|Typically Open:||Year Round|
(MODERATE - DIFFICULT)
|Highest Elevation:||3014 feet|
|Duration:||About 2 hours|
|Shape of Trail:||Straight Through|
|Best Direction to Travel:||N/A|
|Nearest Town:||Black Canyon City|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Black Canyon City|
|Official Road Name:||9958|
|Management Agency:||Bureau of Land Management|
|District:||Table Mesa Recreation Area|
If you really want to take that trail less traveled, look no further. This Black Canyon Off-road Trail - not to be confused with the Black Canyon Hiking Trail that can be found in the same area - is a poorly documented, barely mentioned - and until now unmapped - skinny, windy, hilly, and in some areas very rocky road that requires a decent off-road 4wd vehicle. It winds through the mountains between Black Canyon City and Table Mesa Recreation Area on land managed by the Hassayampa BLM Field Office, giving it the name of Back Way to Black Canyon City, or Black Canyon OHV Trail. The trail is overgrown along some portions ensuring you'll get some all natural Arizona pinstriping on your vehicle and provides plenty of technical spots for a long challenging ride through the scenic mountains. If there have been recent heavy rains, you can expect some washed out areas as well. It has lots of high desert cacti and foliage to view, and you'll also find yourself up-close to some cliffs, driving through deep dry river beds (unless it's stormy), and finding some interesting rock formations along the way.
Rocky or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 24" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 24" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 54" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.Read more about our rating system
From this intersection, head North. To the South is BLM 9999 Trail that goes through the Table Mesa Recreation Area, and to the West is BLM 9959 Trail that head to Tip Top Mine and the Bradshaw Mountains.
Continue straight (north) on 9958. To the right (east) is the northern trailhead to Upper Terminator.
Continue straight (north) on 9958. To the right (east) is the northern trailhead to TV5 (optional Upper Terminator extension).
Stay to the right (east) for 9958. To the left is the entrance to AZCO Mine where there is plenty of primitive dispersed camping.
Stay to the right (east). Left eventually stops at a dead end. The trail narrows considerably from here northward, until you reach waypoint 18, making passing and turning around considerably more difficult. The density of cacti also increases, making driving on the side of the trail much more dangerous to your tires.
After getting into the deep wash look slightly to your left (northwest) to find where the trail heads back up out of the wash. This wash eventually feeds down into [Lower Terminator](http://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1127-lower-terminator-tv2) and Collateral Damage trails, but may only be passable on foot.
This hill provides a nice view of the southern portions of the trail.
The trail starts to get a bit loser with some small rocks.
Another scenic area along the trail.
This is were the trail starts to get more interesting. From here north there are larger rocks, looser dirt, tighter turns and more extreme hills.
This large rock looks kind of like a head, or a helmet.
This wash is the most pronounced along the trail. Decent entry and departure angles are needed.
This is Slate River. It feeds down from near the Tip Top Mine area. I've seen maps suggesting one could drive up the river or hike it, but the terrain is going to be quite difficult. It would be best to stay on the main trail. If the trail so far has been difficult or troublesome for you, now is the time to turn around. It only gets more challenging from here on. Turning around beyond this point can be extremely difficult.
The rocks get much larger through this area requiring high clearance. The dirt is also loose, so some kind of traction control may be necessary - like a locker or limited slip - depending on your rig's capabilities. The sides of the trail through this area are full of large boulders and steep side hills as well. You'll also find a few sections of the road next to the side of a cliff leaving you with no options for passing or bypassing obstacles. This area gives the trail its highest rating, but some aspects could be seen as a higher technical rating in certain respects. Trail conditions can also change drastically depending on recent weather.
This is the highest elevation along the trail. The hills are steep, windy, and narrow through this area as well.
Turn right (east) down the side of the hill. If you go straight here you'll end up at the camping spot.
This is a flat wide open area, great for a large group to camp at. The trail narrows considerably from here southward, until you reach waypoint 6, making passing and turning around considerably more difficult. The density of cacti also increases, making driving on the side of the trail much more dangerous to your tires.
Continue straight (east) to head out to Black Canyon City. There are two staging areas. This intersection will take you to the upper one which is where the Black Canyon Hiking trail can also be found. Stay on the lower one if you want to drive on the OHV trail.
This intersection has a gate closing off the road that leads to private property. Don't go through the gate, and you'll be fine.
The Black Canyon OHV trail is on BLM land, but it's leased to the Boulder Creek Ranch. There are warning signs here (as well as similar signs in the Table Mesa Recreation Area) noting the ranch and that you are being monitored with cameras. You'll also find Tread Lightly signs here reminding you to treat the land responsibility. You'll also find various other hiking trails and smaller dirt road intersections through this area but stay on the main road to avoid entering private property.
There's a nice view of Black Canyon City along this portion of the road.
Stay right (west) to head into Black Canyon City. Going left (east) will take you into private property. If your approaching from Black Canyon City, go left (southwest) to avoid private land.
This unmarked dirt road meets up with the paved road Lisa Dr. within Black Canyon City. You'll turn right (south) onto Lisa Dr. to head out towards Maren Ave, which will take you west to Maggie Mine Rd. Maggie Mine Rd. will take you south to Old Black Canyon Highway.
Starting Point: Table Mesa Recreation Area
Table Mesa Recreation Area includes primitive dispersed camping and staging spots throughout. There's also a large area at the north end of the trail with plenty of room for a larger group. You can also find camping areas at a few other spots along the trail. For more details see the BLM's web page. You can also find plenty of hotel choices half-an-hour to the south in the northern Phoenix area. There's also the Mountain Breeze Motel within Black Canyon City. There's also used to be a Black Canyon City KOA but it's no longer listed on the KOA website.