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2009-03-08  
Black Cave - Castle Hot Springs, AZ
mini location map2009-03-08
7 by photographer avatarankaa
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Black Cave - Castle Hot Springs , AZ 
Black Cave - Castle Hot Springs , AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 08 2009
ankaa
Hiking4.75 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking4.75 Miles   5 Hrs      0.95 mph
400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We had originally planned on hiking Governors peak, but on the drive out we decided to check out a cave shown on the topo instead.

We parked near Squaw Mesa and followed some old jeep trails to a point NE of the cave. From there we hiked SW on what may or may not have been a trail over a low saddle and then down a wash a short ways to the cave. We found the cave without much trouble, but there was a large bee hive just above the entrance. It looked more like a deep alcove than a true cave, but the unnerving buzzing noise kept our exploration short.

Since it was still early, we decided to add a few miles by following some of the old trails in the area to see if we could get a view of Castle Hot Springs. From the cave we continued following the trail down the wash to where it intersected with a pack trail shown on the map. From this point, for all intents and purposes, the trail shown on the topo no longer exists. Using a map and compass though, we stayed more or less on track. There were a couple places where there were visible signs of the old trail confirming we were on route, but the desert has claimed the rest. About 1/4 mile from Castle Hot Springs the trail made an appearance and was easy enough to follow to where it dead ends at the top of a small peak just to the East of and above the Castle Hot Springs main property.

Disclaimer: We only had a topo map, and it did not show where private property in the area was located. We did not pass through any gates, over/under any fences, or see any signage indicating we were crossing any, but I can't say for sure that we didn't. The topo was however necessary to stay on track, and I wouldn't recommend the hike for anybody that didn't have decent route finding and map skills.
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