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Spur Cross Trail - 37 members in 197 triplogs have rated this an average 2.9 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Sep 28 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 125
 Triplogs 123

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Skull Mesa from Spur Cross THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 28 2019
LJW
Hiking12.00 Miles 2,200 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   4 Hrs   35 Mns   2.62 mph
2,200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Originally wanted to do a loop with Skull Mesa and Cottonwood trails. Went to Spur Cross after work and didn't have enough sunlight or water to get it done starting at 1pm. Attempted to just make it onto Skull Mesa but fell 8/900 ft short.

Spur Cross in passed two groups of hikers. Cottonwood, one group who had gotten an early start on Bronco and did a shuttle between trailheads.

On Skull Mesa Trail I saw three desert tortoises, as well as two rattlesnakes. Nearly stepped on the second one in a moment of dehydrated fatigue. It turned and worked its way under a bush right off the trail where it did some rattling. Running low on water, the snake made it easier to convince myself to turn back.

Saw a half dozen javelina on Cottonwood on the way back as well as what I think was a coral snake by the Spur Cross TH.

Not sure the temps ever made it into the 90s, but the desert and direct sun have a way of making it feel hot.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dirt Trough Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
1 archive
Apr 17 2019
LosDosSloFolks
avatar

 Photos 528
 Triplogs 31

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
Mar 30 2019
rrshort
avatar

 Photos 1,679
 Triplogs 82

61 male
 Joined Jun 19 2011
 Phoenix, Az
Spur Cross TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 30 2019
rrshort
Hiking2.60 Miles
Hiking2.60 Miles   1 Hour   45 Mns   1.49 mph
   10 Hrs    Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A trip to Spur Cross was in order on this beautiful day. So off I went. I wanted to do something knew so I headed out on the Spur Cross Trail. I did not have the energy to hook up with the Dragonfly Trail and return via the Jewel of The Preserve. An out and back trek would have to do. I crossed the creek and headed on up. Pretty soon it became clear that Lupines were the order of the day. The pretty yellow ground cover was prevalent though I was dismayed to find out later that it is an invasive species. As the morning went on I ran into several groups of hikers and some bike riders. I turned around at about 1.3 miles and headed pack enjoying the views along the way. Spur Cross never disappoints!
Flora
Flora
Globe chamomile
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
1 archive
Mar 08 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Spur Cross to CCRA - Maricopa TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 08 2019
kingsnake
Hiking12.23 Miles 1,126 AEG
Hiking12.23 Miles   4 Hrs   7 Mns   2.97 mph
1,126 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Pretty good pace, eh?

I must say, I am rather pleased with myself, even though this hike is not a rugged one. 😁

My wife & I left Sunnyslope at the usual 6:00 a.m., but since it’s only a 45-minute drive to Spur Cross, rather than the 2-3 hours my hiking drives often take, we arrived early in the Town of Cave Creek. So, on the way into town we stopped for breakfast at the Wagon Wheel cafe for breakfast. The food was cheap, hot & filling. 👍

When I started hiking at 9:00 a.m. it was overcast & breezy, and would remain so for hours. Taking flower photos with my crappy pocket camera is difficult enough, even on the macro setting: Poor light and breeze blowing light flowers about, makes it even more difficult. 😕

Cave Creek was a few inches deep, and still running pretty good. The wood plank ‘bridge’ had been replaced, so I took that rather than a rock hop crossing.

I found desert globemallow, Mexican gold poppy, owl clover, blue dick (no giggling!), flat top buckwheat, scorpionweed, brittlebush (of course), tons of globe chamomile, lupine, dandelion and a couple of more species I am clueless on. Let me know if you can ID them. 🤔

There are five gates on this hike. None require struggling with a loop of barbwire to get them closed: You can walk right across them. (Cattle not so much.) The first gate is located at the south boundary of Spur Cross Conservation Area, just before Rodger Creek.

The Maricopa Trail portion of this hike is 4.2 downhill miles from Rodger Creek to the boundary of Cave Creek Regional Park. Part of it is on old jeep trail, part on pavement, and part on regular foot / MTB / horse trail. Not exactly exciting, especially when it passes by the nascent luxury development — 1-2 acre lots! — but it is still exercise. Even before the roads were put in, it was not the most scenic terrain: just desert scrub. But there are good views of Apache Peak, and the sun had finally made its debut. 🌤

Note that there currently is a luxury development bypass that runs from Gate #2, at Cahava Rd., south to Gunsight, where it rejoins this route just before it intersects with Go John Trail in CCRP. (Gunsight is the small peak southeast of Apache Spring.) It looks like the bypass may shave a mile off this hike’s total distance.

