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Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa Trail, AZ

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Guide 39 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
2.9 of 5 by 12
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 10 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,328 feet
Elevation Gain 450 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.5
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
7  2019-03-30
Limestone Trail #252 - Spur Cross
30  2019-03-08 kingsnake
5  2019-02-03
Spur Cross Loop
45  2018-12-26 RowdyandMe
16  2017-04-15
13  2017-03-11
Maricopa Trail - Anthem to CCRP to Spur Cross
15  2016-05-08
Spur Cross Loop
20  2016-02-06
Elephant Mountain Trail - Spur Cross
Page 1,  2,  3
Author Moovyoaz
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 21
Photos 98
Trips 12 map ( 116 miles )
Age 64 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar
Sun  6:12am - 6:33pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Spur Cross to Go John!
by Moovyoaz

When completed, the Maricopa Trail will be a 242-mile loop encircling the county, connecting 9 of 10 MCPR parks. Roughly three years in the making, about 80 miles have been completed as of November 2009. Completion is planned within the next 5 years. Sections of the Arizona Trail and Maricopa Trail on Arizona State Trust land were purchased as perpetual rights of way. Recreation permits are not required on these trails unless you leave the width of the trail.

This hike describes Segment 19, 18, and 17, from the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area south-west to Cave Creek Recreation Area. The Spur Cross Trail (Segment 19), one of the earlier fragments of the Maricopa Trail to be completed, was recognized with an Environmental Excellence Award of Merit by Valley Forward. When I hiked it with 15 members of the Friends Hiking Club in April 2010, the area was lush, green, and covered with desert flowers. There is no water along the trail, so bring plenty.

Maricopa Trail Segment 19 begins in the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area and follows the well marked Spur Cross Trail west for 4.2 miles along the southern base of Elephant Mountain. Gradually gaining 450 feet, the trail crosses several washes until it reaches the park boundary, marked by a barbed wire gate. Once through the gate, the trail enters the Tonto National Forest, and becomes Segment 18.

The next 2 miles is fairly level as it follows old dirt roads south and west, offering excellent views of the surrounding areas of Cave Creek and Desert Hills. At this point, the trail turns south for .3 miles, jogs right though a cattle guard, then continues south another mile. Here one has the option of turning west on Maricopa Trail Segment 16 for 6 miles to the Anthem trailhead, or east 1.2 miles on Segment 17, which turns south and enters the Cave Creek Recreation Area at the Go John Trail. Continue south on the Go John Trail for 1.3 miles to the CCRA trailhead, for a total of 10 miles.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2010-04-04 Moovyoaz
  • 2017 Map
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    2017 Map

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.

Most recent of 19 deeper Triplog Reviews
Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa Trail
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Stayed in town and got out to the Spur Cross / Jewel of the Creek area.

Temps were perfect in the am, and with the afternoon breeze, never got to warm.

Dragonfly Trail, Maricopa Trail, Elephant Mountain, Tortuga Trail, Towhee, Metate, Cave Creek #4 are all in great shape

Limestone #252 is fading away. It is also filled with icky Foxtail grass.
All 18 minutes of break time were to pull them from my shoes.
Another 45 minutes at home to get them from my shoes and socks.

Saw a Gila Monster in the tall grass, and a bit later, a dead Gray Fox in the middle of the trail. Coincidence?
Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa Trail
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Stephanie mentioned the Elephant Mountain trail a few weeks ago. Thought it might be good for views and wildflowers about now, so off we all went to Spur Cross. Knew the day would get warm before we finished, so we went counter clockwise to get the climb out of the way early and finish in shade at the Jewel of the Creek. Flowers are maybe a week before prime, but still substantial. Noshed a bit on some juicy wolfberries along the way up Elephant.

Bumped into a solo hiker on her first Spur Cross outing. Helped with finding her way (and promoted HAZ, again).

The cottonwoods by the creek gave off nice shade when we stopped to wet some bandannas in the cool clear flow to combat the increasing heat. All is green and lush in that area, so pleasant!

Timed the drive home to allow red beer(s) for the Kutie and some a couple of full (blue) moons for the Beav with salads for all. Another fun outing to Spur Cross!
Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa Trail
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Elephant Mountain Loop (Spur Cross)
We did the loop up Elephant Mountain that uses Tortuga and parts of Spur Cross. Left around 4p and finished at about 6:40p, in the dark. It ended up being fine, but with all the rocks in these trails, they aren't great for night hiking (imo). It was such a beautiful hike though! I am so glad that I finally did this one. I definitely recommend it.
Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa Trail
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Actually did this hike from Spur Cross to CCRA, but want to keep these hikes all together. This was a ranger lead hike with ranger from both CCRA and Spur Cross starting out with a group from each end. We met in the middle and the ranger switched groups so they could return to their individual parks. We had 8 hikers in our group starting from Spur Cross. Slowest time for this hike, but expected as we were with a group asking questions and taking pictures.
Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa Trail
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Can't believe its mid May! About 50 when we started and 60 at the end :) At lunch the breeze picked up and the sun went behind a cloud and we both felt chilly so we set off moving again :lol:

