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Quien Sabe Peak - 13 members in 21 triplogs have rated this an average 3.4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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21 triplogs
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Jan 23 2022
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 2,451
 Triplogs 143

38 male
 Joined Mar 01 2018
 Chandler, AZ
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 23 2022
John10sTriplogs 143
Hiking11.86 Miles 2,331 AEG
Hiking11.86 Miles   7 Hrs   49 Mns   1.99 mph
2,331 ft AEG   1 Hour   51 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
It had been almost five years since I'd hiked from Cave Creek Trailhead, and today the plan was to hike up to Quien Sabe Peak, a new one for both of us. It was a chilly morning, in the mid-30s when we arrived. There were three or four other cars in the parking lot, and two other hikers started out on the trail ahead of us.

We brought water shoes in case we needed to wade through Cave Creek at the first crossing, but the water was low enough that it was easy to walk across on the rocks, which was good news with the frigid temperature. As we made our way toward the Cottonwood/Skunk Tank intersection, the two hikers who'd started before us ended up behind us...they must have gotten turned around and had to backtrack.

It was a steady incline going up Skunk Tank #247, and we noticed the tailings from Quien Sabe Mine on the south side of the trail. There was a large, upside-down steel basin in the drainage below Quien Sabe Spring...looks like that's been there for at least a few years [ photo ] , but it's now in the drainage and not on the trail anymore.

We turned onto Quien Sabe #250 and left the trail ~ four miles in. It was relatively tame off-trail hiking...a little rocky, but the brush is mostly of the non-sharp variety. The first half mile of off-trail was steeper as we made our way along the west side of the ridge before getting up on top, where it flattened out. The final stretch approaching the peak was very similar to hiking across Skull Mesa--flat ground, dry grass, and prickly pear mixed in with the rocks.

The views from the peak were very nice...the Superstition ridgeline and Weaver's Needle, Four Peaks, Skull Mesa, and downtown Phoenix visible to the SW through the haze. The summit register jar had two notebooks inside...looking back at comments on old trip logs, the now rodent-chewed notebook that @KingSnake placed a few years ago was one of them [ photoset ] [ image ] :). There was a second, newer notebook, and both had quite a few familiar HAZ names, with the most recent signature from almost a year ago, in February 2021. It sounds like the register and a summit cairn used to be located on the slightly lower peak just east of Quien Sabe, but the register is now on the actual peak, and there's no cairn on the other one.

[ youtube video ]

We ate lunch at the top and started back down. Instead of following the same route, we ended up descending straight down the steep hillside off the ridge to intercept Quien Sabe Trail a little earlier and avoid some of the off-trail. By late morning/early afternoon, the weather had warmed up and become very pleasant, and aside from those two hikers earlier in the day, we didn't see anyone again until we were within a quarter mile of the trailhead. After finishing up the hike, we stopped at Sears-Kay Ruins on the drive back--a nice bonus to finish the day.
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Moon

dry Bronco Creek Dry Dry
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Seven Springs Wash Light flow Light flow
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout
Nov 12 2020
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 Photos 1,241
 Triplogs 237

28 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 12 2020
LJWTriplogs 237
Hiking21.18 Miles 3,920 AEG
Hiking21.18 Miles   8 Hrs   44 Mns   2.57 mph
3,920 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Last year I did a loop with Skull Mesa and Quien Sabe from Spur Cross, and this year I tried to come up with a truer loop. Ended up with this route from Seven Springs to the Skull Mesa Ruins and Quien Sabe Peak that is shorter and has less elevation gain.

Started at sunrise, which was probably too early. Freezing cold and the sun wasn't high enough to light the yellow trees of Cave Creek or the canyon below Cramm Mountain. Water running the whole way down CC4. Too many cows have made waste of the middle stretch of the trail north of Skull Mesa.

Climbed up the side of the mesa to the higher ruins first then down to the lower. Mostly enjoy the ruins area for the views. Spent the next leg of the trip walking the entire length of the Mesa. Didn't bother to look for the trail. Tall cairns are around, but there's more or less no trail from the top of the Mesa to Quien Sabe Trail. There's a short switchback portion descending into the Matty's Fork drainage, but it's in rough shape and doesn't last long.

Quien Sabe Trail to east of Skunk Ridge. Up to Quien Sabe Peak where I saw the only people on the day. They had binoculars looking south, but we just exchanged waves, and I never got to ask what they were looking for. Descended south from Quien Sabe toward Skull Mesa Trail. Again didn't trouble with the trail that isn't there and climbed down to where it reappears on the ridge toward Cottonwood.

