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Cave Creek / Skunk Tank Loop
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mini location map2017-04-07
28 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Cave Creek / Skunk Tank LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 07 2017
kingsnake
Hiking10.82 Miles 1,796 AEG
Hiking10.82 Miles   4 Hrs   46 Mns   2.27 mph
1,796 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Between breathing all the dust at White Sands, and the cold the next day at Trinity Site, and serious allergies back in Phoenix, I have not felt all that great the past week. Breathing has been difficult, to the point that I’ve often only been able to speak a sentence at a time.

If April 7 had not been a once in a lifetime opportunity, I probably would have stayed at home. But precisely 100 years ago, today, “A.B.” carved his initials in a rock next to Cave Creek.

I’ve tried researching who might have been named “A.B.” in the Seven Springs / Cave Creek area at the beginning of the 20th Century. With nothing to go on but initials, the search was fruitless. Most likely, A.B. was a rancher or miner, as there was nothing else that far north of Phoenix 100 years ago. The “City” of Cave Creek was incorporated in 1870, but the census does not show independent figures for it prior to 1980. According to the Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce, it did not start growing until after World War I, which the U.S. entered the day before A.B. carved his initials in that rock.

If you haven't hiked this loop before, or don't remember where the A.B. Rock is located, it is about 4.0 miles into the hike (counterclockwise), on the ground, to the left of the trail. It is obvious. It was pretty cool to be there exactly 100 years later, to the day. I wondered where his life led him. :-k

Then I headed up Skunk Tank Trail #246. The trail is steep, fairly rocky, and often indistinct. (A lack of foot traffic between Cave Creek and Skunk Tank, combined with heavy spring rains, has caused a lot of low growth.) The trail is 700 AEG in slightly over a mile, but seems steeper. Thankfully, there are plenty of switchbacks.

In Arizona, you can pretty much run into a rattlesnake anywhere, any time of year. (There is no truth to the rumor furry snow snakes prey on jackalope.) Even in the middle of a creek. I only occasionally get rattled elsewhere in Arizona. But I get rattled every {dang} time I hike in Cave Creek / Spur Cross between the months of March-October. It is inevitable.

So, it was just short of Skunk Tank that I almost stepped on a Western Diamondback curled up under a trailside bush. I think my eyes saw it, but my synapses didn’t fire until I had actually put my foot down — less than 12″ from his head! :scared:

Just before encountering Cerberus, I sprained my left ankle. Thankfully, I could still walk. But I tweaked it once or twice every one of the final miles.

By the time I reached the Quien Sabe Trail #250 intersection, 6.5 miles into the hike, I was tired. I guess I’ve been lazier than I thought. I think I need to get back to doing North Mountain a couple of times a week. Fortunately, it is mostly downhill the four miles back to the trailhead. No whining, and I still got down low to take flower photos. : rambo :
Named place
Named place
New River Mesa
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
I photographed at least two dozen different species.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Quien Sabe Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Cave Creek also had light flow from Cartwright Ranch west to the foot of Skunk Tank Trail #246.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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