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Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk Canyon - 16 members in 42 triplogs have rated this an average 3.7 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 31 2019
caragruey
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 43
 Photos 880
 Triplogs 39

female
 Joined Feb 04 2017
 Sun City
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 31 2019
caragruey
Hiking9.50 Miles 1,657 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles
1,657 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Naferg323
Nice little stretch on a lovely Sunday morning. At the first water crossing we noticed the boards were missing so feet wet time! There were heaps of butterflies dancing around all the beautiful flowers as we strolled through the thick overgrowth along the trail. Headed to the lower petroglyphs area and back out. Made for a nice small hike.
Culture
Culture
HAZ Gear
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
Mar 31 2019
Naferg323
avatar

 Routes 98
 Photos 713
 Triplogs 59

47 male
 Joined May 26 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 31 2019
Naferg323
Hiking7.44 Miles 885 AEG
Hiking7.44 Miles   3 Hrs   41 Mns   2.18 mph
885 ft AEG      16 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
caragruey
Quick hike in Cave Creek on a beautiful Sunday. Been to these ruins before, so I spent more time below just checking out more glyphs and found a couple more metates too. The creeks were flowing good and the trail was way overgrown, knee high almost. Of course, crossing the creek meant getting the feet wet. :sweat:
Good selection of wildflowers today! :)
Flora
Flora
Globe chamomile
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Chalk Canyon Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Creek Light flow Light flow
_____________________
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 19 2019
Naferg323
avatar

 Routes 98
 Photos 713
 Triplogs 59

47 male
 Joined May 26 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 19 2019
Naferg323
Hiking8.86 Miles 1,204 AEG
Hiking8.86 Miles   5 Hrs   1 Min   1.90 mph
1,204 ft AEG      21 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
3H - Group
Great little hike in the Spur Cross area to check out some Native American ruins.
Beautiful day in the Cave Creek area; there's a lot more to explore out here, someday...
It's really nice out here!
Iv'e checked this one off the list, I'll come back one day and do the complete Skull Mesa route.
It's great that I live close to the park. I will be back!

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 less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Creek Light flow Light flow
_____________________
1 archive
Jan 12 2019
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 15
 Routes 199
 Photos 2,475
 Triplogs 188

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 1,073

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 05 2018
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 15
 Routes 199
 Photos 2,475
 Triplogs 188

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
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Oct 28 2018
MandaBearPig
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 Routes 12
 Photos 51
 Triplogs 13

31 female
 Joined Jul 11 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 28 2018
MandaBearPig
Hiking9.09 Miles 1,080 AEG
Hiking9.09 Miles   4 Hrs   28 Mns   2.16 mph
1,080 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was set to delete this route and post nothing but I always say you learn from your mistakes, so I figured I should practice what I preach. Warning: do not follow my route trace unless you want an unnecessarily anxiety-ridden experience.

I want to note that I'm not a novice hiker, though I am an out of practice one. I grew up in rural southeastern Arizona and spent my early twenties in Tucson. Outdoor activities have been a part of my life from birth. The last 6 years I lived on the Southeast Coast where "hiking" is limited to beaches and swampy boardwalks. Needless to say, my route finding & bushwaking skills have declined.

Set out early this morning with the intention of exploring the ruins at Chalk Canyon following the official route trace. I had selected this hike earlier in the week, imported to Route Scout, and moved on with the humdrum of weekday life. Therein lies my biggest mistake - failing to review/print the route description before heading out or, you know, bringing along a dang map and compass.

Trail conditions were excellent if a bit muddy in spots. It was cool, slightly breezy, and the creek was running well given all the rain we've had this monsoon season. Unable to avoid wet feet at several crossings. The trail was washed out in a couple places but cairns and Route Scout got me through. Scared up a pair of mule deer near the border with Tonto NF, otherwise didn't see a single soul.

Upon arriving at the Skull Canyon trail head, I made my second mistake. Rather than heading up the trail counter-clockwise, I decided to take the clockwise route (FR 48) as it looked to be a gentler ascent. If I had reviewed the route description, rather than relying on a GPS trace, I would have know this was a mistake. Rather than following the established trail up to the mesa, my choice took me along the creek, following the base of the mesa. This is important later.