Took Cottonwood east from Skull Mesa. That half of the trail is much less scenic than the western half. Lots of cows. If I were to do this again I would skip this corner of Cottonwood and come down the ridge that leads away from Sabe to the northeast. Makes for an easier, shorter, more scenic hike.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Cave and Bronco Creeks within a mile of Seven Springs
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
5 archives
Dec 28 2019
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 Guides 1
 Routes 80
 Photos 8,028
 Triplogs 3,070

60 male
 Joined Apr 02 2005
 Mesa, AZ
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 28 2019
Tortoise_HikerTriplogs 3,070
Hiking12.65 Miles 2,642 AEG
Hiking12.65 Miles   5 Hrs   49 Mns   2.26 mph
2,642 ft AEG      13 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
Dave1
joebartels
johnlp
LindaAnn
The_Eagle
trekkin_gecko
Another end of the year/ 🥳New year hike with my buddy Bruce and some other top notch Hazers 😀. All the rain this week made this one a little muddy. A lot more energy spent trying to stay upright. Views on the way up were limited. We did see a whitetail and a couple cottontail. We made it to the summit and were greeted by a Sabe blizzard 😳🤣. It got cold but was kinda cool. Took our New Year pic and headed down. We still had to slip and slide on the way down but the skies opened up a little and we got some nice views. We had some cold feet but the temps were bearable. Fun group! Thanks to Bruce for planning this one and along with Linda doing the driving. Thanks to The whole group. Like HAZ you rock! Happy New Year to you and the whole HAZ community! 🥳😁
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Tortoise Hiking. Stop and smell the Petrichor.
Dec 28 2019
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 Guides 260
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52 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 28 2019
joebartelsTriplogs 5,291
Hiking12.20 Miles 2,400 AEG
Hiking12.20 Miles   5 Hrs   49 Mns   2.22 mph
2,400 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Dave1
johnlp
LindaAnn
The_Eagle
Tortoise_Hiker
trekkin_gecko
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Bruce and Denny graciously invited us to their annual New Year's hike.

With a known creek crossing in the first mile... could have come prepared for wet feet on a sub 40° hike.

The trail got sloppy muddy in spots. Expected after recent rains. Albiet no walk in the park the off trail wasn't as bad as nearby Skull Mesa. Which notoriously takes your shoes off in mud gluck.

Shortly after arriving at the peak it began to snow. The snow flake show picked up. Largest snow flakes I recall since childhood.

The beautiful warm sun made an appearance on the return.

Numb wet feet are generally a recipe for the worst. While I'm not eager for a repeat I'm grateful for the opportunity to hike with these fine folk!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Quien Sabe Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Based on the flowing Creek
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- joe
Dec 28 2019
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 Guides 9
 Routes 395
 Photos 5,164
 Triplogs 3,587

64 female
 Joined Nov 17 2008
 phoenix, az
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 28 2019
trekkin_geckoTriplogs 3,587
Hiking12.20 Miles 2,400 AEG
Hiking12.20 Miles   5 Hrs   49 Mns   2.22 mph
2,400 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
Dave1
joebartels
johnlp
LindaAnn
The_Eagle
Tortoise_Hiker
got to tag along on bruce & denny's new year's hike
plan a was lime creek cabin, but weather dictated a change to plan b
hadn't done either hike, and always like to get a new peak - this one had been on my wish list
met up at 0600, piling in with linda and bruce for the drive up to seven springs
plenty of rain had fallen, and all washes had running water
got going around 0700, just barely light enough to see without a headlamp
37 degrees and it didn't warm up much from there
temps were best experienced crossing cave creek only 3/4 mile into the 12 mile hike :lol:
feet and hands were cold most of the day after that, but enough of an ascent to keep the core temp warm
skunk tank and quien sabe trails were new to me
muddy trail, low clouds and fog
started seeing snow on the ground at the turn off for the peak
easy enough off trail, except for actual snowfall as we reached the summit
unique conditions made up for missing views, but we didn't hang around beyond the 2020 photo shoot
a little slow dropping down off the peak
back on trail, the sun almost came out
uneventful return, and the creek crossing didn't seem as cold
fun hike with a good crew in spite of conditions
thanks for the invite, guys, and thanks to linda for driving us from north scottsdale - we owe you a car wash
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hazhole
Dec 28 2019
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 Guides 81
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42 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 28 2019
LindaAnnTriplogs 1,575
Hiking12.12 Miles 2,562 AEG
Hiking12.12 Miles   5 Hrs   49 Mns   2.22 mph
2,562 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
Dave1
joebartels
johnlp
The_Eagle
Tortoise_Hiker
trekkin_gecko
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I think today’s weather may have been custom ordered just for me—cloudy, foggy, and snowy—I loved it. Nobody else seemed to be quite as thrilled with the cold and soggy conditions, but then again, I may have been the only one with dry feet. Thank you to everyone who piggybacked me across the creek...

Got started from the trailhead just before light. Water in various forms was the theme of the day right from the start. Got across the creek without incident. Muddy trail beyond that. The low clouds and fog obscured most landmarks, so much of the trail was kind of a blur.

The off trail portion to the summit was much easier than I had anticipated, which was a welcome surprise. We started seeing snow on the ground through here, which steadily as we climbed. Thanks to the fog, having a preloaded track was a huge help. As we stood around the summit, snow began to fall. Since we were all cold, we didn’t spend much time up there. The snow trailed off as we descended.

Easy hike down once we were back on trail, mostly just a matter of staying upright in the mud. There were a few short uphill portions on the return, and I made sure to whine about every one of them. There were a few flurries of snow just before we finished.

Temps at the trailhead were 36 at the start and 41 at the finish, and felt at least 5 degrees colder at the summit. Fun hike with a great group of hikers!
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If it’s above freezing, it’s too hot.
1 archive
Dec 28 2019
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 Guides 9
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 Photos 10,980
 Triplogs 1,941

66 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 28 2019
The_EagleTriplogs 1,941
Hiking12.65 Miles 2,642 AEG
Hiking12.65 Miles   5 Hrs   49 Mns   2.26 mph
2,642 ft AEG      13 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
Dave1
joebartels
johnlp
LindaAnn
Tortoise_Hiker
trekkin_gecko
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
This was the 10th installment
of the Turtle and Eagle New Years-ish hike.

Weather this week forced us into Plan-B mode.

A cool pre-dawn start and an early cold wet Cave Creek crossing set the mood.

The steady climb up Skunk Tank and then Quien Sabe trails got us into thicker and thicker fog.
This made the off trail to the peak a bit more challenging than usual. We could not actually see the peak, until we were about 30' away. We took our usual group photo at the peak, as the light snow, turned into large flakes, coming down quite heavy. A quick snack, in lieu of lunch and we retreated off the peak.

Partway down, the snow stopped, the fog began to subside and we were treated to some incredible views.
[ youtube video ]

Back at the saddle and trail, we enjoyed the warmth of a bit-o-sun.

The rest of the return was uneventful. Even the creek crossing seemed warmer.

Good hiking with John, Kelly, Dave, Denny again and with Linda for the first time.

Happy New Year All!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Seven Springs Wash Medium flow Medium flow
Flowing well after recent rains
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There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry 🦅
1 archive
Dec 28 2019
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 Guides 1
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 Triplogs 4,329

65 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 28 2019
johnlpTriplogs 4,329
Hiking12.20 Miles 2,400 AEG
Hiking12.20 Miles
2,400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Dave1
joebartels
LindaAnn
The_Eagle
Tortoise_Hiker
trekkin_gecko
Bruce and Denny's annual almost New Years hike. Lime Creek gave way to Quien Sabe Peak after a lot of recent rain.

We got started at first light with temps in the mid thirties. Not bad with dry feet. When we got to the creek crossing, it didn't take long to figure out there was no way to stay dry. Wet feet aren't a big deal if you aren't in the snow, which we ran into near the peak.

Nice little snow storm on the peak. Pretty views once the weather broke and the skies tried to clear.

Parts of the trails were muddy. Tolerable considering all the rain. I thought it would be worse.

Memorable hike with a fun group. Great to see everyone again. Thanks Linda and Bruce for driving. :)
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“Good people drink good beer.” Hunter S Thompson
Nov 02 2019
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 Guides 7
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 Triplogs 198

39 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Nov 02 2019
ShatteredArmTriplogs 198
Run/Jog14.46 Miles 2,697 AEG
Run/Jog14.46 Miles   5 Hrs   23 Mns   2.89 mph
2,697 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I've jogged and hiked around the Cave Creek trail system quite a bit (my favorite in the general Phx vicinity), and when one of my friends suggested we summit Quien Sabe Peak, I did not oppose. One member of our group had the GPX route that has you going all the way up the ridge as soon as Quien Sabe trail crosses (the route on the guide). I suggested we take Quien Sabe all the way to the saddle before where it drops down to Mattys Fork.

Started at the gate on the road leading out to the old ranger station, and headed for Skunk Tank trail. I've done the Skunk Tank loop before, so knew what to expect... It was in the mid 40s at the start, but quickly heated up on the exposed trail. Headed south on Quien Sabe all the way to the saddle. It looked like the best way up would be up the draw, in a grassy area, instead of on the ridge. Turned out to be a pretty easy bushwhack to the summit. I think this route is probably far superior to the one that follows the ridge the whole way up; you can make much better time on the old Jeep road.

