The Road to 65, Mile 57: Back Among the Saddled, Again

January 24, 2015, Bumble Bee, AZ- I found, late this morning, that I had previously reached the trail head of Antelope Springs- Hidden Treasure segment of the Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, which I am determined to complete, in segments, during this calendar year.  Gleefully, I headed out from the large water tank that marks Antelope Springs.


The first mile, or so, of the trail is easy, flat and distinguished only by what is probably the northwesternmost sahuaro in Arizona.  All was quiet, too, which gave me the solitude I craved this noon, after a week of earnest service to a homeless veteran and a class of Special Needs students.

While the trail stayed sanguine, the rocks were the star attractions.  Smooth quartz, mostly milky white, was dispersed along the way- with a couple fields of shattered shards.  Other pieces were marbled with granite, or infused with iron.SAM_3766



A surprise came, around the first mile point, in the form of a large boulder of blue granite.SAM_3772

Then there were lots more broken bits of silica.SAM_3785

The trail began to get more rugged around the area where Hidden Treasure Mine was supposed to be.  I found no indication of the mine, which is probably just as well.SAM_3787

I did find an ominous hooded figure, but it was merely a standing bit of granite.SAM_3793

In Government Canyon, where I took a brief rest, around Mile 4, I saw a marbled granite gem.SAM_3800

The trail kept on rising, then began to descend towards Bumble Bee and Bland Hill Road, around Mile 5.SAM_3805

Sahuaro are a bit more numerous in this area, and face the ravages of being approached by the occasional errant horse, or human.  There were plenty of both along the trail today.  It was a gorgeous day, and about two dozen horses, with both Western and English riders, happened along.  I picked up a shoe that one of the animals had lost, and the group later gave it to me as a souvenir.  About eight bicyclists also enjoyed the trail.SAM_3806

I took note of the next starting point, at mile 6.2, just a mile or so west of Bumble Bee, an old mining town that is now home to about two dozen intrepid families.SAM_3811

Off to the southeast, and up on a steep hill, I could see Sunset Point, the major highway rest area, on I-17, between Phoenix and the turnoff to Prescott.


Heading back to the water tank, I spotted twoformations, in different light.


This outcropping contained a marker for stockmen to keep their animals in single file, as if they needed any such cue, on this trail.SAM_3817

So it went, that I completed not one, but two, segments of this well-worn trail.  Next segment will take me from Bumble Bee to Black Canyon City, sometime in late February.

9 thoughts on “The Road to 65, Mile 57: Back Among the Saddled, Again

  1. That looks like a wonderfully maintained trail, Gary — a good one to follow from end to end. The rocks are wonderful — some real treasures! And I wondered through the first part of the post where the saguaros were ~ ~ ~


  2. I think this is among the most significant info for me. And i’m glad reading your article.
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