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Elephant Mountain Trail - Spur Cross, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.2 of 5 by 36
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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
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
8  2018-11-04
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Spur Cross Loop
26  2018-03-19
Dragonfly Trail - Spur Cross
18  2018-03-18
Tortuga Trail - Spur Cross
14  2018-03-16
Black Mesa - Cave Creek
20  2018-03-10
Elephant Mountain Summit - Spur Cross
7  2018-03-04
Elephant Mountain Summit - Spur Cross
7  2018-03-03
Spur-Lime-Elephant-Dragonfly Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 10
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  7:02am - 5:23pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
22 Linked
Nearby Area Water
Tortuga Trail - Spur Cross
Tortuga Trail - Spur Cross
0.4 mi away
1.2 mi
154 ft
Metate Trail - Spur Cross
Metate Trail - Spur Cross
0.8 mi away
0.8 mi
75 ft
Towhee Trail - Spur Cross
Towhee Trail - Spur Cross
0.8 mi away
0.2 mi
6 ft
Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa Trail
1.0 mi away
10.0 mi
450 ft
Black Mesa - Cave Creek
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
Skull Mesa from Spur Cross TH
Skull Mesa from Spur Cross TH
1.0 mi away
12.0 mi
2,850 ft
Skull Mesa Ruins
Skull Mesa Ruins
1.0 mi away
16.6 mi
3,884 ft
Spur Cross Loop
Spur Cross Loop
1.0 mi away
5.5 mi
600 ft
Cave Creek / Cottonwood Loop via Spur Cross
1.0 mi away
24.5 mi
3,950 ft
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Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
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.

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One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking 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

Map Drive
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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