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.
Porta-Johns at trailhead. Rangers on duty during the week. Interpretive hikes offered.