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Skull Cave, AZ

Guide 6 Triplogs  3 Topics
  3 of 5 
no permit
56 6 3
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Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,726 feet
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
11  2015-11-19 jameslcox44
11  2014-12-08 jameslcox44
10  2012-04-23 jameslcox44
11  2011-01-17 ASUAviator
5  2011-01-16 LittleKnee
8  2006-11-25 AZLOT69
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,841
Routes 17,031
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 24 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Feb, Dec, Mar → Any
Seasons   Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  5:38am - 7:25pm
0 Alternative

Warning the 2020 Bush Fire damaged most of the Four Peak Wilderness after almost recovering from the 1996 Lone Pine Fire.

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This page is open to authors as a full hike in or by kayak/boat access to Skull Cave as marked on 1975 topo.

See Skeleton Cave for the historical massacre nearby.

Pg 243 Ferg/Tessman Essay Barnes states that Apache Cave was the name used until around 1919 when the name was changed to Skull Cave by Southern Pacific Railroad (SPRR) for publicity purposes. Apparently, upon completing the SPRR's Bowie-to-Globe track, the term "Apache Trail" was unilaterally applied to what had been known for years by locals as the Tonto Trail. A professor, Abner Drury of Berkeley, California, was hired by SPRR to "reconstruct" place names (which would appeal to travelers), resulting in brand new names usurping the historical ones and institutionalizing any number of romantic tales about what had supposedly occurred at those places. Skull Cave is the site's name on 1937 and 1975 USDA Tonto National Forest Maps, as well as the 1964 "Mormon Flat Dam, Ariz." USGS 7.5-minute map... Despite originally having been called Apache Cave and being officially rechristened and still shown on maps as Skull Cave, the majority of non-Yavapai writers discussing the site in recent years have been using "Skeleton Cave," and the name recorded on the National Register of Historic Places is "Skeleton Cave Massacre Site".

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
    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 $$

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    Boating from the dock at Canyon Lake, travel up the Lake for about 5 miles.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
    help comment issue

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