The back way to Black Canyon City is a BLM off-road 4wd trail that travels parallel to the Black Canyon Trail's hiking network. It's very skinny in spots, being only one vehicle wide in areas where passing cannot be accomplished at all. In other areas, passing most likely will require both vehicles going slightly off the trail while avoiding any cacti plants that could puncture even the toughest rock crawling tires. The southern half is otherwise not difficult as you drive on well-packed dirt through gentle curves and hills. However, further north, especially north of Slate River, you'll find larger rocks, looser dirt, tighter turns and steeper hills. There's even a few hundred foot long section of the road that was chiseled out of a steep rocky hill-side. Four-wheel drive is definitely a must, and some spots require larger tires with a locker and/or a traction control system highly recommended. There's also the danger of areas being washed out creating potentially dangerous conditions.
If you access this trail from the south, you'll likely cross State Trust Land which requires a permit
Also see: http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/fo/hassayampa_field_office.html
1. 9999 & 9958 & 9959 Intersection
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.
2. 9958 & Upper Terminator intersection
Continue straight (north) on 9958. To the right (east) is the northern trailhead to Upper Terminator
3. 9958 & TV5 intersection
Continue straight (north) on 9958. To the right (east) is the northern trailhead to TV5 (optional Upper Terminator extension).
4. AZCO Camping & 9958 intersection
Stay to the right (east) for 9958. To the left is the entrance to AZCO Mine where there is plenty of primitive dispersed camping.
5. Stay Right (northwest)
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.
6. Deep Wash
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.
7. Hill top
This hill provides a nice view of the southern portions of the trail.
8. Rocky hills
The trail starts to get a bit loser with some small rocks.
Another scenic area along the trail.
10. Tight Rutted Hill Turn
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.
11. Bolder head
This large rock looks kind of like a head, or a helmet.
12. Rut Wash
This wash is the most pronounced along the trail. Decent entry and departure angles are needed.
13. Slate Creek
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.
14. Big rocks
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.
15. High point
This is the highest elevation along the trail. The hills are steep, windy, and narrow through this area as well.
16. Camping Spot
Turn right (east) down the side of the hill. If you go straight here you'll end up at the camping spot.
17. Large Staging & Camping Area
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.
18. Staging Areas Intersection
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.
19. Private Property Gate
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.
20. Ranch Gard
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.
21. City Overlook
There's a nice view of Black Canyon City along this portion of the road.
22. To Private Land or Trail Intersection
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.
23. Lisa Dr. & Dirt Road Intersection
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.