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Towhee Trail - Spur Cross, AZ
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Overview: This is a short spur of the Metate Trail that hugs Cave Creek.

Hike: This short spur is well signed on both sides mid-way into the Metate Trail. Surely it was designed to hug Cave Creek increasing the walk-along-views...

From either end it practically turns into a tunnel of flora. Wild cucumber takes over in the early spring covering everything in it's path. I'm not kidding either. It covers full mesquite trees, prickly pair patches and even makes a run on the saguaros. The density and height just seems impossible being on the fringe of the sonoran desert. I've seen some wild cucumber on hikes but this stuff puts the rest to shame.


If it wasn't so incredible you might complain that pretty much all creek views are blocked. There is a glimpse on occasion. Just not what you'd expect for a trail likely designed for creek views. The name of the trail suggest it was built to admire birds, perhaps Canyon Towhees.

Due to the shortness of this hike you might consider doing a couple laps! In season, you really don't want to miss out on the Metate Trail section it bypasses.
Description 28 Triplogs  0 Topics
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 Phoenix NE
Statistics
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,316 feet
Elevation Gain 6 feet
Avg Time One Way 5-10 minutes
Kokopelli Seeds 0.22
Author joebartels
Descriptions 208
Routes 758
Photos 9,495
Trips 3,522 map ( 18,266 miles )
Age 47
Location Phoenix, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
16  2017-04-15
Dragonfly-Elephant-Limestone-Chalk
The_Eagle
13  2017-03-11
Maricopa Trail - Anthem to CCRP to Spur Cross
topohiker
9  2017-01-16
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk Canyon
friendofThunderg
8  2016-05-01
Cave Creek Trail #4
mazatzal
7  2015-02-22
Spur Cross - 48 Meander
The_Eagle
10  2015-02-15
Cave Creek Trail #4
mazatzal
15  2015-01-31
Skull Mesa Loop
The_Eagle
7  2014-12-14
Cave Creek Trail #4
friendofThunderg
3  2014-11-09
Cottonwood Spring Loop - Cave Creek
mazatzal
47  2014-08-04
Cottonwood Spring Loop - Cave Creek
Nightstalker
10  2014-03-19
Limestone Trail #252 - Spur Cross
AZWanderingBear
12  2013-12-21
Spur Cross Loop
winotron
Page 1,  2
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Backpack   No
Preferred   Jan, Feb, Mar, Nov → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:33am - 5:53pm
Route Scout
import queue
Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Metate Trail - Spur Cross
0.2 mi away
0.8 mi
-75 ft
Tortuga Trail - Spur Cross
0.4 mi away
1.2 mi
154 ft
Cave Creek / Cottonwood Loop via Spur Cross
0.5 mi away
24.5 mi
3,950 ft
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk Canyon
0.5 mi away
9.5 mi
1,657 ft
Black Mesa - Cave Creek
0.5 mi away
11.7 mi
3,100 ft
Skull Mesa - Cottonwood Creek Loop
0.5 mi away
17.1 mi
3,500 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna
Cardinal
Mallard Duck
Mule Deer
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Flora
Chia
Chuparosa
Common Sunflower
Desert Honeysuckle
Desert Marigold
Fleabane
Globe chamomile
Owl Clover
Prickly Pear
Saguaro
Wild Cucumber
Named place
Cave Creek
Elephant Mountain
New River Mesa
Skull Mesa
Culture
Aircraft
Cactuscat Pose
Gila Petroglyph Style (Anthropomorphic)
Hohokam Mano and Metate
Exhausting
by joebartels

Overview: This is a short spur of the Metate Trail that hugs Cave Creek.

Hike: This short spur is well signed on both sides mid-way into the Metate Trail. Surely it was designed to hug Cave Creek increasing the walk-along-views...

From either end it practically turns into a tunnel of flora. Wild cucumber takes over in the early spring covering everything in it's path. I'm not kidding either. It covers full mesquite trees, prickly pair patches and even makes a run on the saguaros. The density and height just seems impossible being on the fringe of the sonoran desert. I've seen some wild cucumber on hikes but this stuff puts the rest to shame.


If it wasn't so incredible you might complain that pretty much all creek views are blocked. There is a glimpse on occasion. Just not what you'd expect for a trail likely designed for creek views. The name of the trail suggest it was built to admire birds, perhaps Canyon Towhees.

Due to the shortness of this hike you might consider doing a couple laps! In season, you really don't want to miss out on the Metate Trail section it bypasses.
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One-Way Notice: This hike is listed as One-Way. When you hike 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
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