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Mariposa Hill - 4 members in 12 triplogs have rated this an average 2.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
12 triplogs
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Mar 07 2021
LosDosSloFolks
avatar

 Photos 1,882
 Triplogs 191

65 male
 Joined Feb 10 2019
 Cave Creek, AZ
Cottonwood Loop from Spur Cross, AZ 
Cottonwood Loop from Spur Cross, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2021
LosDosSloFolks
Hiking10.10 Miles 1,456 AEG
Hiking10.10 Miles   6 Hrs   11 Mns   1.88 mph
1,456 ft AEG      48 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Tired of hiking solo, I cojoled @rayhuston into joining me on a hike up here in my neck of the woods. I hadn't seen Ray since meeting and hiking with him on the HAZ New Year topper event in 2020.

We started at the Spur Cross Trail Head and headed north into the Tonto National Forest using Trails 247A and 247B to reach Cottonwood Trail #247 at the southern end of "Inspiration Ridge" as @joebartels call it. The original plan was to head west and then follow the creek south back to the trail head. Upon reaching the creek we both still had some gas in the tank and did an improvised addition of going up Cave Creek Trail #4 to FR 1533 and going north and then looping back down to the creek. From there it was just 4 miles and 7 or 8 creek crossings back to the starting point. [ photo ]

While on 247B we saw a group of 3 backpackers heading east on 247 and later a pair of hikers beginning the climb up 247 as we were descending towards the creek. Lots of solitude for a Sunday. :) Of course as we neared the trail head back at Spur Cross we encountered the usual droves of "Instagram Warriors" as Ray called them. :lol: Thanks for the company Ray!
Culture
Culture
Spring Box

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Cave Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Nice flow but with easy crossings at all locations.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dirt Trough Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Light flow leaving the spring box and going downstream about 100 yards.
_____________________
The best things in life are humans, dogs, coffee, and trails.
2 archives
Mar 07 2021
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,953
 Triplogs 681

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Cottonwood Loop from Spur Cross, AZ 
Cottonwood Loop from Spur Cross, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2021
rayhuston
Hiking10.10 Miles 1,456 AEG
Hiking10.10 Miles   6 Hrs   11 Mns   1.88 mph
1,456 ft AEG      48 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Greg and I have been talking about hiking for a few weeks now. After I bailed on him last minute last weekend, we made it happen today.

I've only been in the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area once before. I looked forward to hiking there again. Since Greg spends a fair amount of time out there and knows it well, I asked him to offer up some hikes in the area. He did, and I selfishly picked the hardest one :( . Greg was game, though, even adding a couple of miles along the way :) .

We met at the trailhead parking lot a few minutes before 7am. We were on the trail soon after. Greg was the perfect host, pointing out landmarks, trail options, history and many excellent vistas along the way. I was so enamored by the tour, that I am anxious to get back out there again. We agreed to another hike or two before it gets too hot.

We didn't see much in the way of critters. I spotted an Arizona Jack Rabbit. We heard many Arizona Cardinals but didn't see any. It was warm enough for our slithering reptilian friends to awaken from their slumber, but we didn't see any.

If you like saguaros, and I do, this is a great place to see them. We came across one that was a monster. Greg dubbed it "Bubba." Most that we saw were healthy, similar to the lush countryside that we hiked through. It's been awhile since I hiked in an area that's wasn't burned to a crisp or dry beyond recognition.

There was also water in Cave Creek. Enough that we had to rock hop across the creek a couple of times. I even got my feet wet. There were lots of people out, but most were close to the trailheads. We saw a few farther out on #247. The weather was cool and breezy at the start, but warmed up nicely as the day went on. I saw 91 degrees on my weather app as I was leaving.

We had some snacks and refreshments courtesy of Greg when we finished. A very nice end to a just about perfect day. I haven't been doing much lately, so I was a bit stiff afterwards. I thank Greg for getting me off my duff and back on the trails. Good to see you again, Greg. Keep me posted on your availability. Let's see if we can work in those hikes we talked about.
_____________________
1 archive
Jan 11 2021
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 53
 Routes 468
 Photos 6,431
 Triplogs 428

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Skull Mesa HighpointPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 11 2021
DixieFlyer
Hiking14.10 Miles 3,396 AEG
Hiking14.10 Miles   8 Hrs   8 Mns   2.24 mph
3,396 ft AEG   1 Hour   50 Mns Break
 
1st trip
After hiking Sugarloaf Mountain on New Years Day, I decided to head back out to Spur Cross and hike up to Skull Mesa this time. U have been up on the Mesa several times before, and I like to do it at least once every winter.

I took Trail 247A both inbound and outbound, which shaved some distance and elevation gain off of the hike. Once on the mesa, I took a break at the overlook, and then went off-trail over to the highpoint of the mesa. It was a fairly easy off-trail, and I was careful to dodge the plethora of low-growing prickly pear cactus that is lurking underneath the knee high grass on the mesa.

I took another break at the high point, and then traversed to the middle of the mesa to check out some metates and petroglyphs that I had seen on previous Skull Mesa hikes. At least one of the petroglyphs was x-rated, providing a glimpse into 13th century ****.

I thought about continuing to the fort ruins on the north end of the mesa, but I have been there several times and decided that the hike would be as long as I wanted without going to the fort ruins.

It was a good day to be out on a hike. I did not see anyone all day until I got within a mile or so back to the TH. It was breezy in the morning, and with the wind it was a bit chilly. It was a sunny day, and it was too warm for me on the way back even though the temperature was in the mid 60's.
Fauna
Fauna
White Tailed Deer
_____________________
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
Apr 02 2020
WaitingForRain
avatar

 Photos 5
 Triplogs 482

32 female
 Joined Oct 04 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Metate Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2020
WaitingForRain
Hiking4.06 Miles 251 AEG
Hiking4.06 Miles   3 Hrs      1.35 mph
251 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
We helped map some invasive plants in Spur Cross this morning. It's amazing the amount of biodiversity in that park- which unfortunately also applies to invasive plants.
_____________________
Feb 08 2020
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 53
 Routes 468
 Photos 6,431
 Triplogs 428

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Skull Mesa RuinsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 08 2020
DixieFlyer
Hiking15.90 Miles 3,812 AEG
Hiking15.90 Miles   7 Hrs   49 Mns   2.50 mph
3,812 ft AEG   1 Hour   28 Mns Break
 
I decided to make my annual trek to the Skull Mesa Ruins today. We went up to the Mesa via the "conventional" route -- Spur Cross Trail to Cave Creek Trail #4 to Cottonwood Trail #247 to Skull Mesa Trail #248. