username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
LabelsComments
triplogs photosets comments more
Tortuga Trail - Spur Cross - 29 members in 104 triplogs have rated this an average 2.6 ( 1 to 5 best )
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
104 triplogs
  All Months
104 Triplogs
Jan
17
Feb
13
Mar
16
Apr
11
May
5
Jun
0
Jul
2
Aug
2
Sep
3
Oct
2
Nov
15
Dec
18
 

Apr 17 2019
LosDosSloFolks
avatar

 Photos 508
 Triplogs 30

64 male
 Joined Feb 10 2019
 Cave Creek, Ariz
Spur Cross Meander, AZ 
Spur Cross Meander, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2019
LosDosSloFolks
Hiking5.19 Miles 737 AEG
Hiking5.19 Miles
737 ft AEG8 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
A busy schedule has precluded us from hiking much lately but this morning we at least made something happen. A friend came up from Phoenix to get some final leg stretching in for his go at the Camino de Santiago. He leaves soon for Spain to hike 200 of the 500 mile journey. I asked why he wasn't doing all 500 miles, (he's only 59), and he just looked at me like I had two heads. :D

Since Spur Cross is in our back yard we did a quick loop hike and short walkabout there. He had not been up here before and it was beautiful for us. The rain we had last night not only kept the dust and heat away but the humidity was so high there were low clouds everywhere at the start of the hike which made for some nice vistas. I was gladly surprised at the amount of wildflowers still thriving up here. Pretty much gone in most other places.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
More flowers than expected!
_____________________
"In beauty happily I walk, With beauty before me I walk, With beauty behind me I walk, With beauty all around me I walk"
Navajo Nightway Chant
Feb 10 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Spur Metate Tortuga Dragon Jewel, AZ 
Spur Metate Tortuga Dragon Jewel, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2019
tibber
Hiking6.19 Miles 1,057 AEG
Hiking6.19 Miles   2 Hrs   42 Mns   2.44 mph
1,057 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I wanted to see the water so to convert my wish to reality, I went out to Spur Cross. I haven't hiked for a couple weeks as most of my spare time is being devoted to getting my brother's house ready for sale and the past week, figuring out the coin collection. I learned a lot; I'm sure he would appreciate that with a glimmer in his eye and a subtle laugh. And of course, some of the coins, I wonder why he purchased them. I found some really old pennies though and if you ever see a double exposed 1955 penny, it's worth quite a bit but then again 1955 is a very good year :) .

Oh ya, the hike. I wanted to hike the Spur Cross Trail north from the VC which is now a building with some touristy stuff in it and the admission personnel. I gave them a $5 (oh, it's only $3 but I like to give a little extra) and was on my way. It's been awhile since I've hiked northbound. I encountered a few hikers as I made my way toward the creek. As everyone knows, it is so incredibly green out there and this area is no exception. At the confluence with the Metate Trail there were hikers hanging out and a small horse group came up the hill. There is quite a bit of water in Cave Creek as I crossed the newly placed planks (2x4s). They've replaced these planks a lot the past few months. The hike to this point seemed longer than I remember.

I came to the end of the road at the next creek crossing which is as far as I had intended to come on this part of the trail. I did head up on the big red outcropping to see if you could get over them but it doesn't look like it. The crossing one would use is the big rocks in the creek at the end of the road, they are slightly to the right. I headed back and encountered two people with their dog who was experiencing water for the first time; always a fun sight to observe.

I hiked on to the Metate and got some more pictures of the water and some of the flora along the way. I finally remembered to reset my camera time as it was running 12 minutes off. On the way down the Metate I stopped to eat some wolfberries and some other hikers saw me and inquired and I told them to enjoy. They had always wondered about them. From there you are into the bosque and the saguaro section which is always impressive. There was lots of London Rockets too. Oh, I think here I heard a darn rattler but it was HAZel, sheesh! I admired the large skeleton saguaro on the side of the trail and remembered it when it was living. It's sure a pretty skeleton though.

I crossed the planked creek again and stopped and admired all that water. Once I got closer to the intersection with the Tortuga Trail there was a lot more people. Up the hill I went passing a few folks along the way, they headed left staying on the Spur Cross Trail while I continued to the little Tortuga Hill that was filled with blooming Brittlebush. I finally headed south trudging across the Tortuga Trail. I don't think I've traveled this part of the Tortuga in a long time. It also seemed longer and rockier than I remember. I passed the intersection with the Spur Cross Trail heading where a couple people were taking advantage of another one of the many benches in this area.