On the way down, we decided to take a detour and complete the Skunk Tank loop, with Cave Creek flowing. Stopped at the swimming hole for a bit (turns out the water is really cold, even in the desert), and then proceeded back to the car. Trail 4 is one of my favorites, and the leaves were popping a mile or so from the TH.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Still green a couple miles from the ranch, and a lot of fallen leaves in the Seven Springs area. Some good yellow foliage in between.
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2 archives
Oct 23 2019
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 Photos 1,241
 Triplogs 237

28 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 23 2019
LJWTriplogs 237
Hiking25.02 Miles 5,005 AEG
Hiking25.02 Miles   9 Hrs   39 Mns   2.98 mph
5,005 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
 
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Seems most people add Quien Sabe from the CC4/Skunk Tank loop. That seems like the more enjoyable option compared to adding it to the Skull Mesa/Cottonwood Loop. I had thought it would only add a little mileage and elevation, but that was wrong. This one turned into an ordeal.

Decided that fall colors could wait, and that I would rather hike in the last of summer's residual heat down around Phoenix. Started around 6:15am. Was in the dark or shade until the Skull Mesa turn off. Trail to the top is good, but once on top the trail is harder to follow the closer to Quien Sabe it goes. Plenty of cairns but still easy to get off route. The eastern side of Skull Mesa was alive with wildflowers. The route down on the east side is lost the lower it goes. Pretty well eroded the whole time it's there.

Headed to the pass between Skunk Ridge and Quien Sabe because it looked like the least steep approach. Took off up hill and it was very easy going. Wildflowers were pretty extreme. Stained my boots a bright yellow. Impressive views on the peak, especially of the Mazatzals to the east.

Once off of the Quien Sabe Trail and back onto Skull Mesa, after a while the trail more or less disappeared. Much of the stretch between the Quien Sabe junction and Cottonwood is overgrown, very faint, or gone. Ended up spending a lot of time walking cross country in search of the route. Would not be comfortable doing this part without GPS. Once on the descent to Cottonwood the trail is pretty solid.

The more I do of the Cottonwood Trail the more I like it. Really enjoyable stretches in the creek with a lot of shade in the hottest part of the day. Ran out of water at Cottonwood Spring around the Skull Mesa junction. Last six miles were pretty arduous. Saw a baby rattlesnake in the last thirty yards of the Cottonwood Trail. Only people I saw all day were in the last mile.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Heavy on Skull Mesa, pretty extreme on Quien Sabe Peak


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Spring Dripping Dripping
Small pools

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dirt Trough Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Puddles
1 archive
Feb 10 2019
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,442
 Triplogs 1,640

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Quien sabe peak loop, AZ 
Quien sabe peak loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2019
John9LTriplogs 1,640
Hiking9.48 Miles 2,298 AEG
Hiking9.48 Miles
2,298 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
We were interested in a moderate hike within an hour of town and this one was a good choice. We left Scottsdale around 10:30am and headed for the trailhead. It was a beautiful day out and the road was busy. We arrived at the trailhead and started in by crossing the creek and headed up. It was a consistent climb as we made a steady pace. With some effort we connected on the Quien Sabe Trail. We would parallel the ridge leading to the peak and this worked well. After a mile we headed off trail and climbed for the summit. The going through here went well but careful footing was important. The rock is loose and the area is loaded with lots of unforgiving cacti. We topped out and enjoyed the views. Chumley relocated the summit cairn while I ate lunch.

After we had our fill on the summit, we opted for an off trail route leading to the NE. This turned out to be a good option. It was a shorter route and mostly straightforward. We had to dodge a lot more cacti and dealt with annoying desert scrub bushes. The ground was saturated and this helped with footing. We eventually connected onto the Cottonwood Trail and were back to the car soon after. This was a nice hike and didn't take a all day. Good to get out.
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Feb 10 2019
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 Guides 84
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49 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Quien sabe peak loop, AZ 
Quien sabe peak loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2019
chumleyTriplogs 1,704
Hiking9.48 Miles 2,298 AEG
Hiking9.48 Miles   4 Hrs   3 Mns   2.46 mph
2,298 ft AEG      12 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Needed a quick fix of outside, and having never mountaineered in this area, I decided that today would be a good day for it. Late start, on purpose. Early done. On purpose. A chilly wind made me get the long sleeves out up top.

There was a cairn and a register over on the "wrong" peak just east of the high point. Well, either that or contour lines on topo maps are drawn incorrectly. I generally bet on contour lines over the guy who says "that one looks higher" -- who is usually also the guy who builds the cairns. :sweat:

In any case, I lobbied for an off-trail route down the northeast ridge toward Bluebird spring and the Cottonwood Trail. Once we passed the spot marked "USLM 318" with no sign of a survey marker of any kind, we opted to skip the steep-looking drop to Bluebird and just made a beeline down for Cottonwood. Some pinball with catsclaw, but not much blood was shed and it was quick back to the truck.

