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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Go John Trail - CCRP, AZ

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1.1k 388 1
Guide 388 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
Rated
2.9
2.9 of 5 by 63
 
9
Statistics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,130 feet
Elevation Gain 800 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,260 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.7
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
10  2018-12-02
Overton Trail - CCRP
DarthStiller
5  2018-11-11 tibber
7  2018-09-02
Slate Trail - CCRP
DarthStiller
4  2018-04-07 bakerag
20  2017-11-12 Yoder
10  2017-10-21
JAS-Slate-Quartz-GoJ-Overton
tibber
33  2017-04-02 tibber
13  2017-03-11
Maricopa Trail - Anthem to CCRP to Spur Cross
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Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 11
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Feb, Mar → Any
Seasons   Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  7:21am - 5:19pm
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Official Route
 
15 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Slate Trail - CCRP
0.2 mi away
2.0 mi
157 ft
Jasper Trail - CCRP
0.3 mi away
0.2 mi
66 ft
Cave Creek Recreation
Cave Creek Recreation
0.4 mi away
Clay Mine Trail - CCRP
0.5 mi away
0.8 mi
385 ft
West Boundary Cave Creek Regional
0.6 mi away
0.2 mi
118 ft
Overton Trail - CCRP
Overton Trail - CCRP
0.8 mi away
4.2 mi
553 ft
Quartz Trail - CCRP
0.9 mi away
1.4 mi
-250 ft
Flume Trail - CCRP
0.9 mi away
2.5 mi
190 ft
CCRP to New River Road - Maricopa Trail
CCRP to New River Road - Maricopa Trail
1.4 mi away
13.0 mi
2,110 ft
Cave Creek Cave
Cave Creek Cave
2.3 mi away
2.0 mi
100 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
easy day hike
by ck_1

Likely In-Season!
The Go John Trail made Sweat Magazine's best hike list in last year's reader's poll. That proclamation made me want to check it out. If you're reading this, you are interested also. Coming from the East Valley, this was quite a haul for a short hike. The Cave Creek Recreation Area is located off the Carefree Highway north of Phoenix.


As you reached the trailhead parking lot, you can't help but notice the wide trail headed virtually straight up to a pass. This is the trail. Starting from the Trailhead sign at an elevation of 2,120 feet, head north. More appropriately, head up. The trail is an old jeep road that is quite eroded. It doesn't really switchback. It just heads up for about 3/4 of a mile until you come upon the pass. At an elevation of 2,470 feet the views into Tonto National Forest are beautiful. Catch your breath. Carefully check out the abandoned mine shaft to your left. Continuing north, you descend at almost the same degree as you ascended. The trail is a steep downhill for about a quarter mile. About this time you will encounter a junction with the Overton Trail. It is signed. From this point until the mile and a half mark you will cross and follow a series of washes. The trail is easy to follow.

At just under a mile and a half the trail leaves the old jeep road and ascends to the right. (If you continue to follow the jeep road, you run into the park boundary and state land. Last time I checked, you needed a permit to continue.) Follow the trail for the next mile or so. You will come across another trail junction on the left; it too heads toward state land. Stay right. After about 100 yards, the trail becomes very eroded as it climbs toward a false pass. As you continue along the trail, watch to your right for a short spur trail. I did not pay attention to the exact location, but there is an abandoned mine at the end of this trail. Taking a breather to peer into the mine, we encountered an enormous owl. He was just hanging out in the mine. It was cool. At about the 3-mile mark, you will have reached Gunsight Pass and an elevation of 2,530 feet. The views are excellent. The old trail continues ahead and the new trail heads to the right. Follow the new trail up the valley. After about 3/10ths of a mile the old and new trails rejoin. You will be heading southwest. Just before the 4-mile mark, you'll skirt alongside a quartz field and then come to another excellent viewpoint.

For the next section of trail, you'll be hiking along the side of the hill. When I did this hike, it must have been horse day, for we encountered more than a few riders heading in both directions. The remaining half-mile is hilly, with several short rises. You will be able to see the picnic area. Just past the four and a half mile mark, the heads right although the jeep road heads left and south. At 4.88 miles you return to the trailhead parking lot. My hike took 2 hours.

This trail is multi-use. There were mountain bikers as well as riders on the trail. Take caution and be aware of your surroundings. Also be wary of the mineshafts. This area was mined extensively. There are shafts everywhere. Although I enjoyed the hike, I'm not sure why it was voted to the best trail list.

ck_1
  • Campgrounds
    area related
    Campgrounds
  • Cave Creek Map
    area related
    Cave Creek Map
  • Cave Creek Map - Closeup
    area related
    Cave Creek Map - Closeup
  • Cave Creek Map - Print Version
    area related
    Cave Creek Map - Print Version
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 $$
Maricopa Regional Parks - Fees more info


$7 per vehicle or $85 annual

$2 walk, bike or horse ride into park


Directions
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Road
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Take 17 North to the Carefree Highway (Exit 223). Head east on 74/Carefree Highway. Turn left (North) onto 32nd Street. About a mile and a half up the road you enter the Cave Creek Park area.
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