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 EssayBarnes 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".
Forest 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.
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.
Warning: heat kills!
Avoid 8am to 5pm over 90 degrees. Prehydrate & stay hydrated. Hikebot recommends using an umbrella to block the sun. Avoid Heat Illness - do NOT hike when temps exceed 100 degrees, period.