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Skull Cave, AZ
Description 5 Triplogs 1 Topic
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 Mesa NE
Difficulty ?    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 0 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,726 feet
Author HAZ Hikebot
Descriptions 12,257
Routes 10,415
Photos 17
Trips 1 map ( 0 miles )
Age 18
Location Arizona
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
11  2014-12-08 jameslcox44
10  2012-04-23 jameslcox44
11  2011-01-17 ASUAviator
5  2011-01-16 LittleKnee
8  2006-11-25 AZLOT69
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Forest Tonto
Wilderness Four Peaks
Seasons - Autumn to Early Spring
Dogs not allowed
Alternative Routes
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.2  Blue Tank Canyon
0.8  Skeleton Cave Canyon
1.1  Hell's Hip Pocket
1.2  Sheep Mountain 3567 & 3397 - Salt River
1.3  Pickaxe Canyon
2.1  Peak 3042 - Mormon Flat Dam Quad
[ View More! ]
     Bald Eagle
     Bighorn Sheep
     Greater Roadrunner
     Crimson Monkey Flower

This page is open to authors as a full hike in or by kayak/boat access to Skull Cave as marked on 1975 topo.

See Skeleton Cave for the historical massacre nearby.

Pg 243 Ferg/Tessman Essay Barnes states that Apache Cave was the name used until around 1919, when the name was changed to Skull Cave by Southern Pacific Railroad (SPRR), for publicity purposes. Apparently upon the completion of the SPRR's Bowie-to-Globe track, the term "Apache Trail" was unilaterally applied to what had been known for years by locals as the Tonto Trail. A professor Abner Drury of Berkeley, California, was hired by SPRR to "reconstruct" place names (which would appeal to travelers), resulting in brand new names usurping the historical ones, and the institutionalization of any number of romantic tales about what had supposedly occurred at those places. Skull Cave is the site's name on 1937 and 1975 USDA Tonto National Forest Maps, as well as the 1964 "Mormon Flat Dam, Ariz." USGS 7.5-minute map... In Spite of originally having been called Apache Cave, and being officially rechristened and still shown on maps as Skull Cave, the majority of non-Yavapai writers discussing the site in recent years have been using "Skeleton Cave," and the name recorded on the National Register of Historic Places is "Skeleton Cave Massacre Site".

    Directions Preferred Months Nov Dec Jan Feb
    Preferred StartAny Cell Phone SignalHigh Points Sunrise6:19am Sunset6:43pm
    Road / VehicleStrictly 4x4
    Fees / Permit

    Tonto Pass is a forest wide permit for recreational sites and campgrounds. Typically not for trailheads.

    To hike
    Boating from the dock at Canyon Lake, travel up the Lake for about 5 miles.
    Login for Mapped Driving Directions
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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