I only realized my mistake when I came upon the petroglyphs. They jump out at you after rounding a bend, an absolutely spectacular grouping. After exploring the area a bit and finding several more glyphs which aren't visible from the trail, I had a sudden realization. I remembered the route guide recommending a steep hike down from the ruins to this boulder field. That meant I would have to ascend the steep cliff up to the ruins. I scouted around a bit but could make out no clear path up. At this point, my intuition was screaming at me to call it a wash and head back towards the car. I made the decision to ignore my feelings and try to pick my way up the cliff.

Dumb decision. I consider myself a pretty level-headed gal, but there were several moments during the climb that I was wracked with anxiety and sure I was going to tumble to my death. Lots of loose rocks and things were much steeper than they appeared from below. As I stated above, my route finding skills have seriously declined. The only thing that kept me going - I felt sure that once I topped out onto the mesa I would be able to easily see a trail. This assumption was based solely on the way the route trace appeared in Route Scout. If I had reviewed the route guide prior to heading out, or brought a map, I would have seen that the pueblo ruins are about 100 yards west of the trail.

I popped up onto the mesa literally into the pueblo ruins. Unfortunately at this point I was so shaken that I didn't take any time to explore or take photos. I was concerned about my phone battery dying and fixated on finding my way back onto the GPS trace as, you know, I did not bring a map and had no idea how to find the trail. After wandering atop the mesa for quite awhile and struggling to find my way to any semblance of a path towards the trace, I made the decision to simply head back down the cliffs the way I came up. What followed was essentially a controlled slide on my rear back down to FR 48. I encountered quite a few hikers and equestrians on my return.

While I was never truly lost, as I knew generally where I was and how to get back to a trail by heading down towards the creek, I did engage in some seriously dangerous behaviors due to a lack of planning and judgement. I consider myself lucky to have gotten up and down that mesa with only a few scrapes and prickly pear pokes.

I want to be clear that Route Scout worked beautifully. This looks to be a semi-regularly traveled route based on the tracks I encountered, and there are no issues with the GPS trace itself. The issues I encountered today were all of my own making. At the end of the day I did get to see some amazing petroglyphs and had a lovely morning of secluded hiking (minus my terrifying rock climb). I'm going to let this serve as a lesson on being prepared, over-estimating my abilities, and over-relying on GPS technology to keep me safe and on-track. I will definitely be returning to complete this loop, prepared and humbled, in the future.
Feb 18 2018
jamminaz
avatar

 Routes 11
 Photos 580
 Triplogs 34

52 female
 Joined Apr 15 2016
 Gilbert, AZ
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 18 2018
jamminaz
Hiking9.50 Miles 1,657 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles
1,657 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
What an enjoyable hike! Followed the official route to the ruin site. Opted to hike down the the steep canyon side to the creek side trail below the ruin site. We came out at the boulders with more petroglyphs! Much respect to the people who occupied this area so long ago!
We didn’t see any other hikers until the trailhead. Most parking in the lot must keep to the trails in the Conservation Area.

$3 per person (16 and older) to park at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
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1 archive
Feb 11 2018
RowdyandMe
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 Guides 6
 Routes 358
 Photos 14,426
 Triplogs 1,626

65 male
 Joined Jul 16 2012
 Deer Valley, AZ
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2018
RowdyandMe
Hiking12.93 Miles 1,560 AEG
Hiking12.93 Miles   8 Hrs   5 Mns   1.99 mph
1,560 ft AEG   1 Hour   36 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
CHCoA - Group
_____________________
Rowdy and Widowmaker
Jan 25 2018
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 15
 Routes 199
 Photos 2,475
 Triplogs 188

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 25 2018
DixieFlyer
Hiking12.90 Miles 1,650 AEG
Hiking12.90 Miles   6 Hrs   23 Mns   2.74 mph
1,650 ft AEG   1 Hour   41 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This turned out to be an enjoyable hike with some cool ruins to view. Leaving the TH, we (Tracie, my intrepid hiking partner, and I) began the hike by going out on the Metate Trail, which is more interesting than just going on the Spur Cross Trail. Once we got to the Forest Service sign, we went out Cave Creek Trail 4 until we got to a cairn, and then went on a easy, off trail scramble to get to a site of some ruins. The trail was not very noticeable once we left Cave Creek trail 4, but the ruin site was easy to find by following the GPS track that I downloaded from HAZ. There were a lot of petroglyphs at the ruin site, along with a room that was probably 12'X30' with walls 3'-4' high.

