scenic ridges and drainages. This part of the trail had it all. In this section, I saw a little of everything as I approached the drop down into the Agua Fria River canyon again for the 2nd (and last) crossing of this part of the BCT. I had a bit of a sprained foot through this entire area, but the cool weather and the constantly changing views helped to ease the pain. I came around one ridge and had my first views of Black Canyon City and also the river canyon below. Only about 4 miles left to go.

Once I reached the river, I just had to sit there and soak it all in again. The water was very low but it was flowing clear. This was a massive piece of the riverbed compared to the first crossing earlier in the day. It's amazing how different they were considering that the crossings were less than 10 miles apart. Completely different geology in each.

Not only would this have been a great spot to refill on water, but it's a place that I could see myself coming back to explore and overnight camp in (I'll have to check local regs to see if that's allowed here). With shade, water and long views both up and down this canyon, I'd be happy to get lost back in this section for a few days just walking along the river.

Well, the daydreaming ended and I hooked back up with the trail after an annoying walk across cobblestone river rocks, fine gravel, and horrible footing in deep sand. The debris field that I literally had to walk over to get to the water crossing must have easily been 15' higher than the current water level. This river can move some serious gallons per minute in the Spring when the snowmelt is racing through here. I'd love to hike down here from Black Canyon City and watch the sheer power of this river at its peak, but from the safety of the ridge above.

I ground out the last couple of miles and got to the parking lot where my truck awaited. There are nice pit toilets and water (considered non-potable so bring your filter or water treatment), and it's a quick drive around some private lots and you're at the Rock Springs Cafe, famous for their pie (so they claim). Instead of my original plan to stop here for a late lunch, I headed home to put my feet up. I can't wait for the next section of the BCT.
_____________________
"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
Sep 23 2017
rcorfman
avatar

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

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 23 2017
rcorfman
Hiking14.24 Miles 1,813 AEG
Hiking14.24 Miles   4 Hrs   38 Mns   3.14 mph
1,813 ft AEG      6 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I decided to head out to Black Canyon City and hike the BCT south to the road that goes out to Tip Top and back. What great weather! There was a cool breeze and it was never hot, even with my late start of almost nine. Only one short break today a few minutes after turning around to drink a Gatorade and eat a Clif bar.

The trail is in good shape and there were a fair number of Mt. bikers out; I think I saw 16. I only saw a couple of hikers out and they were between the Agua Fria and the trailhead. There's still a fair bit of water where the trail crosses the Agua Fria, but there was a spot to the west where it was easy to get across.
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Apr 30 2017
rcorfman
avatar

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

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 30 2017
rcorfman
Hiking13.83 Miles 1,809 AEG
Hiking13.83 Miles   4 Hrs   53 Mns   2.89 mph
1,809 ft AEG      6 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I thought it would be nice to get a reasonably long hike on the BCT before the summer heat sets in. Today was a good day for that as it started out coolish and wasn't too hot when I finished. There is still a fair bit of water running in the Agua Fria River. There wasn't a place to rock hop across, so I took my shoes off and waded on the way out. On the return trip, I just sloshed through, soaking my shoes and socks.

There were some Mountain Bikers out. Two were bike packing. I saw them camped at the Agua Fria, then they caught and passed me right before I turned around at Cottonwood Gulch. We talked for a few minutes and I told then what I thought the water situation would be for the rest of the BCT.

There were still some pools of water in Cottonwood Gulch and the canyon along the trail that feeds into it. I figured it would have all dried up by now. Nothing was flowing though.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
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
Jan 02 2017
rcorfman
avatar

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

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
BCT Mas Agua Fria, AZ 
BCT Mas Agua Fria, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2017
rcorfman
Hiking6.00 Miles 685 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   2 Hrs   29 Mns   2.77 mph
685 ft AEG      19 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
The plan was to hike the Black Canyon Trail south from the Black Canyon City trailhead to the top of the hill where the milk quartz bicycle and peace sign are. After all the rain we've been having, the Agua Fria was really flowing. When we reached the river it was at least 100' wide. I took my shoes off and walked out a ways but the water was up to my knees before I even hit the channel. I think the water would have been well over my waist if I continued. So we bagged that and went north to the next Agua Fria crossing and checked it out too. Then we headed back to the trailhead and headed home. I think the hike ended a couple miles shy of what we planned, but we enjoyed the day out. The trail was good and there was little mud. It was overcast and cool, great weather for walking. Interestingly, or not, the last time I was out here was exactly a year ago on my thru-hike of the BCT.
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Nov 17 2016
Sun_Ray
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 960
 Triplogs 1,137