Plenty of water in the drainages, (and some icy spots in sheltered areas), soft, muddy trail conditions, and some patches of flowers on the sun facing slopes. Good day!
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two scoops!
Nov 28 2018
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 Guides 70
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male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 28 2018
DixieFlyerTriplogs 710
Hiking15.50 Miles 3,150 AEG
Hiking15.50 Miles   8 Hrs   22 Mns   2.46 mph
3,150 ft AEG   2 Hrs   4 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I haven't hiked in the Cave Creek area in a while, so Tracie, my intrepid hiking partner, and I decided to make our first ever hike to Quien Sabe Peak.

We started and ended the hike at the Cave Creek TH. We did an inverted lollipop loop hike. The loop was a CCW loop starting at Cave Creek Trail #4, then Skunk Tank Trail #246, then Cottonwood Trail #247 for a short distance, and then back to Cave Creek Trail #4. While on the Skunk Tank Trail, we went on the Quien Sabe Trail #250 for about a mile, and then went off-trail for about a mile to Quien Sabe Peak.

I followed the GPS track posted by Hansenaz. The GPS track that I posted pretty much mimics Hansenaz's track, although on the way back I went over to see if I could find Quien Sabe Spring. About all I found was a lot of catsclaw and a deer antler.

I really enjoyed this hike, particularly the first stretch on Cave Creek Trail #4. Most of that section of the hike was in a riparian area along Cave Creek. There was quite a bit of water running in this section of Cave Creek.

The Quien Sabe Trail was in better shape than I thought it would be. The off-trail section wasn't bad -- it was similar to hiking on Skull Mesa, although it was easier than hiking on Skull Mesa. There were some prickly pear cactus and other pleasantries to deal with while hiking offtrail up to Quien Sabe, but the cactus were easy to spot and just walk around. The worst part of the off-trail portion was all of the lava rock that you had to deal with -- it wouldn't be too hard to twist an ankle if you weren't careful.

There were actually 2 summits on Quien Sabe, and I am not certain which one is the highest. The first one that you come to has some large, waist-high rocks on it. Just to the east is another summit that has a summit cairn on it and a logbook inside the cairn. My GPS recorded the first summit as being about one foot higher, but the altimeter in my GPS is not precise enough for me to say for sure which of the 2 summits is the highest. The summit logbook was just in plastic sandwich bag, and something -- most likely a rodent -- had eaten through the bag and chewed a corner off of the logbook.

There was quite a bit of fall color along Cave Creek. There were also quite a few wildflowers blooming in various sections of the hike.

It was cooler at the TH than I thought it would be. It was 31 when we started the hike, and was 59 when we got back. This was on a day when the high was about 75 in Phoenix. The weather was close to perfect for the hike though.

Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Cairn
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
There were some fairy dusters still in bloom, but they were past their prime. I also saw quite a few other wildflowers blooming, but I do not know what they are.
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
3 archives
Jan 13 2017
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 Guides 103
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 Photos 9,807
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2017
kingsnakeTriplogs 769
Hiking12.61 Miles 2,685 AEG
Hiking12.61 Miles   6 Hrs   19 Mns   2.00 mph
2,685 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
At 8:30 a.m., it was a breezy 46° at the Cave Creek Trailhead in Seven Springs. I got a later start because the hike was closer to home, and I wanted to start after sunrise. It rained for 10 minutes at the start, but it remained cloudy and breezy all day.

I wanted to check out Quien Sabe mine, but since I knew it would be an arduous day, I skipped it.

After about 4.5 miles, where Trail #250 crosses a small wash, I began off trailing up the Quien Sabe ridge. Generally speaking, the left (northeast) side of the ridge is steeper than the right (southwest) slope, so I tended right.

From the wash to the summit cairn, I negotiated tons of prickly pear cactus, agave, century plant, other grab & stabs, ball bearing and ankle breaker rocks. Many of the rocks are pitted, as if ejected molten, with air bubbles that popped as the rock hardened. I wonder where the volcano is?

In addition to the previously mentioned flora, the plateau is dotted with juniper. There is plenty of deer sign, and even several sets of people tracks. (Easy to spot as there is enough soil on the plateau to retain water for quite some time after the last rain.)

There is large cluster of boulders at the summit of Quien Sabe Peak, which is about 4900 ft. (There is no X on the topo, indicating an accurate survey.) But just beyond the summit, across a small saddle, at what appears to be a very similar elevation, is a summit cairn at which the which the elevation is supposedly 4884 ft.

Try as I might, without totally disassembling the cairn, I was unable to detect a summit log. (Unless you count “D. Peterson 11-94” scratched on a boulder.) Bummer, I was hoping to spot climbing legend Bob Packard in there. Luckily, I come equipped for such occasions, with a fresh flip notepad, pen and two quart baggies (for weather proofing).

The views from the summit are fantastic. Despite still being 100% overcast, I could I identify Skull Mesa (easy enough since it is “next door”), Elephant Mountain, the city of Cave Creek, Cave Creek Rd., Black Mountain, Cottonwood Creek, Four Peaks and even Cartwright Ranch (only two miles away, as the crow flies, but five hiking miles).

