Black Canyon OHV Trail

4.7/5 (6 reviews)
Black Canyon City, Arizona (Yavapai County)
Last Updated: 04/09/2019
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Trail Information


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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

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:

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (6 reviews)
Status: Open
Visited: 12/13/2021

Combined this with Little Pan and Indian Fort for an interesting midday drive. After Slate Creek, it definitely became "difficult"; I learned a lot going through this section about the abilities of my JK setup. I avoided most of the pin striping by going slow and angling more....until Slate Creek and after....nothing a good buff job shouldn't be able to pull out.
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 10/09/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Fun desert hill trail. Definitely overgrown so you’ll here the scratches lol. But awesome winding trail that goes on for a while.
Trail Review: Black Canyon OHV Trail - Clay Drew
Trail Review: Black Canyon OHV Trail - Clay Drew
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/30/2021

My daughter and I ran this from south to north today on my 2021 Royal Enfield Himilayan. Got hairy in a few spots, the large rocky climb was a bit more then I wanted to deal with but got the bike through. Really pretty trail.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 04/03/2021

What a great trail! One section was a bit more on the "difficult" side than expected but a total blast to run. There were a few ass pucker moments but that just made it more fun. Total run time including a couple of pit stops and lunch was almost 4 hours. Now, something I learned about this trail is the proper etiquette is to run from south to north, which we did, starting at Table Mesa Rd. and ending in the northern part of Black Canyon City. Most of this trail is very narrow with NO ROOM to turn around or pull off to the side if you meet someone coming from the other direction.
Status: Open
Visited: 01/08/2021

Just ran this Trail on Friday, scoping it out for a possible jamboree. I had previously attempted this trail from the north and ran about a third of it. There were no major issues with the trail, the rock garden was cool, the scenery was awesome, and I really enjoyed the trail. Thank you for recording this on Trails Offroad road. You can see my video of our trip below.

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