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Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross, AZ

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Guide 102 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.5 of 5 by 22
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,323 feet
Elevation Gain 148 feet
Accumulated Gain 260 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.9
Interest Perennial Creek
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28  2019-04-17
Spur Cross Meander
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Spur Metate Tortuga Dragon Jewel
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6  2018-12-23
Spur Cross Loop
8  2018-12-23
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15  2018-09-22 RowdyandMe
12  2018-04-08
Metate Trail - Spur Cross
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Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Apr, Nov
Sun  6:12am - 6:32pm
Official Route
21 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
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Jewel of the Creek
by HAZ_Hikebot

This trail is in a riparian area along Cave Creek within the Jewel of the Creek Preserve at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area. It is very lush along the creek with willows, walnut trees, alders and other trees. There is also a mesquite bosque.

You can connect to this trail via the Spur Cross and Tortuga Trails so that you can experience desert and creek hiking. For example, you can leave from the Spur Cross Trailhead and head west up the Tortuga. You can hook up with the Dragonfly Trail by taking the first intersection and continue south on the Spur Cross Trail or continue on on the Tortuga Trail for about another mile to the second intersection (at the top of the rugged hill just before the Elephant Mountain junction) where you will head east to the junction with the Spur Cross and Dragonfly trail.

Once you get to the creek you come to another junction where the Dragonfly Trail goes north and south. You can go either way. If you go south, the trail will cross the creek and you will come to a u-turn that takes you above the creek and then back down to the creek. You will come across an interesting rocky formation and continue by the creek for awhile until you come to another intersection; stay to the east and head up the hill where you will come to the Jewel of the Creek Preserve sign and parking area along side Spur Cross Road. The Spur Cross Stables are across the road, the parking area for the Spur Cross Trailhead is to the north of that.

If you go north at the junction, you will be walking next to Cave Creek. It is very scenic too as you walk through many different eco-areas including giant saguaros and a rock area including a small mine shaft that goes back about 10 to 12 feet. You continue along and will walk under a short extended tree branch and out again along side the creek bed with the cottonwoods and other trees. You are hooking up with the Jewel of the Creek loop trail where there are a couple different places to cross over to the east side of the creek. I prefer going to the far north side where you can cross the creek. There will be rocks to guide you at the turn spot as you turn east to cross the creek. However, if the Creek is running, this may alter your plans as to where to cross the creek.

Once you have crossed the creek you will go through a slightly burned area and come to the intersection where the trail goes up the hill. Make the u-turn here to head north back to the trailhead.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-02-02 HAZ_Hikebot
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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 45 deeper Triplog Reviews
Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross
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Hooked up with hiking buddy Korina who is in town working as a TV camera operator at spring training games. Spur Cross Trail East :next: Tortuga :next: Dragon Fly :next: and back the main parking lot. VERY dry in this area with no water in the Jewel of the Creek area. Never seen this before. Only color was a few ocotillo with a few red flowers. Breakfast at Local Johnny's in Cave Creek after the hike.
Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross
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Clouds and cool temps in the valley meant it was Elephant season today in the CCRP. I had thought about Skull or Black, but told myself I could not go hiking out until I completed some chores around the house and did not get to the trailhead until one, so just opted for the shorter Elephant.

I started at Dragon Fly to avoid the fee. I saw a few people on the trails near the trailhead, but nobody after I turned off on Elephant Mountain Trail. The trail to the summit seems to have gotten a little more defined, but that being said, I still had to take a couple minutes a few times to locate the proper route. I spooked a pack of Javelina on the summit, which was about the most excitement on the day. I returned the same way I came.
Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross
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Spur-Lime-Elephant-Dragonfly Loop
Led a meetup group out of Spur Cross of 26 hike minded individuals. Took Spur Cross trail north out of the park to the Limestone trail #252 in the Tonto. Followed Limestone its entire length to Elephant Mountain. Limestone was in much better shape than I was expecting and fairly easy to follow. Just one spot we wandered off track a bit. Up and over Elephant mountain saddle down to Spur Cross again. Took Dragonfly down to Jewel of the Creek, not much going on there but a pleasant end to a long hike. For such a large group we made great time and didn't spread too far apart.
Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross
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Just a glorified dog walk and barely that really, as I cut the walk pretty short because I was feeling a little under the weather and generally beat from spending Friday and Saturday coaching at a wrestling tournament in Tucson.

Some annoying sticky mud on the trails and signs of some rainfall out there, but nothing to write home about. The area could still use about another 2-3 inches to get into prime winter condition, but I guess we have to be happy with anything at this point. Not too many people out for your typical Spur Cross Sunday in the winter, but no complaints here.
Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross
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Wanted to see if there was in color change close by in Jewel of the Creek. As we drove in I could see....not yet. With Judy.. Spur Cross Trail East :next: Tortuga :next: Dragon Fly :next: and back the main parking lot. Very dry up in the Spur Cross area.
Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross
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Elephant Mountain Loop
Alone is how I am.
Alone is how I hiked because Kemosabe's screen is being replaced AGAIN, thereby no HAZel (altho when I would hear bird sounds I kept waiting for Time...)
Alone is what I was on the Elephant Mountain Trail except for two other people I would see toward the end. I did see a few hikers and bikers on the Dragonfly/Spur Cross Trails.

Hiked clockwise from Crown of the Creek, lovely as always.
Dragonfly Trail. They've added some drainages. They've done some work as it goes around the corner at Cave Creek and heads north as well as the crossing of the creek.
There are now a couple more benches on the Dragonfly and Spur Cross Trail. The one I was particularly fond of was at the intersection with the Elephant Mountain as I had intended on taking a break there so it was quite convenient.
Elephant Mountain Trail heading north from Spur Cross is still the same rocky gnarly trail as it's always been except there's been a partial saguaro casualty. The trail is still steep and slippery on both sides of the saddle.

I realize I've been hiking out here for 13 years :o .
I'm now in keeping in hiking shape mode for my "Kelly hikes". Still have work to do in that regard.

Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross
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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?
Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross
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It's been sometime since I have hiked in the Spur Cross area. Been reading lots of good reviews on the wildflower level. Had forgotten how vast the vista views are in the area! Spur Cross Trail (east) :next: Tortuga :next: Dragonfly :next: and back to the parking lot. Does not seem to be as rocky on the uphill portion as I recall. Many cars in the lot on this Sunday morning, but not many on the trails we were on. A good amount of water in the Jewel of the Creek area.

Mostly brittle-bush
Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross
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We decided to hike Spur Cross area to see wildflowers and mission was accomplished! Absolutely beautiful on the Elephant Mountain Trail. It was like the Wizard of Oz walking through a field of poppies. The weather was warm and the climb was steep but the beauty made it so rewarding. Read AZWandering Bear's write-up for more details.
Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross
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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!

Permit $$
Spur Cross Conservation Area $3 per person

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Jewel - Dragonfly 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.

Above is for the main parking. Dragonfly / Jewel of the Preserve is 0.2 mi BEFORE the main lot. HAZ is unsure if there is a pay station at this trailhead. You do need a permit.

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
page created by tibber on Dec 23 2009 10:48 am
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