National Recreation Trails Database


Trail Description Continued

The Black Canyon National Recreation Trail is a high-quality long-distance non-motorized single track recreation experience for hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers, benefiting local residents along with national appeal. Segments of the trail range from rural to backcountry settings.

The non-motorized, single-track trail is designed for use by equestrians, hikers, and mountain bikers. It is approximately 82 miles long, stretching from the Carefree Highway (AZ Highway 74), northward along the base of the Bradshaw Mountains, beyond highway 69 near the town of Spring Valley and Mayer to the Prescott National Forest. The Copper Mountain Loop, still under construction, will offer almost 8 more miles to the trail and will link to Mayer.

Eventually, there will be more trailheads added to the system. Big Bug Trailhead along Highway 69 will be the next trailhead to open. The Bob Bentley Trailhead, located west of the Arizona Fish and Game complex on Highway 74 is also planned.

Trail users are constantly rewarded with breathtaking scenic vistas and glimpses of the varied historical activities that have echoed through these hills.

A historical trail of regional and national significance, it follows a route used since Pre-historic Native American travelers and traders. The Department of the Interior officially established the route as a livestock driveway in 1919, when it was used by woolgrowers from the Phoenix valley area to herd sheep to and from their summer ranges in the Bradshaw Mountains and the Black Hills (BLM, 1993). Sections of the trail are still being used to herd sheep to its summer range.


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This website provides access to the National Recreation Trail (NRT) database, a collection of information on the various trails which have been designated as NRT's. These trails are located throughout the United States and U.S. territories. The amount of information may vary from trail to trail. If you need more information than is available on this site, please use the contact(s) listed for that trail. (If no contacts, are listed, you may request help from American Trails at

The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails: