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Elephant Mountain Trail - Spur Cross, AZ
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Hike: This trail starts as the Tortuga Trail junction 1.5 mi from the trailhead. Head west and cross Cave Creek at 0.25 mi. Climb on a jeep trail. Up and over a ridge then down and across another creekbed. A sign warns that you are entering primitive unmaintained area. You climb on the jeep trail. At 1.36 miles a spur of the trail heads south. The trail continues north to the junction with the Elephant Mountain trail at 1.54 miles. Tortuga Trail continues north to the Tonto National Forest.


From the Tortuga Trail junction head west and descend some steep switchbacks to a creekbed. The creekbed is well marked with cairns. When the creek branches, follow the left branch. There is a sign post where you leave this creek bed. The trail climbs steeply into the foothills and to the saddle at 3,143 feet. This is a nice place to have a snack and enjoy the views. The effort to reward ratio for this hike is probably optimized at this point and many hikers will want to turn back.

The trail continues along the side of the mountain. It meets up with Spur Cross Trail at a small saddle.

Perks: Porta-Johns at trailhead. Rangers on duty during the week. Interpretive hikes offered.
Description 125 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Wish List 4
 Region
 
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 Phoenix NE
Statistics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,288 feet
Elevation Gain 667 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 4.32
Author Al_HikesAZ
Descriptions 11
Routes 89
Photos 2,643
Trips 241 map ( 2,306 miles )
Age 85
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
11  2017-09-24
Elephant Mountain Loop
tibber
16  2017-04-15
Dragonfly-Elephant-Limestone-Chalk
The_Eagle
13  2017-02-04
Elephant Mountain and Circumference
The_Eagle
15  2016-05-08
Spur Cross Loop
mazatzal
14  2016-04-01 toolcrazy
13  2016-02-20 gummo
20  2016-02-06 Nightstalker
14  2016-01-30
Elephant Mountain Summit - Spur Cross
JasonCleghorn
12  2016-01-24
Spur Cross to Elephant Mountain Trail
SteveHall
10  2015-11-26
Elephant Mountain Summit - Spur Cross
friendofThunderg
7  2015-11-11
Black Mesa - Cave Creek
JuanJaimeiii
9  2015-11-01
Elephant Saddle Loop
tibber
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Backpack   No
Preferred   Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:38am - 5:46pm
Route Scout
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Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Tortuga Trail - Spur Cross
0.4 mi away
1.2 mi
154 ft
Metate Trail - Spur Cross
0.8 mi away
0.8 mi
-75 ft
Towhee Trail - Spur Cross
0.8 mi away
0.2 mi
6 ft
Maricopa Trail - Spur Cross to CCRA
1.0 mi away
10.0 mi
450 ft
Black Mesa - Cave Creek
1.0 mi away
11.7 mi
3,100 ft
Skull Mesa - Cottonwood Creek Loop
1.0 mi away
17.1 mi
3,500 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna
Anna's Hummingbird
Ash-Throated Flycatcher
Cactus Wren
Common side-blotched lizard
Common Tree Lizard
Costa's Hummingbird
Desert Cottontail
Funnel-web Spider
Gila Monster
Great Blue Heron
Horned Lizard
Mallard Duck
Phainopepla
Smith's Black-headed snake
Tarantula
Tiger Rattlesnake
Verdin
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Western Threadsnake
Flora
Banana Yucca
Bigelow Ragged Rock Flower
Blue Dicks
Brittlebush
Buckhorn Cholla
Bush Penstemon (Yellow)
Chia
Christmas Cholla
Common Mallow
Coulter's Lupine
Crucifixion Thorn
Delphinium
Desert Marigold
Desert Mariposa
Desert Phlox
Desert Tobacco
Desert Trumpet
Dudleya
Fairy Duster
Filaree
Flat Top Buckwheat
Fleabane
Globe chamomile
Golden-Beard Penstemon
Indian Paintbrush
Mexican Gold Poppy
Microseris
Miniature Wool Star
Narrowleaf climbing milkweed
Ocotillo
Owl Clover
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Unidentified Flora
Velvet Mesquite
Whispering Bells
Wild Cucumber
Yellow Menodora
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
Sunset
Named place
Black Mesa
Black Mountain
Cave Creek
Elephant Mountain
Page Spring - Spur Cross
Skull Mesa
Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
Sugarloaf Mountain
Weavers Needle
Culture
Aircraft
Cactuscat Pose
Gila Petroglyph Style (Abstract)
Gila Petroglyph Style (Zoomorphic)
HAZ - Hike HAZard
HAZ - Selfie
Hohokam Surface Structure
Horseshoe
Inscriptions
Intrepid Back Shot
johnr1
Mine Shaft
Projectile Point (unknown culture)
Water Well
Upper Spur
by Al_HikesAZ

Hike: This trail starts as the Tortuga Trail junction 1.5 mi from the trailhead. Head west and cross Cave Creek at 0.25 mi. Climb on a jeep trail. Up and over a ridge then down and across another creekbed. A sign warns that you are entering primitive unmaintained area. You climb on the jeep trail. At 1.36 miles a spur of the trail heads south. The trail continues north to the junction with the Elephant Mountain trail at 1.54 miles. Tortuga Trail continues north to the Tonto National Forest.


From the Tortuga Trail junction head west and descend some steep switchbacks to a creekbed. The creekbed is well marked with cairns. When the creek branches, follow the left branch. There is a sign post where you leave this creek bed. The trail climbs steeply into the foothills and to the saddle at 3,143 feet. This is a nice place to have a snack and enjoy the views. The effort to reward ratio for this hike is probably optimized at this point and many hikers will want to turn back.

The trail continues along the side of the mountain. It meets up with Spur Cross Trail at a small saddle.

Perks: Porta-Johns at trailhead. Rangers on duty during the week. Interpretive hikes offered.
© 2005 - 2017 hikearizona.com

-

One-Way Notice: This hike is listed as One-Way. When you hike 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.

Permit $$
Spur Cross Conservation Area $3 per person


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Spur Cross 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.

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
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