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Skunk Tank - Cave Creek Trail4 Loop, AZ
mini location map2014-10-18
40 by photographer avatarOdinWiski
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Skunk Tank - Cave Creek Trail4 Loop, AZ 
Skunk Tank - Cave Creek Trail4 Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2014
Hiking10.40 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking10.40 Miles   7 Hrs      1.73 mph
1,300 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This is a beautiful little day hike in the cave creek area past Carefree. The desert and riparian landscapes were pretty. We did it in mid October and it was surprisingly warm.

We parked at the Cave Creek Trail No.4 TH parking lot and started our clockwise loop. We took Cave Creek No.4 for a bit and crossed the closed forest road. Right after you pass the forest road, keep to your left because you would take the trail on your right to continue on Cave Creek No.4. Pay attention when you get to the creek, there weren't obvious cairns there. But cross the creek and you will find the trail to climb up (237) toward the junction with Skunk Tank Trail. Some of the elevation gain is in this section.

We soon got to the mesa where the junction was and took Skunk Tank trail. I think the sign at that junction actually says Skunk Creek trail. Some more elevation gain in this section with some straightups and some switchbacks. The desert was green and pretty!

Rob was going a bit slow because he hadn't been out hiking for a while and the weather was surprisingly warm. When we got to the top where the sign said 2.5 miles to Cave Creek Trail No.4, I totally forgot that there was still some elevation gain on Cave Creek No.4 and incorrectly told them that from this point on it was all downhill or flat :) The descending in the desert was very pretty looking over all the drainages. I had Wiski's boots in her pack, but didn't want to put them on because I knew there were numerous creek crossings and I didn't want them to get soaked and bother her feet. I kept monitoring her pads to see how they were doing. I had just checked them right before a perhaps 200-yard steep and very rocky descent and they were fine. But right after that rocky section of descent, I noticed that she was favoring her legs. I immediately checked her paws and the pads on 3 of her paws were all torn up and they were just flopping. My poor girl! I felt so bad! :( I put her booties on from that point on, but should have done that sooner.

We took a little break when we got on Cave Creek No.4 right before we were about to cross to the other side of the creek. As we started climbing on Cave Creek No.4, Rob started to fall behind by quite a bit in some of the climbing sections. The heat was giving him problems. We took some water from Wiski's water bottles and poured it on his head to cool him down. I had done these sections of the Cave Creek No.4 a few times - it is definitely pretty! It's hard to believe the riparian landscape right in the middle of the desert. But of course it was right by the creek :) Because of the rain we'd gotten, the creek was flowing nicely! We kept a steady pace and hiked as a group till the end. Rob was a trooper! I was so proud of him!! I think the beer at the Horny Toad afterwards made him feel better too :)
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