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PA Seitts & Menk Trails and more. Cave Creek, AZ
mini location map2019-03-26
43 by photographer avatarLosDosSloFolks
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PA Seitts & Menk Trails and more. Cave Creek, AZ 
PA Seitts & Menk Trails and more. Cave Creek, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 26 2019
Hiking6.70 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking6.70 Miles
750 ft AEG8 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a variant of a local hike we do quite frequently to stay in shape. Well, kind of in shape. Who am I kidding...we do this just not to regress from whatever shape we happen to be in at the time. Just trying to keep moving I suppose. The beauty of this hike for us is the fact that no car is involved. This area of the creek in Cave Creek is accessible from the south at the P.A. Seitts trailhead and this is what most folks use but we have a secret. A little known extension of the Slate Trail runs all the way into the town of Cave Creek and has an access point at the west end of Surrey Drive at the saddle of the two Surrey Hills on the west side Cave Creek Road. Don't tell anybody about's a secret. :D

Anyway, we just go out our front door and walk down Surrey Dr. and into the trail system. From the trailhead on Surrey one could go almost anywhere. Spur Cross, CCRA, Maricopa Trail, Black Mesa, New River and beyond. This hike utilizes the P. A, Seitts Preserve (which accesses the creek) and links over to the CCRA and the Louis Menk Overlook nature trail. The short Menk trail goes up to the top of a small hill with good views. We go up the hill at different speeds to test ourselves. There is some great geology along this trail also. We wander north from that to the old Cave Creek Cemetery and also south to some great riparian areas of the creek that hardly ever have human visitors.

The start of the Slate Trail off of Surrey is abruptly downhill for the first mile or so. Unfortunately that means at the very end of wherever we go we have that one mile "huffer" back up to the saddle to get back on the streets.
Yes, this is the same Slate Trail that is in The Cave Creek Recreation Area... just a part that not many people use. The name is a misnomer as the trail is actually on a bedrock of foliated phyllite which just happens to look like slate. The thin layers of rock look amazing, and some even resemble wood grain. Lots of pressure to do that to rock. The entire western half of Black Mountain is Phyllite and Granite on the Carefree side. That ends todays geology lesson. : app : I'll put some pictures in the photoset. This trail system gives access to the creek much farther south than where most folks go to see water. There are some really nice areas with virtually no human traffic. Remember, it's a secret so don't tell anyone! Check out the photoset, I think you'll agree.

Where the Slate crosses the creek we often go north on the old military trail that the Cavalry used in the 19th century. The wagons used a more southerly route but the soldiers on horseback used this trail to go from Fort McDowell to Fort Whipple in Prescott via New River. Cave Creek had a watering way station and was used as a resting area. The remains of a Tamarisk tree (Salt Cedar) grove that General Crook planted are still living in the middle of town. This section of the trail gives access to Go John Canyon which I will feature in an upcoming log.
Jasper Phyllite
Stop dreaming about a better yesterday.
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