As I got closer to the creek the amount of people I would encounter increased. It's always such a pretty sight coming down in the creek where you can see the saguaros, the slightly fall colored trees and the water. The Dragonfly Trail has a lot to offer. As I was going north bound on the west side I did go off of it slightly to check out the creek. You can sure tell it was running high and was still running pretty good.

Alas, one more planked creek-crossing before hiking on the Jewel of the Creek Trail. I did encounter another Wolfberry bush, the biggest and bestest wolfberries I have ever had. As I topped out there were still quite a few folks coming in. In fact, this was the most crowded I've ever seen Spur Cross in my fifteen or so years I've been hiking here. The parking lot still had a lot of cars in it at 1PM.

a lot of narration in these videos:
Spur Cross Trail to second creek crossing and back to Metate [ youtube video ]
Metate, Tortuga, Dragonfly, Jewel of the Creek [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
lots of Desert Trumpet and London Rockets, some Brittlebush (a lot of it in the waning stage), lots of patches of Globe Chamomile
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
1 archive
Feb 03 2019
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,074

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Spur Cross LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 03 2019
mazatzal
Hiking9.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles
1,500 ft AEG
 no routes
Did a modified Spur Cross loop: Dragonfly - Tortuga - Elephant Mtn - Limestone - Spur Cross and Metate.

It rained the whole time we were there! No views but the flora was good.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Limestone Spring - Spur Cross Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Metate Pond 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Page Spring - Spur Cross Dripping Dripping
_____________________
2 archives
Dec 20 2018
gad38
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 5
 Photos 61
 Triplogs 14

64 male
 Joined Jan 21 2018
 Scottsdale
Spur Cross TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 20 2018
gad38
Hiking3.70 Miles 531 AEG
Hiking3.70 Miles   1 Hour   10 Mns   3.17 mph
531 ft AEG4 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Quick, easy hike up Spur Cross Trail toward Elephant Mountain, turned off on Tortuga Trail heading South across flat section. Looks like trail improvement has been done in this section too. It is still rocky, but the ruts have been flattened out and the ground in places is very soft. Hiked down Tortuga to the intersection with Spur Cross Trail and DragonFly trails. Headed back North on Spur Cross toward the Tortuga trail (loop) and turned right at the intersection (3 miles total from parking lot) and returned to parking lot via Spur Cross Trail to the Trailhead and parking lot - total roundtrip was 3.7 miles. Great day for a hike with the temp hanging in the low 70's. Some of the sections behind the hill that were in the shade had a perceptible decrease in temperature. Nice hike to get your legs stretched out and get some exercise.
Dec 14 2018
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Limestone Trail #252 - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 14 2018
kingsnake
Hiking6.90 Miles 1,050 AEG
Hiking6.90 Miles   3 Hrs      2.30 mph
1,050 ft AEG
 
Now that is cool in the Sonoran Desert, I plan to do a few mine explorations. This Friday, I intended to return to Santa Maria River area, hoping to find something even half as cool as the Weepah-Homestake Mine: [ photoset ] . But that would have required at least some planning & research, and I had too many other things going on last week to put in the necessary time. I was able to quickly change gears to this loop, which I last did in December, 2012. So long ago, I had posted only one video, ever, to Youtube. This hike is my 448th video: [ youtube video ] .

Not much sense in repeating my 2012 triplog, so I'll hit the highlights. 😉

Cave Creek had light flow, but could be dry hopped at each of the three wood plank bridges between Spur Cross Trail and the wilderness boundary a mile north.

There was pretty darn good fall color north of the wilderness boundary.

Judging by others’ reports, the Limestone Spring box is full with decent flow between November and March, at the least. There’s lots of bees, but they are not aggressive. (I stepped across the spring box several times without being stung.) 🐝

I followed the obvious trail up from Limestone Spring, but it was newly established trail. The actual trail, hidden in heavy grass, proceeds up wash for a bit, before cutting through some trees to join up with the new trail. You can’t go wrong either way.

The old gate still tops the saddle between Limestone Spring and Page Spring, which is full of moist sand.

Between the gate and Page Spring, Limestone Trail #252 descends through white rock, worn to chalky powder in many spots. I bet that is limestone. I smart. 🤪

From Page Spring, to the cemented together "Rondo Spring" cairn, south to Tortuga Trail, it is still rocky as all get out. A pain in the tutkis. And feet. Piedra no bueno.

