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Lime Creek Cabin - Tonto NF, AZ

Guide 33 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  3.7 of 5 
no permit
1 Active
485 33 1
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 9.73 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,955 feet
Elevation Gain 1,605 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,473 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 22.1
Interest Ruins, Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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11  2021-03-06 joebartels
12  2021-03-06 The_Eagle
13  2021-03-06 johnlp
9  2021-02-13 BiFrost
12  2020-01-26 chumley
10  2019-11-23 AZdougRE
11  2018-11-12 thirstylizard
7  2018-02-08 survivordude
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author AZWanderingBear
author avatar Guides 27
Routes 61
Photos 2,620
Trips 700 map ( 4,689 miles )
Age 65 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Nov, May
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:17am - 7:42pm
Official Route
6 Alternative

Little House on the Creek
by AZWanderingBear

The trail is rocky and uphill both ways, but the payoff is a well-preserved cabin and a nice hike along Lime Creek.

So that you know, there is no cell phone service. The only way back home is up that rocky trail you came down.

Once you turn off Seven Springs Road, FR254 and then FR1094 are privately maintained. When I did this hike, both were in very good condition. However, some rain can turn the drive to the trailhead into a muddy mess. There are several wash crossings, and I wouldn't enter any of them if they were flooded. Having said all that, a vehicle with reasonable clearance and 2WD can make the trailhead most of the time with no problems.

As you depart the trailhead, the path follows along a wash for a short way and then begins a reasonably easy climb up to a saddle. The saddle is home to a gate through a drift fence and also the highest point of your hike. It is 1.3 hiking miles from the trailhead, and you'll be praying you get back to it on the hike out.

From the saddle, you begin a 2.7-mile descent into Lime Creek. The trail is primarily comprised of loose rocks that vary from baseball size to football size. The footing just isn't going to be good until you get to the creek. Watch your step. Views are decent on the way down with Humbolt and its desert snowball off to your right, Sunset Mountain straight ahead, and Four Peaks and Mount Ord off in the distance.

About 2.6 miles in, you will pass some ruins on the right side of the trail. Just look for a very low rock wall. There are many other ruins scattered about in this area. At one time, it must have been a thriving Hohokam community.

At approximately 3 miles, the trail crosses the first of two very rocky washes. Just make sure to look for the trail exiting out of the wash straight across. While you could probably hike down the wash, it definitely wouldn't be advisable.

About 3.7 miles in, you will see a very weathered trail sign attempting to point to the old smelter downstream from the cabin and also to the Verde River. Stay left to head to the cabin.

Once you drop into Lime Creek, at about the 4.2-mile point, look for the horse trail. It crosses the creek to the north side about 150 feet from where you drop in. There are faded marker ribbons where the trail crosses the creek, but the horsemen who use this trail also put shiny aluminum cans up in the trees about head high, that is, head high if you are on a tall horse, so look up. If you lose the trail, bushwhack upstream. The cabin is about 0.8 miles up that way on the left. You won't miss it.

Not too sure about the origins of the cabin. It looks like a line shack from a ranch that operated in the area. The cabin, storage shed, and corrals are being maintained by a riding club that uses them occasionally. The cabin has some supplies inside. A fire ring with a grill, some old bedsteads, and a table with some cook pots are nearby outside. The storage shed has Cartwright Bros., and 1882 painted on the front. Not sure Hoss and Little Joe were ever here, and pretty certain tin-sided sheds weren't around in '82. But this area did have small ranches and mining concerns around that time frame. All-in-all it is just a cool place. Enjoy it before you begin the long slog back up the rocky trail.

Water Sources
Lime Spring is located just east of the cabin and is a reasonably reliable water source.

Camping at the cabin would be pretty easy given the resources that are already there. But toting a backpack up to the trailhead would not be for the faint of heart (or perhaps lungs).

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.

2015-01-26 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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Carefree go Northeast on Cave Creek Road, also called Seven Springs Road. The turn-off to the right onto FR254 is well marked and is 16.3 miles from the intersection of Tom Darlington Road (the extension of Scottsdale Road in Carefree) and Cave Creek Road. Follow FR254 for 0.3 miles and take the right fork onto FR1094. The trailhead is 2.25 miles ahead on the right.
    page created by Grasshopper on Jan 26 2015 2:30 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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