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Dec 07 2007
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 Guides 5
 Photos 52
 Triplogs 4

77 male
 Joined Mar 05 2005
 Litchfield Park,
Black Mesa - Cave CreekPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2007
TerrySwicegoodTriplogs 4
Hiking11.68 Miles 3,100 AEG
Hiking11.68 Miles
3,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Bob Hatch, Dave Erickson and I did our annual Black Mesa Hike on December 7, 2007. It was a cool overcast morning, with clouds touching the tops of Skull Mesa, Elephant Mt., Sugar Loaf and Black Mesa.

We found the trail to Black Mesa badly eroded from the recent rains (three inches in the Cave Creek area). After the fence at 3.4 miles (see my route description) the trail is hard to follow in places and cairns are sometimes hard to see. We found the trail after 3.4 miles very rocky, uneven, and unpleasant. After 4.5 miles we turned back, due to the rain, wind, and clouds. If you are going to do this hike, I recommend that you be ready for a long, difficult day.
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Oct 28 2006
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 Guides 5
 Photos 52
 Triplogs 4

77 male
 Joined Mar 05 2005
 Litchfield Park,
Burro Flats LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 28 2006
TerrySwicegoodTriplogs 4
Hiking6.70 Miles 788 AEG
Hiking6.70 Miles
788 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Cline Prebble, Bob Bell & I did this loop on October 27th. The first thing you need to know is that the directions are off and confusing. From the T intersection above the Castle Hot Springs resort, it is about 4.5 miles to the jeep road where you turn left and begin the climb to the TH's. This is an obscure turn-off and easily missed because the road graders have made shoulders on both sides of the road. If you observe carefully, you will see a road paralleling the Castle Hot Springs road to your left, and if you see it, you've gone too far.

Second, the jeep road is definitely for high clearance vehicles only, and very slow going.

Third, the TH's are obscure and there are numerous turn-outs to your left. You actually have to get out of your car and walk 50 yards to see if this is a TH or just a turn-out.

Fourth, the area is remote and beautiful. We saw four burro's but the serenity and isolation is marred by lots of cattle and continuous cow pies on the trail.

Fifth, you should know that there is trail all the way around the loop. The route description doesn't indicate this. We parked in a turn-out about a half a mile beyond the Horse Springs TH and a half a mile short (south) of the Burro Springs We walked up the road, found the Burro Springs TH and headed on a gentle, obscure trail to Burro Springs. There was no water here in late October. From there the trail continues down the Burro Springs wash, then veers to the left and begins the hike on to Horse Springs across Burro Flats. There was a little water in Horse Springs, a nice shady spot for lunch. The trail continues along side the Horse Springs wash and climbs up and away from it, until it veers back left (pay attention, faint trail, no cairns here) toward the TH and the jeep road.

I can't truly recommend this hike because it is such a long and rugged drive for such a short hike. On the other hand, if you want a hike that is truly away from civilization and a slice of Sonoran serenity, this fits the bill.
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Nov 05 2005
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 Guides 5
 Photos 52
 Triplogs 4

