Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, Part 2: Old Sycamore Sector

As the day started bright and sunny, after yesterday’s intermittent rain, I heard the call of the trail loud and clear.  So, after a brief visit to the Winter Farmer’s Market, I headed to Mayer, and the northernmost segment of Black Canyon Trail.  Old Sycamore Sector stretches from just north of the culvert that goes under AZ Rte. 69, past Old Sycamore Road, to a series of rises and buttes some 3 1/2 miles to the north and east.

The first part of the trail heads up to old Sycamore Road, from Big Bug Wash, a distance of a half mile.


As with the lower elevated areas of Big Bug, the native lichen is a yellow sort.


The weather looked to be a bit challenging, but that doesn’t stop a true Westerner from going forth.


Here, one may see the far range of the Old Sycamore area.


I reached Old Sycamore Road, my northernmost attainment in the area, to date, in about 10 minutes.  The trail signs were clearly visible at this point, about two miles further east from where I had hiked previously.


The trail led over and around a series of ridges, perfect exercise on a cool and windy day!


Looking straight ahead, I was delighted to watch a parade of pronghorns, unfortunately not visible through the camera lens, but a joy to behold, nonetheless.


Heart rocks abounded here, including one embedded in the trail- a good sign for the road ahead.


About 3/4 mile from Old Sycamore Road, I found this neat little picnic spot. Here, I enjoyed an energy bar and a healthy portion of the trail mix that I put together from various items I purchased from my friends, the Kaurs- owners of The Honeyman.


A gate separates the BLM area from a private ranch, and on the BLM side, there was a unique trail marker.


The northern fork of Big Bug Creek offers the most heavily-wooded area on the trail.  Here there is an abundance of chaparral, mulberry and Gambel’s oak.


Once past the creek bed, I found a rare pyramid rock, in the middle of the trail.


The northernmost cairn on the trail had been knocked down, quite a while ago, from the looks of it.


From there, the trail was less clear, and came to an end atop a small butte, looking off towards I-17 and a series of power lines.


So, now my curiosity about the foothills segments of Black Canyon is satisfied.  Next, it’ll be time to gradually explore the trail from Antelope Creek Road, southwards to Carefree Highway, or vice versa.

4 thoughts on “Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, Part 2: Old Sycamore Sector

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