IMBA EPIC Ride - Black Canyon Trail (BCT), Phoenix

Black Canyon Trail (BCT)

Overview

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.

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. 

Terrain

Most of the route is flanked to the west by the Bradshaw Mountains. The BCT is an overall descent from its beginning at Prescott National Forest to its terminus at the Carefree Highway.

Access

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.

More details

The trail parallels Interstate 17 and offers a variety of experiences through the Sonoran Desert landscape, including saguaro forests and rugged canyons.

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.

Some of the information on this page has been sourced from: https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7000113/black-canyon-trail-bct-imba-epic

Trail map

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Back

95.607 km / 59.407 mi

Total Distance

1,441 m / 4,728 ft

Total Ascent

2,282 m / 7,487 ft

Total Descent

1,313 m / 4,307 ft

Highest Point

Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Sightseeing
Commuter
Rail Trail
Gravel
Various
EPIC Ride
Difficulty: Advanced (Black)
Ride Duration: Full day
Fitness Level: Ultra Fit
Terrain:
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
On-Road
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Gravel Road
Mobile Coverage: Limited
Services:
Water
Food
First Aid
Toilets
Bike hire
Carparking
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle
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