Explore the most popular nature trips trails near Black Canyon City with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Had a great day going across to Sheep Bridge and back to Cave Creek. Worth seeing!

This past weekend was my second visit to this location. My amazing dude was my escort both times.
First trip: about this time last year on a Saturday into Sunday (we recollect). There were about a dozen people enjoying the creek from where we could see at our campsite. He swam, I didn’t - too cold for me. There was trash around the campsite (and scattered all around really) including a tampon and an applicator which was really phocking disgusting, people are awful. Once we got to the actual hot spring it had no other guests. We enjoyed it and decided to head back to camp. Almost at that moment, a group of hikers showed up to the tub. Perfect timing.
Second visit: not a single car or voice that we noticed in the area of what we now consider our campsite. We awoke to the sound of a helicopter landing in the clearing, literally next to our tent and vehicle hidden by the cover of trees. The chopper was so close, sand blew in our tent. We greeted the pilot and occupant happily - they commented that they didn’t even see us! They fished a bit and left. We both went swimming but I abandoned the activity after my love was bitten in the butt by a fish! No thank you, good-bye creek swimming on this trip for this gal. I can hang but I have my limits. We sat by the water chatting, snacking, & watching the fish jump. They too must have seen the fisherman in the hilo depart. We found ourselves ready to nap on the shore in some shade, the two guys playing on inner tubes on the other side were the only other company to be seen or heard. A pair showed up on quads and moved on. We thought this day was too good to be true. This really was OUR spot.
Suddenly disaster struck when one of the tube guys experienced a less than graceful expulsion from the rope swing and badly broke a leg. My guy, the helpful & conscientious person that he is, was able to fetch the quad guys whom just happened to have experience in this type of thing. It was a much more refreshing experience of humans than the beach tampon issue of last summer.
Five stars. Check it out. Bring your own rope. See you out there trail folk!

off road driving
4 months ago

Took Bloody Basin Road from I-17 all the way to Sheep Bridge and back. 4wd is not necessary but be prepared for a long drive. Plenty of spots to stop and take pics, take a break for lunch or camping areas and the last 1/4 before Sheep Bridge gets kinda rocky/bumpy so your speed will slow down. Sheep bridge is a great place to wander and explore.

off road driving
4 months ago

No hot springs found from the other reviews. Roads are very rocky, 5 hours to Peoria.

horseback riding
7 months ago

I live in Bumble Bee and ride my horse all the time on the BCT. It has great footing, very scenic and crosses the Agua Fria and Black Canyon rivers in several spots. It has everything to offer with mountain views, switchback for challenges, easy stretches and yes you will get you wet in a few places! There are nice trailheads spaced out where you can shuttle. There are good camping spots for thru hikers or riders near water. Also communities and a ranch along the way for supplies or over night stays. And of course you deserve a slice of pie at the Rock Springs trailhead !
When this trail is complete it will go all the way to Williams !

scenic driving
9 months ago

took bloody basin from the 17 to Sheep bridge intersecting 7 springs. took 7 springs back into town. nice drive, 2wd friendly

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

very long dirt raod.

hiking
Thursday, November 17, 2016

I made the drive out to the Sheep Bridge Hot Spring today. As others have stated, the road is long and very bumpy but I made it in my Outback just fine. I wouldn't take a vehicle down this road that isn't up for some abuse. It is similar to the Fossil Creek road but quite a bit longer. There has been some recent road maintenance on the last 11 mile section going down into the river. Even with the maintenance, the last 11 miles are extremely rough and require slow going but 4x4 isn't necessary. I drove in from I-17 and out through Seven Springs and both ways are incredibly scenic. The spring and tub are small but very unique and very neat. Someone spent some good time and effort creating the rock tub and it was a great experience to soak under the bamboo. I spent two hours in the tub and only heard one vehicle and no one bothered me. If you don't know about the spring you could come down to the bridge and not even know the tub is there. I can see this spot being very busy during certain times of the year and on weekends but today it was a perfect place of solitude and relaxation. This kind of spot is why I love living in AZ.

camping
Friday, March 11, 2016

My family and I have been going to the Sheep Herders Hot Spring for nearly 35 years. It has had many changes throughout the years, and we personally have helped build many a "Tubs" in the past. It could definitely use some TLC and a larger tub. In the past we used to have 250gal water troughs that cascaded into each other, but that was before the Verde took away the banks.
I would HIGHLY suggest bringing a good rope for a swing from off the Bridge. It's real easy to attach off the Suspension Bridge and a lot of fun.
Enjoy, but PLEASE clean up your trash.

off road driving
Monday, January 25, 2016

Great day trip. Probably good idea to have high clearance but 4WD not usually needed.

off road driving
Monday, November 30, 2015

Finished the last 1/3 of Cave Creek, all of Bloody Basin (FR269), to I-17 in the dark... in my Kia Sorento. I need to go back through int he daylight to get some photos of the view; which I imagine must be spectacular.

