Black Canyon Trail #114

Black Canyon Trail #114 is exceptionally scenic and provides panoramic views of the Verde Valley, the red rock country above Sedona, and the San Francisco Peaks. There is an elevation gain of over 2,200 feet from the bottom of the trail to where it meets FR 413, making it a good choice for horseback riders and hikers looking for a more challenging route. This trail begins at Quail Springs in cactus, mesquite, and juniper. It climbs steadily along the slopes overlooking Black Canyon. The upper portion of the trail enters Gaddes Canyon where ponderosa pines grow alongside large walnut and oak trees to create a lush, green canopy not often encountered in this part of Arizona. Black Canyon Trail #114 connects with several other roads and trails to provide diverse recreation opportunities across a large area.


Printable Trail Description and Map (783 KB PDF; 8.5” X 11”)

At a Glance

Fees: No
Open Season: Summer
Usage: Medium
Closest Towns: Approximately 25 minutes from Cottonwood, AZ to lower trailhead; 1 hour to upper trailhead
Water: Not available. Surface water should be treated.

General Information


From its intersection with 89A just outside Cottonwood, travel southwest on Hwy 260 approximately 2.6 miles to FR 359. Turn right onto FR 359 and go 4.2 miles to the trailhead. Parking is good.

Alternate access is via the upper trailhead on Mingus Mountain. From its intersection with Interstate 17, travel 12.2 miles on Hwy 260 to the junction with Hwy 89A. Turn left and go 16.8 miles, through Jerome, to the Mingus Summit and Forest Road 104. Turn left onto FR 104 and travel 1.4 miles to FR 413. Turn right onto FR 413 and go 5.8 miles to the trailhead, on the right. Parking is poor.

From the junction of Hwy 89/89A in Chino Valley, travel 18.3 miles on Hwy 89A to the Mingus Summit. Turn right onto FR 104 and follow the directions above to the upper trailhead.

Road conditions are suitable for most vehicles.

General Notes:
  • Maps:
    • USGS Map: 7.5" quad for Cottonwood
    • Prescott National Forest, east half
  • Average hiking time: 2.5 hours, one way


Mountain Biking

  • Mountain bicyclists may prefer to park a shuttle vehicle at the lower trailhead and begin their ride at the trailhead off of FR 413.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult

Day Hiking

  • This trail offers extraordinary views and a more challenging hike into Gaddes Canyon.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult


  • This trail connects with many others, creating opportunities for extended trips in the area.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult

Horse Riding

  • What is a strenuous hike is a pleasant ride through this beautiful area below Mingus Mountain.
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
6.4 miles

  Elevation : 
6,355 feet