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Skull Mesa from Spur Cross TH
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mini location map2015-02-27
6 by photographer avatarmuskybankr
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Skull Mesa from Spur Cross THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 27 2015
muskybankr
Hiking14.80 Miles 3,528 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles   7 Hrs   15 Mns   2.33 mph
3,528 ft AEG      54 Mns Break11 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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bdurrell
We hadn’t revisited Skull Mesa in the last couple of years and decided not only to go back but peek over the edges in a couple of places to see if we could find another way down that would lead us back to Spur Cross in something better than a death march. We were put on early notice that “easy” and “skull mesa” were not going to join forces this day when we found the short cut trail to Cottonwood somewhat eroded and overgrown, with plenty of loose rolling rocks. This condition continued, even worsened, for the rest of the loop up the mesa, over to the NE quadrants on top and back via Cottonwood and Spur Cross, a 14.8 mile, 3528 AEG monster of rolling rocks and legs impaled with cholla spines. It was a long pants day but I had to still had to stop four times and dig cactus spines out of my feet, right through those $180 boots. Then we met up with an actual Gila Monster(see photo) blocking the Cottonwood trail but we reasoned with him and he stopped hissing and let us go by.

There is some evidence that the top of the mesa is full of springs. Not only all the vegetation but the sponginess of the soil. We didn’t find any Indian Ruins, but we were more interested in looking at the trail down to Quien Sabe or # 4. Once we saw that, we retraced our steps. If we were doing a shuttle up to Seven Springs, either of those might work but not back to Spur Cross, which I guess we could have deduced just by looking at a map but we’re not always on the top of our game. Just to prove that, I stepped on my sunglasses up on the mesa, and warped those beyond repair. Nonetheless, we managed to get off the mountains and down for Mocha Frappes, which left us with contented souls. A semi-rough outing on the hiking trails is a great day when you’re done.
Fauna
Fauna
Gila Monster
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Plenty of hyacinth plus deer vetch, a splash of lupine, desert marigolds,desert chicory,and a black-eyed susan looking plant we should have identified but it was the only thing between us and mocha frappes and mocha frappes won.
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