I found the best flowers on Go John Trail between the old mine and the CCRP nature center. Not only was the sun now bright, but the flowers were healthy, colorful & open. To photograph one cluster of lupine, I actually laid half in the road. 💪

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
At least 15 species, but most scattered instances. TONS of globe chamomile. Fair amount of Mexican Gold Poppy, but the ones in Spur Cross were closed up & dropping leaves. Brittlebush looking bushed. Scattered lupine and fiddleneck. Only globemallow along Dragonfly Trail.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cave Creek - SPRCA Light flow Light flow
Still a couple of inches deep. Enough so, I made used of the replaced wood plank bridge, rather than attempt a rock hop crossing.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Feb 10 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 846

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
Jan 25 2019
survivordude
avatar

 Routes 59
 Photos 779
 Triplogs 139

38 male
 Joined Aug 19 2009
 The Basin
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 25 2019
survivordude
Hiking16.00 Miles 1,657 AEG
Hiking16.00 Miles   5 Hrs   57 Mns   3.05 mph
1,657 ft AEG      42 Mns Break
 
Another Luna hike in the books. Paid my $3 and passed several large groups on my way to the Tonto line. Anytime I come up here, I go through the Metate trail because why not? It is fantastic. Normal water flow in the creek. Stopped at the glyph area. The aliens are still there.. because we never left. Kept going up creek past the old truck and into a small corral area. We had a small snack and hung put by the creek for a while. When we were leaving I found a trail leading up the hill, so I decided to keep going up it and the path was pretty easy to follow up to where it started to flatten out a bit and I lost the trail until I saw some pink ribbons and I followed those for a while until I lost those also. As I was checking the map and reorienting myself, I came upon a nice ruin area with several walls and some great views. Eventually, I found the Cave Creek trail and took that back to Spur Cross. Luna is loving jumping in all these pools and puddles lately, she is really coming around.
_____________________
Jan 12 2019
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 15
 Routes 205
 Photos 2,535
 Triplogs 190

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Skull Mesa and Chalk Canyon, AZ 
Skull Mesa and Chalk Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2019
DixieFlyer
Hiking15.10 Miles 3,075 AEG
Hiking15.10 Miles   8 Hrs   40 Mns   2.56 mph
3,075 ft AEG   2 Hrs   46 Mns Break
 
I took a few people on this hike that I had done a few weeks ago.

We made a loop out of the hike, starting and ending at the Spur Cross TH. We started out on the Spur Cross Trail, and about the time we got to the Tonto National Forest we made a short off-trail jaunt to hit Trail 247A, and then made our way up to Skull Mesa. After traversing the mesa to get to the fort ruins on the NW side of the mesa, we descended from the ruins down the east side of the mesa, and angled our way north and then west until we got to Cave Creek Trail #4. On the way back we stopped off at the Rim of Chalk Canyon to see some pueblo ruins, and then dropped down into the Canyon to check out some petroglyphs and metates.

Compared to the "standard" out-and-back route to the ruins, I'd estimate that this route was 2.5 miles shorter and had 800'-900' less elevation gain.

I found 3 geocache containers on the mesa.
_____________________
Dec 25 2018
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,074

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 25 2018
mazatzal
Hiking9.50 Miles 1,140 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles
1,140 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Went out to just beyond 6L ranch and came back along Cave creek. Got a few sprinkles but not much.
Not many people except in SCRA.
Lots of flowers and fall color. Great day!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

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

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
_____________________
1 archive
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 05 2018
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 15
 Routes 205
 Photos 2,535
 Triplogs 190

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Skull Mesa and Chalk Canyon, AZ 
Skull Mesa and Chalk Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 05 2018
DixieFlyer
Hiking18.10 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking18.10 Miles   10 Hrs   15 Mns   2.41 mph
3,500 ft AEG   2 Hrs   44 Mns Break
 
I had been to Skull Mesa and Chalk Canyon 3 times each but I had never done both on the same hike. So I talked Tracie into going on this hike with me in order to rectify that situation.

We started at the Spur Cross TH, and took the Spur Cross Trail into the Tonto National Forest. Once there, we went off trail for a bit to get on a use trail that connects with Cottonwood Trail #247 about a mile west from where the Cottonwood Trail meets Skull Mesa Trail #248. I had noticed that lindaagm came back this way from Skull Mesa, and I used her route to get over to this trail. I like this way much better than continuing on the Spur Cross Trail until it hits Cave Creek Trail #4, and from there taking the Cottonwood Trail all the way over to Skull Mesa Trail #248. The use trail was easy to follow, and I thought that it was a better trail than Cave Creek Trail #4, which I took on the way back.