Rather than going into the canyon below, we made our way back to Trail 4. Once there, we continued going out for a ways -- I wanted to see if there was way to get up to the Skull Mesa fort ruins from Trail #4. Unfortunately there did not appear go be a good way to do so, at least from the west side of Skull Mesa. You might could do it, but you'd spend a lot time and energy doing so. Perhaps there would be a way up and down Skull Mesa from the north side, but I did not check that out on this trip.
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2 archives
Jan 20 2018
AZWanderingBea
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 Guides 27
 Routes 62
 Photos 2,620
 Triplogs 700

63 male
 Joined Jan 23 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 20 2018
AZWanderingBear
Hiking12.11 Miles 1,487 AEG
Hiking12.11 Miles   6 Hrs   15 Mns   2.31 mph
1,487 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After meeting Steph and Blake on El Camino del Diablo, we knew we wanted to hike together and plan some future explorations. They hadn't hiked much in the north valley, so we took them to one of our favorite areas, Spur Cross, to visit the Chalk Canyon Ruins and Petroglyphs.

Rain was in the forecast, but we were undeterred. A mountain bike race was using the Maricopa Trail through Spur Cross when we arrived so we had to accommodate the bikers, meaning it took 5 minutes to go 200 feet until they turned west onto the Spur Cross Trail while we continued north.

The rain began about 3 miles into the hike, so the rain gear came out. Spent time exploring the glyphs, a quick look at the overturned rusty old Ford pickup and then a break at the 6L Ranch. The rain stopped as we climbed east out of the creek canyon. The connector trail between 6L and the Cave Creek #4 Trail has really become overgrown since I last used it. Lots of catclaw and loose footing. We examined the plane crash site and turned south along the #4 trail.

The bushwack over to the ruins was easy enough and we spent time examining sherds, walls and pondering life here back when.

The rain has really popped out the color of the varied rocks and a few went into packs for additions to rock gardens back home. The red fishhook barrel cacti were showing off all along the trail. We sidestepped onto the Metate Trail to admire the huge saguaros but all of us were getting footsore and tired and ready for the trailhead and some warm showers back home.

MJ had prepped some enchiladas for dinner and the wide ranging conversation went for a good while into the evening. A good day with good friends!
_____________________
All you have is your fire...
And the place you need to reach
1 archive
Jan 20 2018
Steph_and_Blak
avatar

 Guides 98
 Routes 59
 Photos 2,511
 Triplogs 175

70 male
 Joined Nov 21 2015
 Grand Junction,
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 20 2018
Steph_and_Blake
Hiking12.10 Miles 1,657 AEG
Hiking12.10 Miles   7 Hrs      2.20 mph
1,657 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
AZBeaver
AZWanderingBear
Wade and Mary Jo were excellent guides on this very interesting hike. We saw petroglyphs, ruins (both ancient and those of the last century), massive saguaros, pretty vistas, and a lily pond! What more could you ask for (other than a foot massage at the end)? Blake and I thoroughly enjoyed the day despite the rain. Many thanks to Wade and Mary Jo!
_____________________
Stephanie and Blake Barnard
Nov 21 2017
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,073

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
6L Ranch Loop, AZ 
6L Ranch Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 21 2017
mazatzal
Hiking12.00 Miles 1,540 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   6 Hrs   20 Mns   2.12 mph
1,540 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
From Spur Cross we followed Cave Creek out to 6L ranch and then east to join trail 4 and back to Spur Cross.

Saw one deer and when we were almost back at Spur Cross we met Widowmaker and Rowdy. Nice to see you again.

I've never seen the area this dry.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
_____________________
May 21 2017
DarthStiller
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 Guides 15
 Routes 234
 Photos 6,048
 Triplogs 438

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 21 2017
DarthStiller
Hiking9.20 Miles 1,045 AEG
Hiking9.20 Miles   4 Hrs   54 Mns   1.88 mph
1,045 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
mt98dew
Got started at about 6:30am with Brian. The hike up the Cave Creek trail was pretty standard. At about the 2-3 miles mark, the gnats atarted to come out in full force. Brian forgot his hat in his car, so for the next 2+ hours, he was swatting away gnats while he hiked. I was wearing my long sleeved hoodie shirt, and the hood seemed to give me enough protection from them so that they weren't right in my face and buzzing in my ears. :D . it was so bad for Brian that he totally missed that he walked by a gila monster on the trail. I think he may have almost stepped on it. When it saw me stop, it quickly ran under a bush. I got a blurry photo that I posted, you can see part of the pattern on it thru some grass.

