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Cave Creek / Indian Canyon / Lime Creek Loop, AZ
mini location map2013-12-14
12 by photographer avatarjoebartels
photographer avatar
 
Cave Creek / Indian Canyon / Lime Creek Loop, AZ 
Cave Creek / Indian Canyon / Lime Creek Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 14 2013
joebartels
Hiking16.65 Miles 3,840 AEG
Hiking16.65 Miles   11 Hrs      1.62 mph
3,840 ft AEG      45 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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For what seemed like hours on the drive in all I heard was Bruce singing "put the lime in the coconut... blah blah blah". He's been pushing this loop for eternity, even in 100+ temps. So I just let him live through his happy moment, tuned him out and day dreamed about Squaw.

Our loop began heading through Red Rover mine. Bruce put in a serious effort to get permission to pass through. His requests never received response. The mine was very active, signage was abundant and a video camera greets you at the gate. No worries, we are hikers and this land exception is surrounded by legal national forest.

Juans Canyon - Detour
We stumbled upon the returned-to-earth road FS254 that heads down Juans Canyon. It was easy to travel heading downhill with a 20 mph tailwind. We picked the ridge up to the west separating Ramps Canyon. After checking out a multi roomed set of ruins we headed down to Cave Creek.

Cave Creek
It was immediately obvious CC is an idyllic setting. It was also apparent it was going to be time consuming skirting the narrow creek dodging the vegetation. Luckily each time the "this is crap" temper would flair a nice area or easier route would surface. At one point we picked up the nicest trail tunneling through a dense section. I'm guessing a locals route? Bruce satellite tracked it up to FS24, east of Magazine Quarry.

Just after we crossed a tributary ( Locust & "The Rincon" ) that was supplying most of the water for CC. Based on topo a "green" area stops just 140 yards up the tributary. The green area also stops about 200 yards further up CC. No springs are depicted so I guess they consider it a creek resurfacing?

It was easier to travel from this point on up CC. Without water we just followed the creek bed.

Grapevine to FR2019
This was the warmest part of the day. I was about ready to pass out as 1pm passed without lunch or much of a break. Luckily it was among the easiest terrain of the day. Bruce said it was an old road. Which we made out for a while and is shown on topo to Grapevine Tank. From the tank to FR2019 I was in The World According to Coan.

Indian Spring Canyon
One look down to Lime Creek and the surrounding terrain almost got my motor running again. At 1:45pm we finally got a twenty minute lunch break which made a world of difference. Probably just in time too as this was turning into canyoneering.

The peanut gallery will not call it such because we didn't use technical gear to make it easyneering. I'm just pushing buttons. It's nothing difficult. Bruce did go down one slippery edged area I had already filed under "forget it". If you don't like something you can bypass on one side or the other.

Near the bottom everything turns white which I'm guessing is Limestone.

Lime Creek Cabin to Finish
The cabin was cool and Bruce loves these things. The real show is the surrounding scenery. Spotted a ribbon marker in a tree which lead us on trail. Save one creek crossing at the bottom the trail out was ironically worse the further you got to civilization. Nothing horrible, just rocky in the upper slopes and cats claw on the upper flats.

Note
This loop is tougher than the numbers suggest. While nothing strenuous along the way the side jumping and mini scrambles add up. A strong hiker could do this much quicker too.

Synopsis
Clockwise worked well. The loop is repetitive episodes of glory patched through infractions of desire. If you have the chance, desire and ability I highly recommend. Mid November or March is probably prime. Our hike was 11 hours, 8:08am to 7:09pm. Temps never got below 41 degrees and topped out at 75. Record low cow patty count... one or two. Bruce planned another winner.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
toast for the most part, there were a few hold outs on their last leg of glory
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- joe
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