After signing the summit log, I sat down for a lunch of gorp, salt & vinegar chips — my fav! — and turkey breast sandwich, of which I ate about 2/3s. The wind was picking up, and it was getting cold enough to make my hands stiff, so at 1:30 P.M., I started back. (Despite wearing a jacket, the boogers flowed freely throughout the day.)

Whereas it took me 3h 15m hiking time to summit, it took me only 3h 00m total time to get back to the trailhead, including one break where I was so tired I simply fisted the trashed remains of my sandwich into my face, caveman fashion. (Then licked the crumbs from the container.)

I got back to the trailhead at 5:00 p.m., which was good timing as not only was my always patient wife starting to worry, but we had a perfect view of a great sunset heading downhill, back into Carefree.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
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Wildflowers Observation None
Saw one flower all day. One.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
1 archive
Nov 27 2016
avatar

 Routes 164
 Photos 1,604
 Triplogs 284

47 male
 Joined Nov 11 2014
 Amherst, NH
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 27 2016
JasonCleghornTriplogs 284
Hiking8.91 Miles 2,170 AEG
Hiking8.91 Miles   4 Hrs   52 Mns   1.98 mph
2,170 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
W O W...

This is an incredible Arizona day hike. I'd been dreaming about this peak for over a year. So today with in-laws getting on my nerves, other people getting on my nerves, I was looking for something to keep me out of the house much longer than normal. So I dialed this one up...

I parked at the Cave Creek TH at the Seven Springs Campground. Since it was about 5:45 when I got there and pitch dark (and also 40 degrees), I couldn't see well enough to know that I could have parked several other places back down the road, shortening my hike. Oh well. Extra miles and a few AEG.

I did the standard approach. I had originally planned to just assault the Quien Sabe Peak Ridgeline from the 246 trail up what was designated as a wash on the topo, but that looked pretty daunting. Then I changed plans to continue to go Skunk Creek Trail and intersect with the Quien Sabe Trail on the backside of the ridge. Alas, I got impatient and left that plan at a place that looked doable. I made it up to the little prairie and then to the final push to what becomes the ridgeline. After ~30 minutes, I had made the final traverse of the ridgeline and I could see what was going to be the summit.

The summit block is a little anti-climactic but I was very glad to have gained it. It must have been in the mid 30s at the summit and there were so many clouds, I actually was hoping to see a random flake but alas, no.

Then I made a fateful (for my legs) decision. Go back the way I came, which was a known route, not really that steep but would take me ALL THE WAY back down the ridge, OR descend off the summit block down what was the actual wash that leads to Quien Sabe Spring.

Let's see the spring he said. It will be fun he said.

It wasn't.

I was literally crashing and surfing down the thickest catclaw that I have ever seen. My legs don't even look like legs anymore they are so scratched, gouged, and bloody!

Finally, I got down near the spring proper.

It was a :pk: rusty pipe. Not even a spring or any water etc. S O A B.

But, at least I was close to where I had originally hiked and back on the 246 trail.

After that, it was pretty much all downhill from there and I was down near the Cartwright Ranch in no time. If that was a real ranch, I'd like to work there as a ranch hand. That little valley there is beautiful.

So, all in all a GREAT hike. This was a top 5 outdoor experience for me in Arizona. For sure.
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Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
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"It's not the mountains that we conquer, but ourselves"
Jan 23 2016
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 Photos 178
 Triplogs 160

40 female
 Joined Oct 26 2011
 Tempe, AZ
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 23 2016
clairebearTriplogs 160
Hiking14.26 Miles 2,844 AEG
Hiking14.26 Miles   6 Hrs   10 Mns   2.54 mph
2,844 ft AEG      33 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
With a name like Quien Sabe Peak what can one expect?
The trails in Cave Creek are so immaculate that we made excellent time and therefore decided to bag the peak since it was right there. I was unprepared for off trail since I was wearing some new trail runners that didn't really offer much in protection against tough terrain and especially cactus. Naturally my foot made impact with a prickly pear and 9L was kind enough to pull the spines out while I wigged out -- mostly in frustration with my choice of footware for this part of the hike. It was about 1.6 miles of off trail to the summit had slowed us down considerably. The summit view was really nice 360 views for miles and the usual prominent landmarks in the distance - Weavers Needle and the Superstition Ridgeline, nice view of 4 peaks ETC. After we bagged the peak we dropped down quickly to the Quien Sabe Trail and made our way back to the trail head in good time.
Quien Pinche Sabe Peak? Fun times- I'm glad we did this ^
Oh. And 9L found some ruins and pottery chards near the summit too, so thats pretty neat! ;)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Jan 23 2016
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,442
 Triplogs 1,640

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 23 2016
John9LTriplogs 1,640
Hiking14.26 Miles 2,844 AEG
Hiking14.26 Miles   6 Hrs   10 Mns   2.54 mph
2,844 ft AEG      33 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
We wanted a moderate hike relatively close to town. We set our sights on Cave Creek. I remember FOTG posting a hike to Quien Sabe Peak and thought it looked fun. The drive to the TH took about an hour and we were off.

