This trail should be excellent for running. The tread is smooth and relatively rock free. Very well constructed trail.
The trail has been completed since 2016, jointly by the BLM and ACE Field School. It is maintained by the Black Canyon Trail
Coalition. This trail was constructed for mountain biking, making it nice for walking or running. The tread is for the most part smooth and free of rocks.
There are views of Mount Union and the Bradshaw Mountains to the west and Cedar Bench and Pine Mountain Wilderness areas to the east. For biking, it is recommended to do the loop in the counterclockwise direction, although I did it clockwise.
Park in the Big Bug Trailhead on Arizona Highway 69. It is just west of the village of Spring Valley. After heading through the gate at the edge of the lot, bear left to head north on the Black Canyon Trail
The south end of the Copper Mountain Loop Trail leaves the BCT 1.6 miles from the parking lot, just before the first drainage. In about a quarter mile, a series of unmarked trail intersections can be confusing. Do not follow any of the paths down into the wash but stay on the trail that traverses the slope above the wash.
The trail eventually crosses the wash twice and can be confusing. About 1.1 miles from the BCT intersection, the trail leaves the wash and heads up the hill into some beautiful rocks and canyons.
At 2.2 miles, the trail reaches a high point overlooking AZ Highway 69, and pastoral views of the countryside. There is an unmarked junction here with a side trail heading down toward the highway. Take a very sharp right turn to go back north. The trail heads generally north from here for 2 miles, eventually encountering a dirt road long enough to pass through a gate.
At 4.5 miles, the trail crosses another dirt road and then swings sharply east to head up over the shoulder of Copper Mountain. The trail contours roughly level around the southeast and east shoulder of Copper Mountain through several small canyons. Plan on hanging out for while to drink in the 180 degree views on a prominent rocky outcrop on the mountain's shoulder at 6.2 miles (7.8 miles from the parking lot).
From the outcrop, continue contouring around the mountain. At 7.2 miles, the trail crosses another dirt road, and then begins heading downhill. At 8.5 miles (10.1 miles from the parking lot), the trail reaches the BCT at a road and a green road gate. Turn right through the gate. From here, you have 5 miles back to the parking lot on easy grade along the BCT.
There are massive fields of prickly pear cactus on the shoulder of Copper Mountain, and lots of juniper trees.