A ½ mile south of the petroglyph rock, the trail surface turns to jeep trail, the surface steadily improving the closer it gets to Cave Creek. For a few hundred yards it is Elephant Mountain Trail, for ¾ of a mile Tortuga Trail, then a ½ mile of Spur Cross Trail to the Metate Trail intersection, closing the loop. On weekends, this section is packed, particularly with dog walkers. On Friday, at lunch time, the only folks I saw were two old ladies resting on a bench by Cave Creek. 👵🏻

This was my 193rd hike of 2018. Unless I break a leg, I'll hit 200. 💪
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Brittlebush were going nuts, in huge clusters. About a half dozen other species scattered here and there.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Limestone Spring - Spur Cross Quart per minute Quart per minute
Decent audible flow. Box full. Lots of bees, but they are non-aggressive.

dry Page Spring - Spur Cross Dry Dry
No longer a spring box: Now a sandbox.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Nov 13 2018
LosDosSloFolks
avatar

 Photos 508
 Triplogs 30

64 male
 Joined Feb 10 2019
 Cave Creek, Ariz
Elephant Mountain Loop Spur Cross, AZ 
Elephant Mountain Loop Spur Cross, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 13 2018
LosDosSloFolks
Hiking8.02 Miles 1,497 AEG
Hiking8.02 Miles
1,497 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
We decided to do this loop in a counter clockwise direction as we had been on this part of the trail a couple of times before to see Ringneck Spring and also as access to Trail 252. The order was Spur Cross, Tortuga, Elephant Mountain, and then Spur Cross back to the main parking area. In retrospect, clockwise would have been a better choice. The heavy rains this area received in the fall really took a toll on the northern section of the Elephant Mountain Trail. Most everything was washed out and loose rock was everywhere. The wooden steps that the Scouts installed years ago were also in bad shape. I believe hiking in the opposite direction would have been a little less stressful.

We intended to stop at Ringneck Spring for a quick break and also to see if the old hand pump was working (it's intermittent depending on the water table). We were already mentally bushed from watching every step so we decided to keep plugging on up to the saddle. The trail from the 252 turnoff up to the saddle got even worse. Tough going for LosDosSloFolks!

We arrived at the saddle below the Fortress and the summit and took a much needed breather. Seeing the Hohokam ruins on top of the Fortress was on our list of things to check out. Prior to starting out we checked in with the ranger to ask his permission to climb up past the "No Entry" sign to see them. He said we could but to be very careful near the cliff edges. I have always tended to be careful when walking near cliff edges, so with Ranger Smith's blessings (yes, that's his real name) BooBoo and I headed on up to find some pic-a-nick baskets. :D Those of you over 60 should understand that reference!

The climb up from the saddle was steep but over with quickly and the views from the fortress were outstanding. We could even see our home...kind of. Archaeologists don't believe that this site was used as living quarters but more likely as a lookout and/or signal tower. There are many ruin sites near and far that are in a direct line of sight with this location. I've said this before, but I'm still amazed that the Hohokam people climbed these mountains and mesas on a daily basis with yucca fiber sandals. Pottery canteens must have been a joy to lug around too. I don't believe pitch covered basketry was in vogue yet!

During the trip down the mountain on the south side is when we realized that this was the way we should have come up. The trail was in fantastic shape and not nearly as steep. Live and learn. Experience comes from bad decisions, or however that old saying goes.
Flora
Flora
Desert Marigold
Culture
Culture
Humor
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
"In beauty happily I walk, With beauty before me I walk, With beauty behind me I walk, With beauty all around me I walk"
Navajo Nightway Chant
3 archives
Nov 04 2018
KBKB
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,112
 Triplogs 231

57 male
 Joined Apr 22 2012
 Fountain Hills,
Spur Cross Limestone Loop, AZ 
Spur Cross Limestone Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 04 2018
KBKB
Hiking9.46 Miles 1,522 AEG
Hiking9.46 Miles   5 Hrs   9 Mns   1.96 mph
1,522 ft AEG      20 Mns Break24 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
On Sunday, I did a variation of the Spur Cross Loop. My main goal was to hike the Limestone Trail #252, which I've really enjoyed in the past.