77 male
 Joined Mar 05 2005
 Litchfield Park,
Brown's PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 05 2005
TerrySwicegoodTriplogs 4
Hiking4.80 Miles 1,957 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles
1,957 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Due to the closure of FR 143 we went the long way around up El Oso Road from Roosevelt Lake. The first thing you need to know is that this is a very good unpaved road, and most passenger cars can navigate it. My hiking partner, who has driven in on FR 143, said that we made better time going the long way round. We arrived at the TH at sunset on November 4th, 2005, cooked dinner, and turned in. This was the first time in ages I have slept out under the stars, and due to the fact there are no "city lights" the stars were shimmering. A little chilly overnight, and my down bag was perfect. We left for the summit at 7:30 am and after reading many conflicting stories on how difficult the "chute" was, I carried a 150 foot rope and rock pieces and slings. Here's the skinny on this hike, and I hope it helps everyone. Brown's Trail is a good hiking trail which intersects at 1.76 miles with the Amethyst trail (which merges in from the left). At 1.91 miles is Brown's Saddle (6678 feet), a flat spot with a small hill to your right and Brown's Peak looming to your left. A good climbers trail heads eastward from Brown's Saddle toward the peak. In roughly a half an hour you will enter the chute many describe for this climb. (See my photos on Brown's Peak for a look at the chute.) It is not frightening or dangerous, just a steep gulley with loose rocks. Hiking poles help. Three fourth of the way up the chute are two "technical rock climbs." The first is an eight foot section which I rate as class 3 or easy class four. Hand holds and foot holds are there and the exposure is minimal. The second, just 30 yards up the chute, is fifteen feet, class four. Again, good hand holds and foot holds are available. People afraid of heights might want to throw a short rope (30 feet) into their backpack. However, neither of these "technical" sections are hard and the risk of falling is minimal if you just use the available hand holds and footholds. About 100 yards past the second "techical" section you come to a tiny saddle. You emerge through the chute via a small crack (6 feet wide) and the world opens up. To your right is Peak 2 (7642 feet) and to your left is the summit of Brown's Peak. It's an easy five to ten minute scramble to the summit and a good marker for you is a towering century plant on your right. At the summit the views in all directions are spectacular....the Matazals to the north and west, Roosevelt Lake to the north and east, the Valley of the Sun to the south and west. It took us two hours and fiteen minutes to the summit and two hours back to the car, hiking at a slow to moderate pace. Others who post here do it a bit quicker, but for the average hiker, this would be the norm.
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Apr 16 2005
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 Guides 5
 Photos 52
 Triplogs 4

77 male
 Joined Mar 05 2005
 Litchfield Park,
Cave Creek #4 to Spur Cross THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2005
TerrySwicegoodTriplogs 4
Hiking12.00 Miles 1,450 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
1,450 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Spur Cross TH to Seven Springs CG

Overview: This hike must be done as a car shuttle, with one car left at the TH for the Spur Cross Conservation area and the second car at Seven Springs Camp Ground. This description is from south to north. The route follows Trail #4 paralleling the Cave Creek watershed the entire 12 miles. The first 2.4 miles of the hike involves four crossings of Cave Creek and the last five miles involves five crossings. With high water, the crossings are a challenge. (I slipped and fell in the creek!) Hiking poles help.

Route: Leaving the Spur Cross Ranch TH, follow a good jeep road for 2.4 miles alongside Cave Creek. On April 15, 2005 when we did this hike, the stream was flowing freely, and one could see the debris everywhere from the high waters of the winter rains. Note the change in riparian environment here and at the end of the trip at Seven Springs. At 2.4 miles there is a wide crossing of the creek and a 4 X 4 trail sign on the east side of the creek. Here you pick up Trail 4 and begin a steady climb contouring around a small ridge. At 2.71 miles there is a fence and another sign indicating the direction of travel for Trail 4. For the next 3.5 miles the trail climbs moderately in a N/NW direction with Skull Mesa on your right and Cave Creek far below on your left. We were regaled with brittle bush, Desert Marigolds, poppies, Globe Mallow, lupine, and Indian Paintbrush along the way. The devilish fox tail were prolific and stuck in our socks requiring several stops to remove their prickly irritants. We also met a 3 foot Diamondback Rattlesnake slithering around for a for a mid-day snack and a fat Gila Monster in this section of the trail.

At 6.25 miles (elevation 3175 feet) there is a fence, a good place to turn-around or a scenic place to have lunch. Here the trail starts to descend to the creek. At 8.27 miles there is the junction to the Quien Sabe Trail (#251). If you are ambitious you can climb the 1100 feet up the Quien Sabe Trail then down to the campground, but the real treat is to stay straight on Trail Four, because the most sensation part of this hike now comes in the next 3.4 miles. There are five creek crossings here, most of which are easy, but require a little route finding. The riparian environment is very unusual for this part of Arizona. Arizona sycamore makes up the majority of the deciduous tree species, but there are ash, alder, and Arizona walnut growing alongside the creek. Two waterfalls and a number of pools which look deep enough to harbor a fat trout are also found along the way.

The trail climbs away from the creek at 11.5 miles to a road to an administrative site. We parked our second vehicle here. A large parking lot and restroom are located about a mile further on.
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Sedona Loop Hike
Sedona Loop Hike

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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