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Tortuga Trail - Spur Cross, AZ

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996 103 0
Guide 103 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
Rated
2.6
2.6 of 5 by 29
 
0
Statistics
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,450 feet
Elevation Gain 154 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.71
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
28  2019-04-17
Spur Cross Meander
LosDosSloFolks
31  2019-02-10
Spur Metate Tortuga Dragon Jewel
tibber
5  2019-02-03
Spur Cross Loop
mazatzal
15  2018-12-14
Limestone Trail #252 - Spur Cross
kingsnake
8  2018-11-04
Spur Cross Limestone Loop
KBKB
8  2018-04-01
Spur Cross Loop
Yoder
26  2018-03-19
Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross
RowdyandMe
18  2018-03-18 Yoder
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 9
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 211
Routes 821
Photos 10,575
Trips 4,132 map ( 20,778 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:25am - 7:24pm
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Official Route
 
24 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Afternoon Delight
by joebartels

Overview
Used to access Elephant Mountain Trail or as a loop with Spur Cross Trail.


Hike
From the northeast junction with Spur Cross Trail you immediately head up a gentle slope. Soon you top out on a small deck with nice views north of Sugarloaf Mountain. On this trip, Sugarloaf was covered in yellow brittlebush blooms.

As noted in the elevation profile the trail soon heads right back down to a usually dry ravine. Here I encountered a Parks & Recreation truck. Signs remind you going off trail is not allowed. Perhaps they were enforcing park law. Maybe somebody tried to shortcut the 250 feet down to the Spur Cross Trail... who knows!

Across the ravine you head up a huffer slope. Even at it's worst it's only a 150 foot climb. Perhaps no worse than the first switchback of Piestewa. All the lower trails up to this point could practically be negotiated in flip flops. Here the footing gets loose. Good news being the old jeep road is beyond Parks & Recreation cruiser negotiable. Especially due to the fact there's a couple boulders lined at the top as a mammoth waterbar.

Soon you'll find yourself at a junction with Elephant Mountain Trail. Take a left and head south onto the ridge-of-views. On this trip the ground was literally covered in green flora and wildflowers. The views are top notch all around. Looking ahead/SSE Black Mountain dominates the horizon. Even in this above average rainfall year the ground sports deep drought cracks.

A half mile down this subtle sloping ridge you come to the southwest junction with Spur Cross Trail. A majority of my late afternoon hike was shaded by New River Mesa. Talk about a bonus!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2008-03-21 joebartels
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One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.

Permit $$
Spur Cross Conservation Area $3 per person


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Spur Cross Trailhead
I-17 North & Exit 233, which is SR-74 the Carefree Highway. Head east on Carefree Highway 9.9 miles to Cave Creek Road. Head North on Cave Creek Road 2.6 miles to Spur Cross Ranch Road. The road jogs a bit here but you go 4.0 miles to the parking lot.

It is a well-graded dirt road. As it nears the parking area, the road leads past a large green house, through a tall gatepost and past a corral. There is a large signed parking area. Along the road about 75 yards northeast of the parking area, there is a self-pay station and a small informational kiosk with rudimentary maps. Pay the fee and carry the stub with you.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 35.8 mi - about 57 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 144 mi - about 2 hours 26 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 133 mi - about 2 hours 10 mins
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
prehydrate & stay hydrated
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