I started on Spur Cross, heading north. This eventually turns into Cave Creek Trail #4. Next, I went west and somewhat south on the Limestone Trail. At the end of the Limestone Trail, I met my wife who had hiked out the other direction on Spur Cross and had gone up Elephant Mountain past the Fortress. We continued on Elephant Mountain heading east and slightly south. That led to Tortuga and then back to Spur Cross. I then took the Metate Trail and did Towhee since it was on the way. I returned via the Spur Cross Trail.

I've hiked the Limestone Trail in the past. On past hikes, I've found it to be confusing. On today's hike, it seemed pretty straightforward. The only time I got off trail was at just before three miles in (total) where the Limestone Trail appeared to descend into a wash and the ascend the opposite bank. That turned out to be wrong - it goes into the wash, then turns right, follows the wash for a short ways and then switchbacks to the left up the opposite bank just before the vegetation gets dense. The way I took also worked, but I knew I had gotten it wrong when the somewhat indistinct trail I was on intersected with a very good trail. I hiked back to see how I had gotten it wrong as well as to wring every bit of Limestone goodness out of the trail. 8)

Aside from erosion in a few places on the Elephant Mountain Trail, the trails seemed to be in good condition.

This was my first time on the Metate and Towhee Trails. I saw a number of flowers on the Metate. Towhee isn't very long, but it does provide a few views of the creek. Metate has a better view of Cave Creek at the northeast end.

I encountered only one other hiker on the Limestone Trail. There were a bunch of other trail users on the other trails.
_____________________
May 20 2018
Sun_Ray
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 753
 Triplogs 1,016

71 male
 Joined Sep 09 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Dragonfly Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 20 2018
Sun_Ray
Hiking4.00 Miles 528 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   1 Hour   46 Mns   2.53 mph
528 ft AEG      11 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Judy and I today. Spur Cross Trail (east) :next: Tortuga :next: Dragonfly :next: and back to the parking lot. Talked with two separate hikers who were training for Grand Canyon hikes. Both had about 20-25 pound packs and were trying to get in some miles today. We have not hiked in the canyon since 2011 but it's nice to be able to talk about the trails, water stops, steep places etc. with canyon hikers. Lots and lots of saguaros in bloom in this area.
_____________________
Brian
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday......there is no SOMEDAY!
Apr 01 2018
Yoder
avatar

 Routes 6
 Photos 909
 Triplogs 67

54 male
 Joined Oct 07 2017
 Chandler, AZ
Spur Cross LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 01 2018
Yoder
Hiking7.60 Miles 1,608 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles   3 Hrs   47 Mns   2.31 mph
1,608 ft AEG      30 Mns Break5 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Full moon on the 31st, so we decided to do a night hike. We decided combine the Spur Cross, Elephant and Limestone segments along with a little dirt road walking to make a 7.4 mile loop.

Generally I like to do hikes I have done before when doing night hikes, and I had already done Elephant, and Tortuga before, and these are very well marked trails. I figured that the Limestone Trail segment would be similar in nature. That proved wrong, the Limestone segment proved to be a bit less traveled, and sections were not nearly as defined. Also the terrain was a bit more work.

3 or 4 times we lost the trail, but thankfully we had our GPS, and we quickly re-found the trail. The Limestone segment is odd in that many parts are well defined, while some areas, it seems to fade. Of course hiking at night may make finding the trail a bit more challenging! what made things a little harder is that it just seemed darker than normal with a full moon. Seems the clouds weren't helping in this respect. The Limestone trail is a bit more hazards than the other trails, short steep sections with lots of "rollers" - Stones about 1/2 fist size that like rolling out from under your feet when you step on them. Took my first fall-on-you-butt fall I have had in years on this trail. :( But didn't suffer to much. Conclusion - Keep to the trails you have done before when night hiking. That being said, I think the Limestone trail may have some excellent views. I want to go back during the day to get some real photos, didn't get very good ones this time, I took the mono-pod instead of the tripod, so my exposures were limited to less than 2 seconds and even then they weren't great.