Once we got to Skull Mesa Tail #248 we took it up to the mesa. It was a bit steep, but there are lots of switchbacks on the steeper sections, so the ascent wasn't bad at all. Once we got to the overlook, I looked to the east and could see some places that were obviously at a higher elevation than where we were at the overlook on the SW side of the mesa. My GPS measured the overlook at 4,260'. So we went about 1.25 miles to what I think is the high point of the mesa on the SE side of the mesa. My GPS measured 4,570', whereas the high point is supposed to be 4,595'. The altimeter in my GPS isn't 100% precise, and since I did not see any other points higher than where we were, I am going to declare victory on being at the high point of Skull Mesa.

We then went from the SE part of the mesa over to the NW corner of the mesa to the Indian Ruins. The traverse wasn't bad, although I did manage to get some prickly pear spines in the side of my shoes a couple of times. Along the way we came across some metates on the mesa (N33.93712° W111.92183°).

The fort ruins are impressive imho and are well worth the trip to see them.

On the way back, rather than going all the way back across the mesa, we dropped down to the east of the fort ruins. The slope there looked forgiving, and it turned out do be decent descent. We angled down first to the north and then to the west -- we hit Cave Creek Trail #4 in about 0.6 miles. The only problem is that after angling down the hill, my left leg is now shorter than my right one!

We took Cave Creek Trail #4 until we turned off to go the rim of Chalk Canyon and check out the petroglyphs and pueblo ruins there. Then we descended down into Chalk Canyon and saw a few more petroglyphs and metates. Then we continued south on the trail that took us to the Skull Mesa TH, and then went back to the Spur Cross TH. Once we got back into the Spur Cross Preserve, we took the Metate Trail back to the TH -- I much prefer the Metate Trail to the Spur Cross Trail.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
There were a few wildflowers blooming: brittle bush; turpentine bush; and globemallow, among others
_____________________
Nov 28 2018
Sun_Ray
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 756
 Triplogs 1,018

71 male
 Joined Sep 09 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Spur Cross TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 28 2018
Sun_Ray
Hiking4.40 Miles 235 AEG
Hiking4.40 Miles   2 Hrs   11 Mns   2.84 mph
235 ft AEG      38 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Have seen recent trip logs with photos of water in Cave Creek. My retriever Kai loves the water so we went out there this morning at 7:50 AM. Only 3 other cars in the parking lot (about 30) on our return. Only dry wash was Cottonwood Creek, the first crossing. All the rest had water, but I was able to rock hop to get across. Turned around at the large brown, Skull Mesa, Tonto Forest sign. Kai had a great time in the water!
_____________________
Brian
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday......there is no SOMEDAY!
2 archives
Nov 23 2018
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 131
 Photos 2,263
 Triplogs 357

60 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Spur Cross LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 23 2018
hikerdw
Hiking11.40 Miles 2,104 AEG
Hiking11.40 Miles   4 Hrs   45 Mns   2.81 mph
2,104 ft AEG      42 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Headed to Spur Cross on Black Friday to hike the longer version of the same named loop, including a side trip to Peterson Spring. Only 3 other vehicles at the TH starting out, but returned to a full lot. Fantastic weather to be out enjoying the AZ trails.
Flora
Flora
Canyon Ragweed

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
Full trough with a nice flow from the pipe.

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
Full through with a nice flow from the pipe.
_____________________
Nov 13 2018
LosDosSloFolks
avatar