Once up on the mesa, we headed off trail towards the west and the ruins. The foxtails are about as fierce as the gnats now. My feet were feeling them at first, but then they didn't seem to bother me anymore.

the ruins are very nice. A lot there, but not much left of the walls, and everything is overgrown. Thousands of sherds, everywhere. Even saw a few petroglyphs up there. We made our way down the western side of the mesa, seeing another glyph about 1/4 of the way down. There was one dicey/greasy spot near the top, but then it wasn't too bad. Certainly not nearly as bad as coming down off from the Moody Point ruins.

At the bottom we got to see some more petroglyphs, and some of them were really carved into the rock. Brian decided to jog the rest of the way back to the TH since he was on the borderline of needing therapy for PTSD from being attacked by the gnats. I enjoyed a peaceful hike along Cave Creek on the way back. still some water running in Cave Creek, making for some nice scenery, and the occasional pleasant sound of running water.
_____________________
May 21 2017
mt98dew
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 Guides 16
 Routes 19
 Photos 398
 Triplogs 1,454

50 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 21 2017
mt98dew
Hiking9.56 Miles 1,657 AEG
Hiking9.56 Miles   3 Hrs   53 Mns   2.46 mph
1,657 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Gnats 1000, Brian 1. The gnats win! Met up with Chris around 6:30 to knock out this awesome hike and it was awesome. Unfortunately, I have been and always will be a shorts a t-shirt hiker and the gnats loved it! And to add vinegar to the wound I have Chris in the background saying "what gnats?" He's going around shrouded up like one of Tusken Sand People from Tantooine, (suffering with a bout of Steelers fandom). :lol: For him, the gnats were at worst only a slight annoyance. Chris is a veteran hiker and is prepared for all contingencies and it paid off today.

The hike started off innocuous enough. We started off going up the Spur Cross Trail and noticed that there were two new trails to the Spur Cross Preserve offering. Within the first mile of the Spur Cross trail (going north) we came across the Fairy Duster and the Mariposa Trails. Based on the maps, neither of them look very long but we did not check them out. Always love new trails to explore! On our way to the Cave Creek Trail (#4), we had to cross the wash several times. We were surprised to find that the water was still flowing in places. Some crossing were completely dry, but it was cool seeing the flows here and there. As the hike progressed the onslaught of gnats gradually became worse...for some of us. We took trail #4 up toward the ruins. This trail has nice parts, but is very rocky. Apparently, as I swatting at gnats I came close to stepping on a Gila monster. I never saw him but Chris said it had been right there, in the middle of the trail. :o I hurried back to the spot but it had already disappeared into the brush. After Chalk Canyon we hit the plateau and started our venture off trail. This for me was the worst part, because the going got slow as we tried to find our way to the ruins and the cloud of gnats seemed to increase exponentially. I'm sure it wasn't that bad, but if stood still it felt as if the skies darkened. :lol: It made it hard to enjoy the ruins once we found them. And there were an abundance of walls, glyphs and pottery shards to enjoy! I tried to take some pictures with my garmin but I'm not sure how steady my hands were. We kind of tried to follow the track that descended off the mesa, but to be honest, I wasn't all that concerned about following the track down, I just wanted to keep moving. We saw a couple of other glyphs on the way down and I trusted in Chris to take pictures for both of us as I felt that constant movement was my friend. At the base of the mesa, we connected to a nice clear, flat trail (#48) that was paralleling the creek going in a north-south direction. From where we connected to the trail we had to go south a little ways to reach a fantastic grouping of glyphs and metates. We actually encountered several people who looked as if they had just arrived at the site as well. We took a couple of pictures and we were on our way. This is where Chris and I parted. From here on I jogged. And actually the gnats weren't that bad at a steady jog. Jogging is my friend. I had wanted to do some more off trail exploring while I was back there, but I decided to put that in my back pocket for a later day. Thanks for a great hike today Chris. Sorry I bugged out on you at the end :lol:
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2 archives
Mar 29 2017
AZBeaver
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 Photos 326
 Triplogs 124

