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Black Canyon Trail (BCT) - IMBA EPIC

 4.3 (30)

77.7 Miles 125.0 Kilometers



4,411' 1,345 m


-7,172' -2,186 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (11°)

4,365' 1,330 m


1,604' 489 m


Shared By Leslie Kehmeier


All Clear 24 days ago
Dry - There are some places that may need clearing of overgrown mesquite, but other than that it's fine History

Getting forecast...

An exciting, long-distance singletrack experience through the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains.

Leslie Kehmeier

Bureau of Land Management Treasures

One of the Bureau of Land Management's "Backyard to Backcountry" treasures, this trail was developed between The Black Canyon Trails Coalition, IMBA and the Hassayampa, AZ BLM office to provide world-class riding experiences.

Check out the top 20 BLM Backyard to Backcountry rides!

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-


The Black Canyon Trail (BCT) is a long-distance singletrack that runs from the boundary of the Prescott National Forest, across Highway 69 south to the Carefree Highway.

The trail parallels Interstate 17 and offers a variety of experiences through the Sonoran Desert landscape, including saguaro forests and rugged canyons. Most of the route is flanked to the west by the Bradshaw Mountains.

Need to Know

Due to its length, the BCT is often broken into segments and can be accessed from multiple trailheads along the route. Depending on your vehicle situation, both out-and-back rides and point-to-point routes are possible.


The BCT is an overall descent from its beginning at Prescott National Forest to its terminus at the Carefree Highway. The majority of riders skip the section north of Hwy 69 and start with the Big Bug segment heading south.

The northern reaches vary from open and rolling desert to small canyons. The middle sections from Bumble Bee to the Table Mesa trailhead offer the most dramatic scenery and the most adventurous riding. From the Black Canyon trailhead south to the bottom of Little Pan, expect multiple crossings of the Agua Fria River.

The southern section of the BCT is mellow with a gradual descent. Many people stop at Emery Henderson trailhead as the section between there and the Carefree Highway is flat and uninteresting compared to the rest of the route.

History & Background

The BCT was designated as a National Recreation Trail in 2008. The Black Canyon Trail Coalition has been instrumental in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of the trail.


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Your Check-Ins


Nov 11, 2018
PJ Garadis
Oct 25, 2018
Justin Lowry
Awesome trail, slightly overgrown at the moment, but still great 77.7mi
May 5, 2018
Mike Kortas
May 3, 2018
Matt Hage
Connected to Little Pan Trail for loop — 2h 00m
Apr 22, 2018
Jake Tran
Apr 8, 2018
Ashelee Weeks
Apr 7, 2018
Ashelee Weeks
Mar 25, 2018
Nils-Erik Hilliard

Stewarded By

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 30 votes


in Mayer


  4.3 from 30 votes
5 Star
4 Star
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in Mayer


in Arizona


2,136 Views Last Month
57,250 Since Nov 18, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Really fun trail, but rider be warned... everything is HARD and SHARP in the desert. We rode from Mayer to Table Mesa in a few days. Highly recommend sleeves, high-socks, and plenty of spare tubes. November was a great call for our group, the temperature was perfect. Very light traffic... we only ran into a few other riders. Super fun! Nov 6, 2017
We just did the BCT as a 3 day 2 night Bikepack. What an epic trail. Despite everything being hard and sharp (rock, cactus, etc) we had no flats between 5 of us for 3 days (unheard of). Only ran into a couple other riders the entire time. There was nothing flowing in the Agua Fria so river crossings were not an issue. We camped first night just down trail from Bumblebee ranch. Second night, after a great meal and awesome Pie in Black Canyon City, we headed about 6 miles down trail and camped for the night. The last day was hot and our biggest day at 23 miles to the cars. Highly recommend the BCT- Epic scenery and wildlife (coyote, tortoise, bird life, etc) DO IT! Mar 18, 2018
Are there any individual with a truck or a vehicle that can carry 3 guys and their bikes to the Mayer trailhead front North Phoenix area (04/22).? We’ll compensate for time and gas. Apr 16, 2018

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