The past two hiking excursions have been to the Big Bug Canyon area, between Mayer and Spring Valley, AZ. It is drained and informed by Big Bug Wash, which flows out of the Bradshaw Mountains, southeast of Prescott. I have been in search of the most ill-defined section of Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, which starts in north Phoenix and goes to Big Bug Canyon- a distance of some 85 miles. This section is the trail from the crags on the north side of Big Bug Canyon to Dripping Snake Spring. I focused, the past two hikes, on Big Bug Wash and on the ridge which is cut by Old Sycamore Road, north of the wash.
I may well have found the elusive, and seldom-used, trail sector. Here is the creekbed of Big Bug Wash, just below the remnants of Granite Dells Trading Post.
At the end of this segment of wash, lies Big Bug Dam, now little more than a retaining wall.
This was the scene last Tuesday, at what had been Granite Dells Trading Post.
This afternoon, I set out in search of the actual trailhead. Walking along the north rim of Big Bug Canyon was one ploy.
The rim road goes as far as this ranch, whose owner may or may not let hikers on the premises.
This road has lots of heart-shaped rocks, including this little pink granite.
Here is the apparent trail, between Old Sycamore Road and the tunnel under Highway 69.
Here is the tunnel.
On the south side of the tunnel, the climb down to, and past, the meandering Big Bug Wash awaits, for another day.
On the other side of the canyon, the ridges to the north are yet another beckoning site.
Next up: A day in Cave Creek.