All-In-All I think this hike has great potential, and expect there is a lot less traffic on the Limestone section of this hike. For some reason this hike just seems like it covers alot more terrain than the other loops I have make in this area.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cave Creek - SPRCA Light flow Light flow
At the corral area and going south for a while
_____________________
J. Yoder
1 archive
Mar 19 2018
RowdyandMe
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 358
 Photos 14,460
 Triplogs 1,629

65 male
 Joined Jul 16 2012
 Deer Valley, AZ
Dragonfly Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 19 2018
RowdyandMe
Hiking8.05 Miles 1,715 AEG
Hiking8.05 Miles   5 Hrs   55 Mns   1.81 mph
1,715 ft AEG   1 Hour   28 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
Culture
Culture
Cag Shot HAZ Decal
Named place
Named place
Maricopa Mine
_____________________
Rowdy and Widowmaker
Mar 18 2018
Yoder
avatar

 Routes 6
 Photos 909
 Triplogs 67

54 male
 Joined Oct 07 2017
 Chandler, AZ
Tortuga Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 18 2018
Yoder
Hiking7.60 Miles 1,440 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles   3 Hrs   35 Mns   2.61 mph
1,440 ft AEG      40 Mns Break5 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
We decided to combing parts of Tortuga(TR), Elephant Mountain(EM) Spur Cross (SC) and Dragonfly(DF) to create a 7.6 mile loop.

Weather was great
_____________________
J. Yoder
Mar 16 2018
KBKB
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,112
 Triplogs 231

57 male
 Joined Apr 22 2012
 Fountain Hills,
Black Mesa - Cave CreekPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 16 2018
KBKB
Hiking12.95 Miles 3,468 AEG
Hiking12.95 Miles   8 Hrs   2 Mns   1.84 mph
3,468 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Heather, Ben, and I hiked from the Spur Cross Trailhead to Black Mesa on Friday. From there we hiked over to New River Mesa and then returned the way we came.

I had last done this hike in December of 2014. On that day, we encountered waist-high grass which prevented us from seeing the cairns. We probably would not have figured it out without the aid of a GPS track. On Friday's hike, the grass which was a problem back in 2014 was quite a lot shorter. We could see the cairns and we didn't have to goosestep in order to push the grass down.

All in all, the hike was a lot more straightforward this time and we made good time getting to the top of Black Mesa. There was usually a path to follow and cairns when there weren't. Even so, having the GPS track made things easier, especially for figuring out where to start for the final ascent to the top of Black Mesa.

Speaking of which, I used JuanJaimeiii's route because it also went over to New River Mesa. I had not been to New River Mesa before. Once you're on top of Black Mesa, New River Mesa is only a short ways away, plus if you're gonna hike about 12 miles, you might as well go for 13. I hiked a short ways ENE from the southern tip of the mesa, took a few pictures, and then rejoined my hiking companions who had stopped to eat lunch.

On our way back we saw a momma mule deer with her young one. I got a photo of the young deer.
_____________________
Mar 10 2018
Naferg323
avatar

 Routes 98
 Photos 713
 Triplogs 59

47 male
 Joined May 26 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Elephant Mountain Summit - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 10 2018
Naferg323
Hiking7.40 Miles 2,038 AEG
Hiking7.40 Miles   4 Hrs   26 Mns   1.89 mph
2,038 ft AEG      31 Mns Break
 
1st trip
A beautiful day for a hike! Cloudy and cool!
Joined 3H group for a meetup at Spur Cross to hike the Elephant Mountain Trail.
Some of us went to the top of the Elephant. It was work though! Beautiful up here!
If you like cactus and jagged rocks, you'll love scrambling your way to the summit. I love it!
I missed the summit registry up there, I guess I'll have to go back sometime.
Thanks to the friends who joined me on this trek. It was great fun exploring and encouraging each other as we went higher and higher. Definitely will go back! :y:
_____________________
Mar 04 2018
friendofThunde
avatar

 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,723
 Triplogs 716

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Elephant Mountain Summit - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 04 2018
friendofThundergod
Hiking7.95 Miles 2,122 AEG
Hiking7.95 Miles   3 Hrs   42 Mns   2.29 mph
2,122 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 
Clouds and cool temps in the valley meant it was Elephant season today in the CCRP. I had thought about Skull or Black, but told myself I could not go hiking out until I completed some chores around the house and did not get to the trailhead until one, so just opted for the shorter Elephant.

I started at Dragon Fly to avoid the fee. I saw a few people on the trails near the trailhead, but nobody after I turned off on Elephant Mountain Trail. The trail to the summit seems to have gotten a little more defined, but that being said, I still had to take a couple minutes a few times to locate the proper route. I spooked a pack of Javelina on the summit, which was about the most excitement on the day. I returned the same way I came.
_____________________
1 archive
Dec 17 2017
friendofThunde
avatar

 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,723
 Triplogs 716

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Dragonfly Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 17 2017
friendofThundergod
Hiking4.14 Miles 588 AEG
Hiking4.14 Miles   1 Hour   35 Mns   2.89 mph
588 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Just a glorified dog walk and barely that really, as I cut the walk pretty short because I was feeling a little under the weather and generally beat from spending Friday and Saturday coaching at a wrestling tournament in Tucson.

