As you drive north on Interstate 17 just beyond Black Canyon City, a long, rugged escarpment, looming some 4,000 feet above the desert floor, comes into view to the west. You are looking into the folded canyons of the Castle Creek Wilderness, located along the eastern flank of the Bradshaw Mountains overlooking the Agua Fria River.
Castle Creek, the wilderness area’s namesake creek, derives its own name from the castellated rock walls through which it flows before emptying into the Agua Fria. Prospectors once sought gold and silver in the Bradshaws and numerous defunct mines dot the wilderness landscape—the Crown King, Bill Arp, Lincoln, Tiger, Button, Gazelle, Howard, Boaz, Pacific, and Algonquin, the remains of which lie along the Algonquin Trail. This trail guide covers an area with 26.5 miles of trails.
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