Black Canyon National Recreation Trail



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Want to get out of the city, see undisturbed beautiful desert, like adventure, love clean air and clear skies? Why not check out Emery Henderson Trailhead (New River) or the Black Canyon City Trailhead (Black Canyon City).

This 80 mile trail features hiking, mountain biking, and horse riding. This historic trail is of national significance, following a route used since the times of pre-historic Native American travelers and traders.  The Department of the Interior officially established the route as a livestock driveway in 1919, when it was used by woolgrowers from the Phoenix area to herd sheep to and from their summer ranges in the Bradshaw and Mingus Mountains. The trail north of highway 69 is still used as a cattle driveway. The trail ends at the Prescott National Forest boundary.

The Black Canyon National Recreation Trail was originally designed as a livestock driveway. Many segments of the trail roughly parallel the old Black Canyon stagecoach road between Phoenix and Prescott.  At present, 13.3 miles of this trail between the Emery Henderson Trailhead and Table Mesa Road, provide a pleasant route to follow.

The trail travels the desert floor along the southern end of the Bradshaw Mountains for several miles, linking segments of the trail with four-wheel-drive roads.  At about mile 7, the trail enters the foothills and winds around ridges and drainages.  At mile 13.3, the trail becomes a challenge to follow.  Segments not yet reconstructed are hard to locate because tracks have faded over time.

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