Some annoying sticky mud on the trails and signs of some rainfall out there, but nothing to write home about. The area could still use about another 2-3 inches to get into prime winter condition, but I guess we have to be happy with anything at this point. Not too many people out for your typical Spur Cross Sunday in the winter, but no complaints here.
_____________________
Dec 11 2017
TheMazzicMan
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 35
 Photos 32
 Triplogs 51

50 male
 Joined Jul 04 2016
 Phoenix, AZ
Spur Cross Double Loop SCCA Cave Creek, AZ 
Spur Cross Double Loop SCCA Cave Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 11 2017
TheMazzicMan
Hiking9.07 Miles 1,580 AEG
Hiking9.07 Miles   5 Hrs   54 Mns   1.80 mph
1,580 ft AEG      52 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
From time to time, I appreciate a humbling hike. I find it helpful to have my complacency punished, my self-reliance tested, and my attitude checked.

Hiking here in the valley, I too often become a lazy observer. Valley trails are so well trod, I reason, that it's not really possible to get disoriented. There will be signs. Far too often I mentally check out on my hikes, forgetting I should be paying closer attention.

All was well until, on the Limestone return leg, just past the first spring (which was full, half-choked with grass and mostly covered in algae blooms), I suddenly lost the trail in a small field of volcanic rock. A couple of backtracking attempts got me situated only to lose it again.

This shouldn't be an issue, I can hear you saying, because surely you have your official HAZ route open in Route Scout, right?

Right?

Noooooooooooo! That route is safely tucked away in the cloud, laughing maniacally at me. I know because I put it there the evening prior. And out here, Verizon ain't letting me have it.

What I do have, however, is a map, a compass, and my live route I'm creating against a nifty HAZ wallpaper backdrop where a topo map should be.

I sit. I snack. I reason. With Sugarloaf mountain on my right, and my position close to the proper elevation, I continue to head in the direction I know the trail should be, intending to follow the contour. Six steps later, I rejoin it. Confidence returns, carrying me swiftly along...

...and right past my junction with the Elephant Mountain-Limestone connector (this would make a great jumping off point for a digression into how all official HAZ routes should have trail junctions waypointed but, as noted above, I did not have the benefit of said route and at present I'm too tired for advocacy).

Pressing on, I reach a sizable drainage. I elect to follow it south, somewhat parallel to my missed route, meet the Elephant Mountain Trail, and resume my return to the trailhead. This is better, anyway, I smugly proclaim, as this whole Limestone portion has been feeling somewhat like a death march anyway. This drainage, by comparison is wide and shady. Kind of like getting a free ride on a private parkway. Confidence meter begins to climb once again, propelling me without further failure back to my ever-so-patient car.

Lessons learned, until next time.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Cottonwoods are looking mighty splendiferous.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Limestone Spring - Spur Cross Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
No water observed coming from fill pipe but tank is full, grassy, and algae-covered.

dry Page Spring - Spur Cross Dry Dry
Appears decommissioned, as tank looks to have been intentionally filled with sand and gravel.
_____________________
Donovan Wood
Steward, Arizona Trail Passage 23c (Mazatzal Divide Tr, Barnhardt to Red Hills)