 Photos 528
 Triplogs 31

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.
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Oct 20 2018
rrshort
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61 male
 Joined Jun 19 2011
 Phoenix, Az
Metate Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 20 2018
rrshort
Hiking2.00 Miles 75 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   2 Hrs      1.09 mph
75 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
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Headed out to Spur Cross on this beautiful fall morning with hiking the Metate trail in mind. A few cars were present in the parking area, I paid my fee and headed out. The area looked great! Soon I crossed the creek which still had some water in it and headed down the Metate Trail. No sooner than I had started a cardinal landed on the top of a tree right in front of me! It was a thrill to finally see one of these beautiful birds. After snapping a few pictures I continued on my way. I was impressed with how the octotillos were full of green leaves Very pretty. I finished the Metate and returned on the Spur Cross. A great short hike today.
Fauna
Fauna
Cardinal
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Oct 07 2018
Eartheist
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 Phoenix, AZ
Spur Cross TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 07 2018
Eartheist
Hiking5.01 Miles 408 AEG
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The storm Saturday night caused Cave Creek to flood, so we were not able to cross the creek at either crossing at the northern sections of Spur Cross trail, or the one along Metate. Also not crossable at Dragonfly. Still made for a perfect day for walking end to end of what was accessible.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Cave Creek - SPRCA Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Cottonwood Creek Medium flow Medium flow
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May 09 2018
RowdyandMe
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 Deer Valley, AZ
Metate Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
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Hiking3.76 Miles 279 AEG
Hiking3.76 Miles   1 Hour   34 Mns   2.75 mph
279 ft AEG      12 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
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Flora
Flora
Saguaro
Fauna
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Cardinal
Named place
Named place
Metate Pond
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Rowdy and Widowmaker
Mar 31 2018
tibber
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 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Spur Cross LoopPhoenix, AZ
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Hiking avatar Mar 31 2018
tibber
Hiking5.98 Miles 982 AEG
Hiking5.98 Miles   3 Hrs   22 Mns   2.06 mph
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Clockwise. I forgot.... how miserable that rocky part of the trail is; especially when you're struggling. Yep, another bad hike for me, two in a row; previous to those, I'd been doing so well. Don't know if it was the heat even though it wasn't that hot.

At the Rondo Springs Rock, I decided since I hadn't seen anyone up in this area yet I better text my niece to let her know what I was doing. I told her the only sign of life I saw up here so far were lizards and one cardinal. I told her hopefully the snakes were sleeping. 15 minutes later I got buzzed and in my haste to get away on this narrow trail I fell to the right ](*,) which really aggravated the rattler over in the bush; not sure which bush. Mended my torn finger as the sweat was dripping from my head; don't know if this Flying HAZ hat causes that all though I heat up pretty fast. I had to get my poles out again too since I was struggling.

And as I finally crossed under the fence gate and was heading down the hill I got buzzed again, by HAZel. Of course, I am looking around not realizing at first it was HAZel :? . And now all of a sudden there are throngs of people coming up this trail; some looked more capable than others and I let them know it was pretty rocky on the other side for about 1/2 mile. Another group asked if the trail looped and I said yes, it was another 3 1/2 or more miles and not the easiest for awhile.

As I finished this downhill section where you cross the drainage I remembered this is the spot where my brothers and I stopped back in 2008 to goof around and take pictures. I'm going thru my brothers xHD and see that he had saved those (We did at least 10 hikes in Spur Cross). Anyway I sure was glad to finally see the corral. I was delighted to see water in the creek, flowing water. Not a lot but water :) . The path on the other side is well worn now too and much wider. I got my umbrella out, re-fixed my bleeding finger and marched on my way as it seemed to be getting even warmer. This should be a piece of cake for me so I was quite aggravated.

A little later I pulled over into the minuscule of shade at the dry creek before the road starts again and put my poles away. At Cave Creek I saw the vortex of cairns, took a picture and then headed up the hill to where the Metate Trail starts. There is a nice bench there so I took advantage. And then thru Cottonwood Wash as I started seeing more and more tourists.

At the make-shift VC the resident rattler was showing off so I came over and watched for about 10 minutes and took a couple lousy pictures; didn't realize what a fright I must have looked like as my mascara and dirt were all over my face... oh well. Yep, a rough day for me. Gonna take the prescribed puffer with me next time to see if that helps.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
1 poppy, some hedgehog

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cave Creek - SPRCA Light flow Light flow
just by the corral area.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Limestone Spring - Spur Cross Dripping Dripping
Once again, I don't know if it was dripping but the trough was full

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Page Spring - Spur Cross Dripping Dripping
I don't know if it was dripping as I didn't check but there was a pool of water in the cache area.
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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.
Mar 24 2018
rrshort
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 Phoenix, Az
Spur Cross TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 24 2018
rrshort
Hiking3.60 Miles
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I decided that it was time to head to Spur Cross. My intent was to hike some of the spur Cross trail past the park boundary on the north. arrived on a cool cloudy morning and got underway about 7:30. it stayed cloudy the first mile then once I crossed the creek the sun tried to break through a little but was largely unsuccessful. I enjoyed looking at the many saguaros that were on the hillsides above the trail Eventually I made it to the old corral which was my turnaround point for the day. The sun had given up trying to shine and it remained overcast throughout the return trip. While I hardly saw anyone going out the return trip saw an increase in hikers. Looking forward to doing this again and going a little further on the trail.
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average hiking speed 2.24 mph
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