Explore remote Black Mountain Canyon

It’s only 582 feet downhill from the paved side road of State Route 260 to the rocky trails of Black Mountain Canyon, but getting there by hiking the dirt roads is deceptively complicated.

Located in the foothills of the Upper Verde River volcanic region in Yavapai County, 15 miles east of Camp Verde, Forest Road 9243B has a backdrop of lava flows, volcanic ash deposits, water-washed ravines, and numerous geological landslides. It cuts through dramatic terrain.

These two rough tracks head north from a dirt loophole along SR 260 in the Prescott National Forest, following an eye-pleasing and leg-challenging roller coaster course with over 1,000 feet of elevation change.

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Bill Williams visible on the far right horizon of the Black Mountain Canyon Hike in Prescott National Forest, Arizona.

Evidence of volcanoes will soon be revealed

The shady, sparsely-lit roads soon take you through the region’s diverse eco-zones with spectacular views.

The trailhead is supported by two volcanic terrains. One is 13 Mile Rock Butte (5,515 feet). A striking basalt-covered terrain, it served as the midpoint of the historic 200-mile General Crook Trail, built in the 1800s to connect a series of military forts. It continued from eastern Arizona along the Mogollon Rim to the Prescott area.

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