First time ever hiking up this way and with a 4 Kokopelli rating, when Gabriele suggested it for a change of pace after our Devil's Chasm fun, I thought why not?
Following the directions to the trail head were a bit ridiculous... all you need to do is head up Pima Road to Cave Creek Road, turn right and just follow the road
until you get to the Cave Creek Trail Head just past Milepost 12 and within sight of Seven Springs Campground. The only thing to remember is NOT to turn right toward Bartlett Lake.
It was cold enough for frost on the ground, but with the temperature likely to hit mid-70's it wasn't long before we removed our outermost layers. The early part of the hike had some nice scenery along the creek with a reasonable amount of running water, but once at the halfway point I wondered if it would stay this boring the rest of the way... it pretty much did. While I suppose it's possible in early Spring with wildflowers it may offer a lot, but how it got a 4 rating I have no idea. With everything like it was today, it would be pushing it to give it a 3, and that only because of the numerous fresh mountain lion prints, large coyote prints and the variety of Saguaros... fat, crested and a number of lightning-struck skeletons. Harsh as it may seem, I've been there, done it and don't expect to return... there's too many hikes I'd do over-and-over and enjoy more than this one.
In addition to the photoset on HAZ a full set of photos is posted on my web site:http://www.changephoenix.com/11/2011-01-18SkunkLoop.html