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Apache Peak - Cave Creek, AZ

no permit
96 16 1
Guide 16 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.5 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,043 feet
Elevation Gain 1,173 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,691 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.96
Interest Peak
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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23  2019-01-26 Nightstalker
10  2018-04-19 caragruey
17  2017-01-22
Apache Peak Loop
8  2016-01-22 AZWanderingBear
7  2015-07-21 BobP
13  2015-02-16 Stoic
18  2011-06-12 DarthStiller
Author AZWanderingBear
author avatar Guides 27
Routes 62
Photos 2,620
Trips 700 map ( 4,689 miles )
Age 63 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:11am - 6:35pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Who's Your Apache Daddy?
by AZWanderingBear

If you look north while driving along Carefree Highway between I-17 and Cave Creek you will notice three conical peaks, the westernmost being the tallest, the middle a bit shorter and the easternmost the lower of the three. These are known as the Three Apaches, or to locals as Daddy Apache, Mommy Apache and Baby Apache. This hike takes you to the summit of the Daddy Apache.

The trail is steep in places. There is a lot of loose rock along the steeper portions. No water at trailhead or along the route. Lots of cholla out here, too. Be careful.

The Spear S Trailhead is named for a local ranch. Parking is somewhat limited and there are no facilities. A gate on the northeast corner of the trailhead begins the trail.

The first two miles of the route is along the Maricopa Trail. This section is well maintained and fairly well signed. A steady climb brings you to the saddle between Hill 2875 to the south and Apache Peak to the north. The saddle is a clear area and you will have some nice views east. As you descend from the saddle, the trail soon takes an abrupt left turn.

Start looking for a sign on your left for the faint trail north towards the Apache Peak. The turn almost exactly 2 miles into the hike. This faint trail meanders upward. Having the GPS route is comforting here (and will be even more useful later). The trail will parallel a drainage on your left for a while and then abruptly turn east before again turning north and topping out just below Mommy Apache. A short hike westward brings you to a split in the trail. You will take the western (left fork) to head up towards the summit. Good time for a breather and a look around. the view up top will be better, but it ain't bad from here.

The trail up the side of Apache Peak meanders a bit, but is fairly obvious until you get close to the top. All the rock is volcanic basalt. The trail gets steeper with more loose rock as you near the top. It also gets harder to follow. Look up. You are working towards the notch in the cap rock that angles left to right above you. CAUTION: About 20 feet from the top there was an active bee hive in the boulders along the south side of the trail. Note where you top out because it really isn't obvious when you are ready to come down.

The views from the top are worth the effort. Take some time to enjoy. Someone hauled a mailbox up here which houses the summit register, but apparently doesn't get regular mail service.

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.

2016-01-22 AZWanderingBear
    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 Triplog Reviews
    Apache Peak - Cave Creek
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    It's kind of embarrassing, but I pretty much turned back on this peak a few months ago. I got unnerved and worried about getting down. Not TODAY!!!

    This is a good hike and climb for someone trying to get use to some scrambling at the top of a peak. The trail basically ends about 200-300 feet from the summit and the rest is a mixture of light and hand over hand scrambling.

    There's an American flag and mailbox at the summit. Only saw a screeching hawk, no javelinas, no mountain lion. Signed the summit log and got down. I find if I audibly talk myself down the steep scrambling descents it helps, LOL... :D
    Apache Peak - Cave Creek
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I'll call it a near success. Got to within 300 feet of the summit but became afraid of getting down on the scree, considering I was sliding 2 feet back for every one foot I was taking. I saw my first four javelina. Proof you can hike at 100-105 provided you drink and eat properly...
    Apache Peak - Cave Creek
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Hiked with some friends in New River. Came in at the end of Calvary Road. Trails are rather faint and you have to look carefully for the spur that cuts off up to the summit. Last hundred feet is pretty much a rock scramble. Great views from the top, but had turned cold and very windy by the time we made the summit. Didn't tarry too long.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phoenix go north on I-17. Take the Carefree Highway east to 7th Street and head north. 7th Street will briefly turn into 9th Street and then New River Road. The Spear S Ranch Trailhead is at the at the southeast corner of the junction of New River Road and Linda Lane.
    page created by DarthStiller on Jan 22 2016 7:04 pm
    2+ mi range whistle
    blow it like you mean it
    help comment issue

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