Black Range Crest Trail #79
ElevationAscent: 3,022' 921 m
Descent: -4,190' -1,277 m
High: 9,417' 2,870 m
Low: 6,149' 1,874 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 44% (24°)
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“A newly rehabilitated trail that offers magnificent vistas of the Gila.”— Christopher Bare
This trail is a newly rehabilitated (as of April 2016) five-mile stretch of singletrack that has been in general disrepair since large forest fires devastated this area of the Gila in 2013. The trail is generally a robust climb with great vistas on the way in, and a steep downhill on the way back to the parking area. Be cautious as the trail fades away after about five miles and can easily be lost.
If you are well oriented, you can actually hike all the way to Royal John Mine road and then take the road down to Highway 61 for a great long distance trek, but this is best accomplished with a shuttle and again, the trail can be very rough and hard to find following the five-mile mark.
The best part of the trail is approximately a 3.5-mile section from the Emory Pass trailhead to a meadow at the base of Sawyers Peak. This makes a good resting point as you'll have completed a robust climb. Use caution as much of the trail goes in and out of the 2013 burn area and fallen trees are a potential hazard.
Land Manager: USFS - Gila National Forest Office