We decided on a CCW loop with Quien Sabe Peak. The first few miles flew by as we hiked along Cave Creek. This is a really nice stretch of trail. From there we made the climb up Skunk Tank Trail and saw some wildflowers blooming. There were several patches along this stretch.

From there we connected on Quien Sabe Trail and then headed off trail for the peak following FOTG's route. The going was slow as we fought dense vegetation with a mixture of sharp cacti. Our pace was really slow through here. Along the way we found a ruin marked with a cairn. It's a pile of rocks in the shape of single building. I found a few pot shards. FOTG would like this but not many others. :) We continued on and hit the peak where we took a break and looked over the route. I had Joe's route in which they drop off the west side of the peak. This would significantly shorten the off trail portion. We decided to give this route a go and were glad we did. There's a variety of game trails and the vegetation is light. We were back on trail within 30 minutes.

Once back on trail we flew back to the trailhead completing the loop. This hike took more effort than we anticipated. I'm really glad we got it done. Take the western route you'll save some time and effort.
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Wildflowers Observation Light
Patches of wildflowers blooming at the higher elevations of the Skunk Tank Trail
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2 archives
Dec 07 2013
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 Guides 260
 Routes 841
 Photos 13,090
 Triplogs 5,291

52 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Quien Sabe Peak Loop, AZ 
Quien Sabe Peak Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2013
joebartelsTriplogs 5,291
Hiking17.75 Miles 3,735 AEG
Hiking17.75 Miles   9 Hrs   50 Mns   2.13 mph
3,735 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
6:33 am MST - 19 degrees in diminishing darkness to start. The high temp for the hike reached a balmy 53 yet stayed in the 42 degree range most. This was the first hike I have worn long johns an entire hike. The third shirt and balaclava were off/on over & over all day based on sun, ascending, descending, breeze, altitude and attitude.

7:39 am MST - Bruce decides to go on what he described as "a short spring hunt". I'm not into the side trips as much at 27.5 degrees fahrenheit so I took a break. Nearly thirty minutes passed. Which left me wondering... did he fall into the water, did he slip, ???, more importantly how am I getting home. The cold didn't destroy me much being bundled up so it all worked out.

The highlight of the hike was 9:30am off-trail to Quien Sabe ( Google and Webster pronounce different ) Peak. The light near to far was outstanding and photos were a poppin'. The peak was nice too but the front moved in and took a bit of the glory out of it.

From the peak we headed down and finished off Quien Sabe #250 then headed over on Skull Mesa Trail #248. We lunched on #248 in a nice breeze-less valley at 4k in some white chalk or limestone similar to what is found near Brown's Cave.

Next up was Cottonwood Creek #247, very nice. It had more life with unburned areas. Red hues in the soil gave it more characteristic too. Counted 8 signs at the #248/#247 junction.

Overall a good hike. Better weather conditions would have been more enjoyable. Take what you get!



These hikes are really an underlying quiz & bicker to near throat choking battles. Basically a review of the week's news to whatever. Unfortunately my poor memory does not serve well in these shenanigans. However even the worst participant ( yours truly ) scores a win or consolation prize on occasion.

[+1] Charles Lindbergh's Historic Flight - I correctly mentioned 1927, Bruce argued 1937 to later WWII.
[+0.25] After talking about last weeks hike for the FOURTH time I finally remembered the location of the hike.
[+-0] Who starred in "Earnest Goes to Camp" ( me - Jim P or B ) ( Bruce - Jim Williams )

On the return I was curious about checking out the old ( I'm guessing original ) Seven Springs CG. I thought it was an old trailhead but found out it was a camp ground. Complete with what appeared to be 220v( Bruce found ) & NG hook ups. Adjacent and likely the original historic element is the Ashdale Ranger Station built in 1934 with local materials. Not sure if it's the same structure but sure appears hearty and built to last. Currently not used. Just massive amounts of fencing materials in the back under video surveillance from what I read.

Completing the spur exploration loop we came upon...
CAVE CREEK ASHDALE FCD GAGE ID# 4947
Lat 33° 57' 44.3" N, Lon 111° 52' 34.2" W. Located in S07 T7N R5E
The gage was installed on February 25, 2009

Sent from no frills Text Editor
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Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
A couple cottonwoods in the final stages. Not much to see as most of the loop is burned from the 2005 Cave Creek Complex fire ( the third largest wildfire in the state of Arizona to date ).

