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68 Miles of Sweet Singletrack: Black Canyon Trail, AZ

There’s a good argument to be made that you cannot find a longer or more continuous stretch of singletrack than the Black Canyon Trail in Arizona.  Both Rob & I had ridden sections and after camping for the week at Table Mesa Trailhead, we decided to tackle the entire 68 miles on one of the shortest days of the year.  We had to hustle, but we got it done!

Early Start

Sunrise Start

The trail is was designed by IMBA and completed over the past 5 years.  There are small sections that are not yet complete or involve jeep/ATV double-track, but these are less than 5% of the total mileage.  95% of the trail is singletrack, and it’s all good.  Even in the descent from 4,000 foot elevation start near Prescott, AZ to 2,000 feet end on the Carefree Highway north of Phoenix, there is still 5,000 vertical feet of climbing.

Finding Trail

Finding Singletrack

It’s difficult to choose a favorite, but I would choose the section between Black Canyon City and Table Mesa (despite the significant climbing, which hurt on this ride).  The ‘Skyline’ section and descent to to the Aqua Fria river would be my recommendation.

Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee Trailhead - Mile 25

We completed the trip in 9 hours and 30 mins, with a little bit of daylight to spare.  We started at 7:30 a.m. and finished around 5:00 p.m.  Here are the statistics:

Total distance: 113.75 km (70.7 mi)
Total time: 9:31:05
Moving time: 8:20:36
Min elevation: 472 m (1549 ft)
Max elevation: 1276 m (4188 ft)
Recorded: 12/23/11 7:13 AM

68 Miles of Singletrack - Black Canyon Trail, AZ

68 Miles of Singletrack - Black Canyon Trail, AZ

Table Mesa

Table Mesa Trailhead

Sunrise

Sunrise on the Black Canyon Trail

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