Black Canyon National Recreation Trail Information Sheet


Black Canyon National Recreation Trail


The trail is 40 miles north of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The northern end is 40 miles from Prescott, Arizona. 

Brief Description 

Hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers are welcome on this 80-mile trail, which is for non-motorized use. 

National Recreation Trail Designation 

Trails with this designation are recognized as having exemplary local and national significance. The Black Canyon National Recreation Trail (NRT) received the designation in 2008 because of its scenic beauty, rugged features and historic importance. As you hike or ride this trail, you are following a route used continually since the times of prehistoric Native American travelers and traders. Some stretches are part of the Black Canyon stagecoach and historic livestock driveway. 


Here are four ways to access the Black Canyon NRT from Interstate 17:

  • Emery Henderson Trailhead: Take Exit 232 at New River Road. Go west about two miles on New River Road and turn right at the developed area.
  • Black Canyon City Trailhead: Take Exit 242 at Rock Springs in Black Canyon City. Go west. Turn right at the stop sign and then take a quick left onto Warner Road. Follow the road to the white tank which sits near the trailhead.
  • Gloriana Parking Area: Take Exit 248 to Bumble Bee and Crown King. Proceed about a half-mile to the trailhead on the left. The dirt parking area accommodates five to eight vehicles.
  • Big Bug Trailhead: Take Exit 262 toward Prescott on Highway 69. Proceed 4.2 miles and turn left into the entrance on the south side of the highway. The trailhead will be just beyond mile marker 266.

Permits, Fees, Limitations

There are no use fees. Segments of the trail are not recommended for novice horseback riders. Some terrain is  challenging for mountain bikers. New River, Black Canyon City, Bumble Bee, and Cleator U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps are pertinent.


Hassayampa Field Office
BLM Phoenix District
2020 E Bell Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85022

Publication Date


Phoenix DO
Hassayampa FO


Collection: Public Room
Category: Fact Sheet


Mountain Biking