~ Flagstaff Day Trips ~
Black Canyon’s Abandoned Greyhound Dog Track: 1967 - 1982
Black Canyon is a small town off Highway 17 between Flagstaff and Phoenix. There’s not much there any more, but it was once the destination of gamblers from across the metro area. Here, a family named the Fulks built a Greyhound dog racing track that operated for 15 years.
It wasn’t until 1992 that Arizona dog racing started to have serious public relations issues. That year, the rotting bodies of almost 150 Greyhounds were discovered scattered throughout an abandoned citrus orchard near Phoenix. All had been shot. Their left ears, which contained indentifying marks, had all been cut off. (Thirteen ears were recovered after a 6-week investigation that eventually led to prosecutions.)
The Black Canyon dog track closed a decade before the grisly discovery took its toll on the local industry, and when the Fulks first opened it back in 1967, there was no such public awareness of (and certanly no outcry about) the brutality that could be associated with the sport. The track operated consistently and without controversy until 1982, when it was finally closed for good.
Since that time, the property has been utterly destroyed.
The spectator seats housed inside the main building, have all been ripped out of the floor. Some are strewn outside the walls of broken glass. Others are piled into a mountain of orange and yellow plastic.
There is actually an entire complex of abandoned buildings located at the site, all of which trespassers can still gain access to. I was unable to determine what most of them had been used for.
One can still gain access to the media boxes on the roof that look out over the track itself, which is barely discernable through the years of overgrown shrubbery and scattered debris. There is a walkway made of wooden planks that I dared not stray from. Near the edges of the roof, one can see that parts of it are rusted completely through. If you visit, please be safe up there.
If you’re like me and love urban decay exploration, this is a perfect site to visit. If you like hidden graffiti, Black Canyon has you more than covered there as well. All in all, a great day trip stop.