...he's got the Mazzic hands...
Dec 09 2017
Nightstalker
avatar

 Routes 71
 Photos 5,352
 Triplogs 671

51 male
 Joined Apr 25 2011
 Phoenix, AZ
Sugar Loaf Mtn Loop, AZ 
Sugar Loaf Mtn Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 09 2017
Nightstalker
Hiking9.30 Miles 2,044 AEG
Hiking9.30 Miles   7 Hrs   6 Mns   1.94 mph
2,044 ft AEG   2 Hrs   19 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
I rounded up the all stars to follow Oregon_Hiker's track to the Sugarloaf Mountain airplane crash site. 46 degree start at the Spur Cross trail head. We followed Spur Cross trail northwest to Tortuga Loop to Elephant Mountain and continued North to Tonto NF Trail 252 Lime Creek. Stopped by the 2 nearby ruins sites just to the east and then turned west and north up Peterson Spring trail. The trail up to the spring are fairly well marked and easy to follow. Water was running and the pool and tank were full. There's also a cattle feeder above the spring that's worth checking out. This is where the off trail starts. The GPS track takes a pretty natural path to the Sugarloaf/Black Mesa saddle above that has a barb wire fence along the ridge. There's 2 places the fence is down that you can cross to the north side. I wasn't sure which side of the fence we needed to be on and we ended up crawling under once we saw we were no long going in the right direction. Between the fence and the crash site is a real bush wack, we did our best to stay near the track while avoiding pointy things. The crash site way points were right on and brought this 17 year old's tragedy to life. It's hard to imagine the agony that young man went through during his last hours on that hot July morning. From the crash site we headed east toward Trail 4. Travel was slow as we zig zagged through the prickly pear stands and deadly agave spears. The track eventually drops into the same drainage that has the wreckage further up the mountain. We opted to just follow the drainage all the way back to Trail 4. This ended up being much easier than the brutal cross country travel as we were in the shade, it was nice and cool, there was far less spikey things, and we found an large additional plane piece. This was about a half mile from the crash site up the hill! Back on Trail 4, we maintained a brisk pace back to the truck and enjoyed lunch at Big Earl's in Cave Creek.

Big thanks to Oregon_hiker for all his work on this!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Tree turning from green to yellow along Cave Creek trail #4.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Peterson Spring - New River Quart per minute Quart per minute
Both tanks full and water running
_____________________
Sep 03 2017
jochal
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 1,878
 Triplogs 482

35 male
 Joined Sep 13 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Tortuga Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2017
jochal
Hiking4.90 Miles 765 AEG
Hiking4.90 Miles
765 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Headed up Elephant Mountain Trail from the East, but I realized I was going too slow and would be short on time, so instead completed Tortuga and came back on Spur Cross.
_____________________
Apr 15 2017
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,159
 Triplogs 1,080

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Dragonfly-Elephant-Limestone-Chalk, AZ 
Dragonfly-Elephant-Limestone-Chalk, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2017
The_Eagle
Hiking15.74 Miles 2,733 AEG
Hiking15.74 Miles   6 Hrs   37 Mns   2.49 mph
2,733 ft AEG      18 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Stayed in town and got out to the Spur Cross / Jewel of the Creek area.

Temps were perfect in the am, and with the afternoon breeze, never got to warm.

Dragonfly Trail, Maricopa Trail, Elephant Mountain, Tortuga Trail, Towhee, Metate, Cave Creek #4 are all in great shape

Limestone #252 is fading away. It is also filled with icky Foxtail grass.
All 18 minutes of break time were to pull them from my shoes.
Another 45 minutes at home to get them from my shoes and socks.

Saw a Gila Monster in the tall grass, and a bit later, a dead Gray Fox in the middle of the trail. Coincidence?
Flora
Flora
Desert Mariposa
Fauna
Fauna
Gila Monster
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cave Creek - SPRCA Light flow Light flow
Plenty to filter from

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Creek Light flow Light flow
Plenty of flow in areas.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Limestone Spring - Spur Cross Quart per minute Quart per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Actual spring is 50 yards up hill from catchment. Plenty of cool clear water to filter from

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Page Spring - Spur Cross Dripping Dripping
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Old cement catchment is filled in with sand, there is some pooled water. Lots of bees in the area.
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Apr 02 2017
Sun_Ray
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 753
 Triplogs 1,016

71 male
 Joined Sep 09 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Spur Cross TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2017
Sun_Ray
Hiking4.00 Miles 541 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   1 Hour   50 Mns   2.47 mph
541 ft AEG      13 Mns Break
 no routes
Partners none no partners
It's been sometime since I have hiked in the Spur Cross area. Been reading lots of good reviews on the wildflower level. Had forgotten how vast the vista views are in the area! Spur Cross Trail (east) :next: Tortuga :next: Dragonfly :next: and back to the parking lot. Does not seem to be as rocky on the uphill portion as I recall. Many cars in the lot on this Sunday morning, but not many on the trails we were on. A good amount of water in the Jewel of the Creek area.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Mostly brittle-bush
_____________________
Brian
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday......there is no SOMEDAY!
1 archive
average hiking speed 2.24 mph
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

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.

help comment issue

end of page marker