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  1. #1
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    Black Canyon Trail

    I rode this one the following day after PP AZT. It was my first time here. This trail has more flow than PP AZT and you make distance quickly. Really neat to see flowing water in the desert. There are sections of the trail that pass through crumbled quartz outcroppings and it has a snowy looking effect on the hillside. I did momentarily capture and then release a Sonoran Gopher Snake that didn't want to move off the trail.
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    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  2. #2
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    Re: Black Canyon Trail

    Great pics Hawg, and yea BCT is a pretty spectacular trail. That pic of you holding the snake would make a great avatar.
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  3. #3
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    Awesome pics, Hawg! Looks like a good time of year to be out there.
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  4. #4
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    How many miles? Did you do an out and back? Where did you start your ride?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post
    How many miles? Did you do an out and back? Where did you start your ride?
    We were beat from the hard ride on PP AZT the day before so we only rode to the top of the lollipop loop (Little Pan Loop) from the trailhead in Rock Springs and then went back the same way. It was a hair over 17 miles out and back. Some extreme exposure there but I'm used to that living and riding in the Los Angeles area.

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  6. #6
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    This is the one I'm sad I missed out on. Looks awesome.
    Live to Fish, now Love to Ride

  7. #7
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    I'm curious. None of the photos I've seen of AZT or BCT look terribly technical. But it does look like there is a LOT of climbing. Is that the more challenging aspect of these trails?

  8. #8
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    I think its somewhat tehnical....not like South Mountain technical, but it seems like you are constantly rolling over protruding little rocks in the trail. Also, the switchbacks are constant and it gets pretty tiring. Its a fun trail though. I never rode the Northern Section (going north from Black Canyon City) but I'm told that is less technical and more flowy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post
    I'm curious. None of the photos I've seen of AZT or BCT look terribly technical. But it does look like there is a LOT of climbing. Is that the more challenging aspect of these trails?
    Neither trail is super technical but there is a few spots on each that require HAB for 99% of the riders out there. It's the fact that you are almost constantly going up and over or around or dipping into or grinding up onto something that wear's on you. PP feels like you are climbing more, IMO. I'm not complaining, of course. I will be doing both trails again and again, I hope. I think the middle of Winter would feature the best riding temps for PP, granted Winters in AZ can be down right fabulous. It was a bit too warm this past Saturday.
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  10. #10
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    Nice pics, was loads of fun, both rides. Although as much as I like the PP chunk of AZT, I really enjoyed that stretch of BCT, I also will be riding it again. Makes me want to search out some of the other trail heads and hit up a few more sections of it.

  11. #11
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    THANK YOU for posting these details; it is all coming into focus now!
    There are no switchbacks on our local trails, so that is a skill I need to do some major work on + strength/endurance in general.


    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    I think its somewhat technical....not like South Mountain technical, but it seems like you are constantly rolling over protruding little rocks in the trail. Also, the switchbacks are constant and it gets pretty tiring. Its a fun trail though. I never rode the Northern Section (going north from Black Canyon City) but I'm told that is less technical and more flowy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    Neither trail is super technical but there is a few spots on each that require HAB for 99% of the riders out there. It's the fact that you are almost constantly going up and over or around or dipping into or grinding up onto something that wear's on you. PP feels like you are climbing more, IMO. I'm not complaining, of course. I will be doing both trails again and again, I hope. I think the middle of Winter would feature the best riding temps for PP, granted Winters in AZ can be down right fabulous. It was a bit too warm this past Saturday.
    Yes, I'm guessing you have to carefully pick your desert riding days during the shoulder seasons; I live in Central Texas and it can be wildly variable at times in spring and fall. Last week it was chilly early in the week, and damned hot by Friday (close to 90 degrees). That isn't summer hot, by any means, but it was unexpectedly warm.

  12. #12
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    Not to be a bike snob...but...you guys have ridden Sedona, Flag, and South Mountain, right?! The BCT just didn't do much for me, not enough variety. And I LOVE the saguaro desert, so I really had high hopes for this trail.

    EDIT: Come to think of it, I DID have more fun at White Tanks! Certainly nothing wrong with the BCT (although the gunfire was a little disconcerting), I just wouldn't consider it a destination trail.
    Last edited by Callender; 04-02-2014 at 09:27 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callender View Post
    Not to be a bike snob...but...you guys have ridden Sedona, Flag, and South Mountain, right?! The BCT just didn't do much for me, not enough variety. And I LOVE the saguaro desert, so I really had high hopes for this trail.
    And Prescott, and Payson, and all over the rim, and 8 different passages of AZT, and everything in the valley, and White Tanks. There's nothing wrong with the BCT, perhaps you were expecting something that it was never claimed that it would provide.

  14. #14
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    Looks like a nice time of year to ride.

    Once our trails are dry enough to ride, we sometimes find garter snakes sunning themselves too

    Thanks for sharing your report and pics Hawg !
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callender View Post
    Not to be a bike snob...but...you guys have ridden Sedona, Flag, and South Mountain, right?! The BCT just didn't do much for me, not enough variety. And I LOVE the saguaro desert, so I really had high hopes for this trail.
    BCT is a FAST trail. I am from So Cal, so trail system was more down my alley. It's not as techy as typical Arizona trails are. If you were an XC racer, you'd appreciate this trail system. We saw a few packs of them passing through.
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