73 male
 Joined Sep 09 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 17 2016
Sun_Ray
Hiking3.07 Miles 434 AEG
Hiking3.07 Miles   1 Hour   45 Mns   2.30 mph
434 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My community has a hiking club and I joined 10 of them this morning. Trailhead is near exit 242 off of highway 17 (Black Canyon City). Gradual up,then down to a river bed with little water at this time. Turned around at first wash. Got in a huff about the sweep guy and the follow that was with him as they were lagging WAY behind and the rest of the group and we waited for 5 minutes several time. Oops... my bad when I found out he was legally blind! If anyone of you know the name of this section of the trail please let me know.
_____________________
Brian
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday......there is no SOMEDAY!
1 archive
Feb 28 2016
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 95
 Routes 230
 Photos 9,161
 Triplogs 721

59 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Little Pan Loop from Table Mesa Road TH - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 28 2016
kingsnake
Hiking14.36 Miles 1,796 AEG
Hiking14.36 Miles   5 Hrs   10 Mns   2.78 mph
1,796 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
1 archive
Jan 02 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 3, AZ 
Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 3, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jan 02 2016
rcorfman
Backpack23.06 Miles 2,542 AEG
Backpack23.06 Miles   10 Hrs   53 Mns   2.83 mph
2,542 ft AEG   2 Hrs   44 Mns Break23 LBS Pack
 
triplog for Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 2

Last night we camped where the trail crosses the Agua Fria river near Horseshoe Bar south of the Black Canyon City trailhead. It was calm when we went to bed, but was breezy this morning when we broke camp. We were on the trail shortly after seven.

It was cold and windy when we started but we warmed up quickly as the trail gains about 665' in the first few miles to reach our high point for the day where there is some milk quartz arranged in BCT, a bicycle, and peace sign. A while later we saw a geocaching buddy of ours searching for one of Craig's puzzle caches. We yelled hello and Happy New Year across the way then continued our hike.

At one point I noticed a crested saguaro so I stopped to get a picture when three mountain bikers rode up. We chatted for a bit before they headed off. Shortly after that, I crossed a small saddle where there were a couple of brothers and their sons out camping. All but one were in their tents. It seemed like a cold place to camp. Just past Cottonwood Gulch, before the road to Tip Top, I caught up to Craig where he stopped for a break in a sheltered but warm spot. We had a snack and took off a layer of clothes as it was finally warming up.

When we reached Little Pan Loop, we took the west side to avoid the road, plus we both like it more than the east side. As earlier, I would slow to take pictures, so Craig was ahead of me. I passed a couple hiking with their dog. The man backed into a Buckhorn Cholla. Ouch! A bit later, I passed two men out hiking.

The man camping seemed happy when I told him there was good flow at the Agua Fria at Horseshoe Bar. He said there was no water were they crossed it so I was surprised when I approached it and there was lots of water both up and down stream. Well, the river was actually underground where the trail crossed.

Craig was waiting at the far side of the river. It was getting warm out and he stopped for some drink. I had a drink too and we continued on to across the road from the Table Mesa trailhead where we had water cached and stopped for lunch. There were a lot of people out shooting so it sounded like a battlefield. I turned on my phone and had a message from a friend saying he was enjoying a beer with his lunch. He didn't get a very friendly response.

I don't know why, but the Table Mesa area was very warm. We were a little concerned about the amount of water we had to get to the Henderson trailhead. Fortunately, after we crossed a ridge about four miles later, it cooled off and was very comfortable for the rest of the hike. The trail is really nice from there on the approach to the north end of the Boy Scout Loop though it does get rocky as it drops to the loop.

We took the east side of the Boy Scout Loop for the same reasons we took the west side of Little Pan Loop: to avoid the roads and we both like it better than the other side. Shortly after we finished the Boy Scout Loop, we stopped for a quick break before continuing. Craig took off ahead of me, so when I passed by some OHVers they commented how I was behind. They asked where we came from and I said Orme Road. Some woman asked if we started this morning and I said, "No, no, no." The others laughed and one commented how we probably started 20 minutes ago. It actually was pretty funny.

From there, I picked up the pace trying to catch up to Craig before we reached Henderson. He had developed a sore foot and wasn't walking his usual pace so I figured I would. I reached him just as we crested a hill that I thought was right before Henderson though it was close to a mile farther. We hiked together most of the rest of the way until I decided to take some pictures of the sunset.

Once we reached the Henderson trailhead, I went and fetched the water we had cached and we had a nice evening relaxing at the picnic table and eating dinner. It was cool, but not cold like the previous nights. It was a good feeling to know that we were almost done traversing the BCT and close to finishing the trip.

triplog for Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 4
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
2 archives
average hiking speed 2.57 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