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Cave Creek #4 to Spur Cross TH
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mini location map2014-12-12
24 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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page 1   2
 
Cave Creek #4 to Spur Cross THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 12 2014
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking12.00 Miles 1,279 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   9 Hrs   6 Mns   1.32 mph
1,279 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The goal for this hike was to take Cave Creek Trail #4 from the TH near Seven Springs down canyon approximately 5 miles to check out a possible ruin site and look for evidence of an old wagon road which was supposed to have gone up Cave Creek Canyon to the base of Cramm Mountain. I first learned of the ruin site while looking at an old Nat. Forest Map that had Cave Creek points of interest added to it by hand by an old cowboy, Don Peterson, who worked the Cave Creek area for many years. His markup called this ruin “Rock House – Freight and Stage Stop”. Using the marked location shown on this map I was able to find what appeared to be a rectangular rock wall on Google Earth. This piqued my curiosity so I recently visited the Cave Creek Museum and picked up a couple books on local history. There was an early prospecting/mining period in Cave Creek starting in 1873 before cattle ranchers and homesteaders moved in. According to one book, there was an old wagon road built for mining access up Cave Creek from the town to Cramm Mountain. A gold mine named the Emerald Lode by it's founder, Richard Cramm, was located on Cramm Mountain in 1877 and there was a lot of prospecting activity in this upper Cave Creek area at that time. Perhaps this "Freight and Stage Stop" had been located on that old wagon road.

I arrived at the TH just before sunrise and got started down the trail while the canyon was still in shadows. The creek was running with water the entire length of my hike but there were always enough well positioned rocks to make crossings easy without getting wet feet. Most of the Fall color was gone but a few trees still brightened the scenery with their yellow leaves. I tried to keep up a fairly fast pace so I would have more time to explore the area around the "Rock House" but got delayed taking pictures of water features in the canyon. I searched for the "rock foundation" just off the trail at 4.32 miles which is mentioned in the hike description but could not find it.

After approximately 5.4 miles I reached the old corral and the "Rock House" located about 75 yards NW of the corral. On site examination indicates that the Rock House is most likely an historical period structure built in the middle of an ancient Indian ruin site and used rocks from those ancient ruins. Pottery sherds littered the area along with a few rusty tin cans and broken bottles (probably whiskey bottles). I continued down CC #4 to the Mattys Fork creek crossing (it was dry) where I turned around and started the trek back to the TH. The trail at this crossing point appeared to use an old road bed cut into the hillside indicating possible evidence of the old wagon road. As I followed the trail back I checked other creek crossings for possible evidence of this old wagon road and found some indications up to about 0.5 miles past the "Rock House". I again searched for the "rock foundation" on the way back and found some petroglyphs just off trail. This led to some snooping off trail for Indian ruins but didn't find any. I was back at the TH with plenty of time left to make the drive home for dinner. This was an interesting area with lots of archeological,mining and ranching history making it worthwhile for a longer visit. A good destination for my next backpacking trip.
Named place
Named place
Cramm Mountain Humboldt Mountain
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