Spur Cross :next: Metate :next: Spur Cross trail :next: Limestone trail :next: Elephant Mountain trail :next: Tortuga :next: Maricopa trail :next: Dragonfly :next: Spur Cross
Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa Trail
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Spur Cross Live Nativity Loop
Despite the no- :pk: disclaimer, when Lee texted me and asked if I wanted to go on sunset hike, I was a little :scared: . So I brought Clairebear along too! :)

The plan was to enjoy the scenery in Spur Cross before checking out the amazing 62nd annual live Nativity performance at the Conservation Area.*

The road was lined with paper bags on fire, and we drove over as many as we could to try to prevent any catastrophic wildfire in the desert. Some nice ladies from church yelled at us saying things that probably aren't biblically approved. :oops:

After a nice loop in the mountains, we returned to the trailhead in the dark like three wisemen with headlamps. I strolled up on Mary and curiously questioned her virgin status while Blanco and Cup harrassed the sheep. Apparently fotg had forgotten the leashes again. ](*,)

Most of the folks were drinking coffee and hot cider, but nobody really looked at me too strangely as I sauntered through with a Devil's Ale in my hand. I grabbed a few photos before heading back to the truck where I heard something about kidnapping some kid in swaddling clothes. [-X

On the drive out, we nearly killed three kings on horseback. That woulda probably ruined the night for Bob Hutson, the soothing voice who was emceeing the whole event.

Despite the distractions of the season, it's a pretty nice area that I'd never been to before. Perhaps we'll have to come back next year!

: rein :

*Portions of this tale may be fictionalized.

Cottonwoods just beginning to turn in Cave Creek
Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa Trail
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Back to Spur Cross :roll: but this time we did a loop to the west side rather than the east.

Spur Cross :next: Metate :next: Spur Cross trail :next: Limestone trail :next: Elephant Mountain trail :next: Tortuga :next: Maricopa trail :next: Spur Cross

Nice to see Kelly on our way back to the trailhead :)

It wasn't very busy at Spur Cross today and we didn't see anyone while we were in Tonto NF but we did see a tarantula :lol:
Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa Trail
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Joined the Canine Hiking Club of Arizona for this hike. The group wanted to cut the distance so we left one vehicle at the Jewel of the Creek trail head in Spur Cross area. We then drove back or West on Carefree Hwy, North or right on 24st, right or East on Saddle Mountain Rd until it goes left at a 90* turn North. We ran into the Maricopa Trail about 50 yards East of the trail junction where if you go straight it's toward Anthem, 90* right toward Spur Cross. Drove about half a mile actually on the Maricopa Trail...felt weird. Parked and headed toward Apache Spring. Across that large mesa with Elephant MT. in front of you to the North. We joined the Maricopa Trail at the point where you have followed the barb wire fence and make a left going through the gate. We hiked trail until we got to Dragonfly Trial then on into Jewel of the Creek and up the short hill to the parking lot. Going this way was 7.5 miles rather than the 11 miles it usually is. Took us 4:40 minutes as we stopped a lot for the dogs and 2 long breaks. Just Jamie (club leader) and Jodi with us today.
Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa Trail
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Made a loop from a friend,s house that encircled the Apache Peaks using the Maricopa Trail on the south and eastern sides. Used jeep trails on the north and west sides. Nice hike through forests of saguaro. Temps were plenty cool this morning making for a very comfortable hike. Trails are a little rocky in places, so you have to watch your footing. Nice day out.
Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa Trail
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Elephant Mountain Circumference
southpawaz's triplog for this started: "I had a feeling cindyl wanted to see some wildflowers." hmm. i wonder what gave him that impression? well, this hike had some flowers. not a whole lot of variety, but there were quite a few. most of the loop was edged in filaree. and i got to see my first mexican gold poppies and blue dicks of the season. as for the trails... the first part and the last part (on the jeep trails) seemed unbearably long. and most the trails were mushy and muddy. but the flowers! oh, the flowers!

Permit $$
Maricopa Regional Parks - Fees more info

$7 per vehicle,$85 annual or trade your first born for the life pass

$2 walk, bike or horse ride into park

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
Directions to Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area trailhead: I-17 north to the Carefree Highway exit 233. Head east on Carefree Highway 9.9 miles to Cave Creek Road. Head North on Cave Creek Road 2.5 miles to Spur Cross Ranch Road. Turn north for approximately 4.5 miles to the public parking area. After 3 miles the road turns to all-weather graded. The last 1.5 miles can be confusing; continue north on the graded road past the green house, through the tall gateposts and on past the horse corrals to the signed public parking area on the right. There is a $3 per person a entry fee.

Directions to Cave Creek Recreation Area trailhead: Take 17 North to the Carefree Highway exit 223. Head east on Carefree Highway to 32nc Street. Turn north on 32nd Street 1.5 miles to the to the park entrance. There is a $6 per car entry fee.
page created by Moovyoaz on Apr 04 2010 2:24 am
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