65 female
 Joined Jan 04 2014
 Phoenix, AZ
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2017
AZBeaver
Hiking8.00 Miles 735 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   4 Hrs   10 Mns   2.29 mph
735 ft AEG      40 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
Partners partners
AZWanderingBear
Had some friends from Canada visit Wade and I. I met Loretta and Pat while on a 12-day Colorado River trip through the Grand Canyon last April and we have become good friends. They spend 6 weeks traveling the southwest each year getting away from the harsh weather of eastern Canada. Took them on the Cave Creek, Spur Cross trail to the petroglyphs crossing the creek 8 times. On the way back, I slipped off a rock that moved on me and down into the water I went. Slight bruise on my knee and forearm, but overall, no issues. In fact, the water felt good. There were a lot less wildflowers on this trail than there were on the Elephant Mountain Trail, but a lot more water. My favorite bird, the Canyon Wrens, were singing away putting a smile on my face. The only people we passed on the trail were on horseback. My friends really enjoyed the petroglyphs and the hike.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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1 archive
Mar 20 2017
survivordude
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 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 Mar 20 2017
survivordude
Hiking10.04 Miles 988 AEG
Hiking10.04 Miles   3 Hrs   53 Mns   2.81 mph
988 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
The last time I came here I was a little disappointed and never made it to the ruins. This time it was a mission. I take back all the bad stuff I said about Spur Cross. Instead of just taking the road trail I went with the metate trail and it was great. The trail goes through a really lush area and there were some gigantic saguaros here. Some of these would give the Superstition saguaros a run for their money. The recent rains have really got everything so green and huge. The entire trip was through thick and tall vegetation. I decided to take the loop with the Cave Creek trail up and back around to the top and then down to the ruins site. Unfortunately there was way to much prickly pear on the ground for Gabby to navigate so we ended up way past the ruins when we made our decent. Did climb back up a short ways to check out a few rock walls and also all the great petroglyphs. I love looking at the art and trying to figure out the stories being told. I have decided this one is aliens. Found a dead animal, not sure if it was a fox, but I'm sure it was dead. Didn't see anyone at all until we made it back out of the Tonto and officially in Spur Cross. Then I ran into several groups and they all talked about the several rattlesnakes they saw on the trail. I saw zero snakes but I did see rabbits, lizards, tons of different birds, and a pack of javelina. Really enjoyed this one today and so did Gabby.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Cave Creek - SPRCA Medium flow Medium flow
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2 archives
May 01 2016
mazatzal
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 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,073

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Cave Creek Trail #4Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 01 2016
mazatzal
Hiking12.00 Miles 1,550 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   6 Hrs   20 Mns   2.12 mph
1,550 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 no routes
From Spur Cross we took Cave creek out to 6L ranch and then east to join trail 4 and back to Spur Cross.

Saw a gila monster on the connector trail and checked out the crash site. Got sprinkled on a few times but nothing much. I can’t believe these temps in early May - about 64 when we started and 74 at the end. Perfect!
Fauna
Fauna
Gila Monster
Culture
Culture
Old Rusty Stuff
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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1 archive
Mar 31 2016
SteveHall
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 Photos 187
 Triplogs 9

28 male
 Joined Jan 05 2016
 Cave Creek, AZ
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 31 2016
SteveHall
Hiking9.50 Miles 1,657 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles   7 Hrs      1.36 mph
1,657 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Went up to Chalk Canyon today for the first time. It was a beautiful day with light clouds, a cool breeze (got real windy for about 20 min), and the creek is still running (barely). The trail gets a little rougher outside of Spur Cross, but not too bad. There are a few creek crossings, so a little bit of boulder hopping is required. I followed the trail till just past the iron gate and started to see the petroglyphs right away. I spent about 20 or so minuets Looking for glyphs in that area. I found quite a few Metate there. Right below this big boulder with 3 Metate ground into it was a Gila Monster. I startled it and it got defensive. luckily I was able to pass.

Now it was time to scale the steep hillside. This is where the fun really began. This was not easy folks. Going up and back down pretty much took all my energy. Going through a few thorn bushes and stepping on a few unstable boulders, I finally made it to the top. The climb instantly became worthwhile as I started to find some really interesting glyphs which led me to the ruins. As with most (if not all) of the ruins in the area, these were a bit overgrown. There are a few walls that are in pretty decent shape though. I spent about 1 1/2 hours from heading up the hill to getting back to the trail. When I finally got back to the trail that Gila Monster was sitting right in the middle of the dang thing. I had to slowly follow it for about 5 minuets before it got off the trail.

If you are looking for a hike in the area, but want something a little more difficult than most of what you find in Spur Cross, I recommend this one. Please be respectful and don't touch the petroglyphs.
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1 archive
average hiking speed 2.22 mph
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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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