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Seven Springs Wash Light flow Light flow
clean

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Walnut Spring Canyon Light flow Light flow
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- joe
Dec 07 2013
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 Guides 9
 Routes 818
 Photos 10,980
 Triplogs 1,941

66 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Quien Sabe Peak Loop, AZ 
Quien Sabe Peak Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2013
The_EagleTriplogs 1,941
Hiking19.05 Miles 4,180 AEG
Hiking19.05 Miles   9 Hrs   50 Mns   2.24 mph
4,180 ft AEG   1 Hour   19 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Been wanting to hit up the eastern portion of this area. Original plan was to start at the Bronco TH, but that upped the miles and at the time I really wanted to get home to see ASU play themselves into the Rose Bowl.

A balmy 19 degrees at the 6:30am start, 8:00 we finally hit 30 degrees, 40 degrees at 8:45, hit the low 50's in Cottonwood Creek for 40 minutes at 1pm, and then just hung mid 40's for the remainder. It really was not too bad when the wind laid down.

Highlights for me on this hike were
- Checking out the overgrown but still wet Quien Sabe Spring.
- The climb up and the views from atop Quien Sabe Peak.
- Skull Mesa & Cottonwood Trails between Quien Sabe intersection and where the Cottonwood Trail - Turns north.
- Checking out Bluebird Spring - Some pooling in the area
- Exploration of the now decommissioned Ashdale Ranger station (See Photos)

Todays Lesson
Quien Sabe (kee-en' sah'-be),
Translation = I do not know; lit., who knows?
http://www.pronouncehow.com/spanish/qui ... nunciation

Seven Springs Campgrounds and Ashdale Ranger station were built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in 1933-34.

Ashdale Ranger Station Photo from back in the Day :next: http://hikearizona.com/photo=379033

Accomplishments of the CCC in the US over the life of the program:
* Planted 1,255,000,000 tree seedlings over 1,255,000 acres of land
* Fought tree diseases on over 16,722,000 acres
* Installed 64,374 miles of telephone lines to assist in forest fire protection
* Constructed more than 3,400 fire lookout and observation towers
* Constructed 3,982,000 check dams for nation-wide erosion control program
* Constructed 41,000 bridges and 44,475 buildings of various types
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Forecast
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Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Quien Sabe Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Water in the area when walking up the drainage towards the spring waypoint. source not found but believed to be located in an area thick with cattails. Old spring box was long overgrown.
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Dave Barry 🦅
Jan 08 2011
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 Guides 4
 Routes 194
 Photos 7,962
 Triplogs 451

69 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Quien Sabe Peak, AZ 
Quien Sabe Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 08 2011
HansenazTriplogs 451
Hiking14.90 Miles
Hiking14.90 Miles   7 Hrs   20 Mns   2.03 mph
 
1st trip
I took my first hike in the Seven Springs / Spur Cross area a few weeks ago. I didn't plan well and got lost but in the process I spent some time staring at the hills trying to figure out where I was. I later figured out that the most impressive peak I was looking at was called Quien Sabe Peak, the highest one in the "park". I was looking at the south side of the peak from the Cottonwood Trail.

I returned to Cave Creek Trailhead (the northern access point) armed with some preloaded GPS tracks (thanks MEWhitman and nonot). I walked the Cave Creek/Skunk Tank Loop clockwise up to it's high point where the Quien Sabe Trail branches off to the south. It was pleasant walking through hilly scrub land on this old cattle trail. The Quien Sabe Trail is more overgrown but it looks like an old shelf road along the hillside so it's not hard to follow. Quien Sabe Peak is to the east (left) as you travel the Quien Sabe Trail and I started to bushwack up the hill near the apex where it crests the edge overlooking the valley to the south. Particularly after scouting around on the way down, I'm sure this is the easiest way to go.

The off-trail walking is not steep but there are a lot of small rocks under the knee high grass - this is also reported in the triplogs for nearby Skull Mesa. The summit area is flat and the highest point is at the southern edge....the actual summit doesn't come into view until until you reach the edge - it is a nub displaced another hundred yards to the east. From car to summit (6.2mi) took about 2.7 hrs with only about half hour off trail.

There was very little evidence that people visit the top often but there were a lot of deer tracks. A summit cairn was present but I couldn't find a register or USGS marker. A modern petroglyph on a summit rock said 1994.

I thought I would descend a different way. But the mountain is much steeper to the south and it would be a pretty long bushwack down to the Cottonwood Trail. I started off toward the west but common sense kept me contouring more to the north and in the end I hit the Quien Sabe Trail about where I had left it.

I retraced my steps on the Quien Sabe Trail but then went west on the Skunk Tank and Cave Creek Trails to complete a nice loop back to the car. A good variant would be to go the other way on the Quien Sabe Trail and take the Cottonwood Trail back to the trailhead or even carry on to Spur Cross.
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average hiking speed 2.33 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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