Black Canyon Trail from Hwy 69 to Maricopa Trail to Cave Creek Park.
An overnight bikepacking excursion like no other. Karen and Tegan were kind enough to break out of the house early the day after Thanksgiving to drive me to Mayer, AZ and drop me off.
I was on the trail at about 8.
from this sign near Hwy 69 to the Maricopa Trail was about 65 miles of bliss.
lots of ranch activity all the way
big skies and long roads & trails
gate to some ripping track
dropping into the sweetness
lunch and a sip
gate with a bike roll over that leads to an old stagecoach track a few miles down the trail. rough.
one of several Agua Fria river crossings
this river crossing proved to be my only needed area (aside from a beer stop and water refill at Anthem) to filter water for on the trail
gotta love the pro bike sentiment at the top of a long hill
looking South towards the New River mountains at the campsite just N. of Table Mesa and the all night ATV riding and gunfire
Table Mesa (flat top hill just left of center) just prior to Sunrise
from my camp to New River Road was some of the most entertaining trail. There was a demanding climb just S. of Table Mesa, but once down that and on it was sublime.
looking South, this was at the end of a very windy and twisty fun morning section of riding from Table Mesa. From this point on, the BCT Trail got kind of flat - but still has a few sections of nice single-track to New River Rd. After a day and a half of casual touring pace, this view was invigorating.
some old school BCT signage. It was interesting to see the progression of the trail since the 1990's. I remember riding a few times from New River Rd. North and seeing these signs - generally leading you somewhere but usually just confusing you. A lot has changed in this section. Newer signage and newer single-track.
A very windy time heading through this area. After crossing New River Rd., the trail turns into this, crosses New river and continues onward to Carefree Highway.
Money. The connection I have been looking forward to for a while. An intersection of the Maricopa Trail and the Black Canyon Trail. From this point the Maricopa Trail traverses East and West - West to Lake Pleasant (another ride to be seen shortly...) and East to Cave Creek park and Spur Cross.
Maricopa Trail goes under I-17 near Daisy Mountain Rd.
from this point I took the MT on to Cave Creek Park after a break for a sandwich and beer in Anthem. At the park, I decided to call in for a ride back to home. It was a great solo ride and I will certainly be doing that again soon while the temps are cool.