nature trips
Friday, November 06, 2015

Here is a link to my movie I made while there https://youtu.be/t3c7kXIbsP8

scenic driving
Friday, November 06, 2015

thanks to Curtis Wagners awesome directions down below We went in via Camp Verde and left towards I-17. My advice to anyone is take the Camp Verde directions and even stop in the rangers station at the Bartlet lake turn off for better maps and advice from the nice ranger who works there. The first 21 miles were absolutely beautiful and smooth driving with speeds avg from 20-40 mph. It got a little rougher the next 13 or so miles due to the heavy rain fall the day before 10-25 mph. It was the last 11 miles that reduced our speeds to 2-10 mph to avoid tire puncture due to the amount of river rock on the road. We even locked the medium clearance Subaru with low profile street tire into 4 wheel drive to pass through some of the deeper puddles. Any full size 2 wheel drive truck should be fine until you get below the bridge in the sandy area's. The trip is worth it if you like non crowded hiking camping and fishing. Water is deep enough for kayaks and is full of bass which can be seen from the bridge. There are rapids coming in and then about 400 yards away rapids going out. If you plan to camp bring firewood or an axe/chainsaw to cut up some of the many dead trees. Please pack your trash out and clean up what others left behind. It was not to bad. there are tons of places to camp on the sandy beaches down below the bridge and down river. Bring quads and you can explore for miles a long the river without seeing another human. Drive slow the last stretch because it will knock your fillings loose

hiking
Friday, April 03, 2015

It was a long and bumpy ride in from seven springs campground (highly suggest high clearance vehicles -many people had trucks and razors). Although the ride was slow, it was beautiful. As soon as you reach the parking in front of the bridge, we all had a huge relief, YES! It was worth the drive. We went at the end of March 2015, the river was full of life, there was people jumping off the bridge having a blast.
I had heard of the hot springs being close to the bridge, just north on the West Bank. We asked some people that go there often and they kept insisting we were talking about the springs 30 miles away.
The spring (just one, it's a small tub of concreat, fits only 2) is fun to find. You can enter at the top right next to the bridge and walk down, or you can go back to the parking area, walk down the path to the river, head to your right and you will eventually see the tunnel of cat tails leading the way. I unfortunately was dehydrated so couldn't enjoy the full experience, but once we found it I felt like my mission was complete. I would definitely go back again, also, there are many camping spots there and along the way.

camping
Sunday, January 11, 2015

After seeing the people who frequent the Sheep Bridge area (which is littered with broken glass and shell casings) I have decided not to get into the "hot" springs.

hiking
Wednesday, October 08, 2014

This is quite a difficult hike to get to, the Forest Roads are not well maintained and you will need a high Clearance vehicle to get there. However, the hike itself is spectacular, following Red Creek through a tree canopy covered running creek for the majority of the hike. Although the creek is relatively flat, the terrain can change and is mostly rocky with some sandy areas. The Red Creek rapids on the Verde river are well worth the journey and is a welcome cool swimming place.
Be aware that this is also a mrked Jeep Trail, so watch out for the occassional 4 wheel drive vehicle.

off road driving
Monday, October 06, 2014

There are two primary routes to Sheep Bridge from the Phoenix side. The first is to travel up the I-17 to Bloody Basin Rd. You then follow Bloody Basin Rd. until it turns into 269 and then follow 269 to the end. The distance from the I-17 to Sheep Bridge is just under 40 miles and it all dirt road. Parts of the dirt road are fairly rough but passable in a two- wheel drive vehicle with good clearance (truck, SUV ). An alternative is to travel up Cave Creek Rd past Seven Springs. Then you continue up the 24 until you get to the 269. From this junction it is 11 more miles on the 269 to Sheep Bridge. The 24 is graded nicely and is easy to travel. The last 11 miles on the 269 is a bit rougher and needs higher clearance.

From the I-17 and Carefree highway, both routes took about 3 hours total. The last 11 miles taking about an hour of that.

When you get to Sheep Bridge, it is 500+ feet long and spans the Verde River. There are multiple activities to enjoy. Swimming in the Verde River, fishing, a hot (warm) spring just to the north of the bridge (have to pass back behind the back of the reeds and the hill), camping and hiking. Even saw kayaks coming down the river. The three hiking trails that can be access here are Verde River Trail #11, Dutchman Grave Trail #22, and Willow Spring Trail #223. While looping hikes are possible, they would be very lengthy so plan carefully.

This year we have had record rain over the last month. Both drives were absolutely beautiful.

scenic driving
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Finished drive today between Cave Creek Rd (FR24)', west on Bloody Basin (Fr269) to I-17. Road was in worse shape than expected. Many ruts and signs of recent erosion. Scenery is nice. Not many other vehicles, but this was a weekday in the winter so that's not a big surprise. Will do again, but will plan for more time to complete the trip.

off road driving
Sunday, September 01, 2013

Long ATV ride! Take extra fuel, water and proper clothing! The hot-spring is hidden down the hill, north of the sheep bridge in the reeds. Only saw one other vehicle on the way in.

hiking
Sunday, March 11, 2012

This is a great warmer hot spring. You can only fit 2, maybe 3 people in. It's a little tough to find. But after hiking the Verde River trail, your senses will take over and get you to the water for some R&R.
And BTW, this is NOT even close to Black Canyon City, unless you consider a 2 hour drive on a dirt road "close".

off road driving
6 days ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
Tuesday, October 07, 2014