West Fork Black River Trail #628

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

The trail begins on a fairly level grade and takes you through stands of Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine and aspen, with some grass meadows thrown in for variety. Click here for printable information and map.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Open , with advisory TRAIL NOT CLEARED OF HAZARDS, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK
Best Season: April through November, weather permitting.
Restrictions: To avoid user conflict, it is closed to horseback riding and motorized vehicles.
Water: Bring drinking water as water sources in the area are untreated.

General Information

Directions: From the Eagar stoplight, travel west on AZ Highway 260 for 9.6 miles to AZ Highway 373. Turn left (south) on AZ Highway 373 for 4.3 miles. Turn right on Osborne Road. The trailhead is .2 mile on the left.
General Notes:
  • This trail does not go to the West Fork Campground.
  • This trail was built specifically for hiking and mountain bicycle use.  
  • The black rubber bars set across the trail are water bars, designed to carry runoff away from the trial to prevent erosion. It is safe to ride over on a bicycle.
  • Only experienced mountain bikers should attempt the portion of the trail that descends to the Black River as it becomes very steep. 

Parking:

Parking is available at either the Thompson Trail #629 and the Indian Springs Trail #627 trailheads.


Activities


Hiking

Hide detail HIDE

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

The trail begins on a fairly level grade and takes you through stands of Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine and aspen, with some grass meadows thrown in for variety. A few rolling hills dominate the first 2.5 miles, then the trail drops down to the Black River drainage. This portion of the trail is very steep, which should present little problem to hikers but mountain bikers may find it difficult. In the words of an enthusiast, ``If you ride it down, you have to pack it up.'' Before dropping down, the trail follows the canyon rim, offering magnificent views of the river. About halfway down the slope you will come to a rock slide with a rustic bridge spanning it. As you prepare to cross, pause a moment and listen. Deep beneath the rocks you can hear the distinct sound of a spring bubbling. From the bridge, it is a short way to the river.

Once at the West Fork, reward yourself by wetting your fishing line or relaxing in a shady grove. Note where beavers have gnawed willows and aspen saplings to build a nearby dam or look for animal tracks in the mud of the stream bank. Soon it will be time to turn back and return along the same trail with a new perspective.

USGS Maps: 280SW, Big Lake SW, AZ. The trail was completed in the summer of 1991 and is not yet indicated on the map.

Best Season: April through November, weather permitting.
Areas & Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
6 miles, round trip

  Elevation : 
9,075 feet - 9,275 feet

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/asnf/recreation/horseriding-camping/recarea/?recid=64803&actid=50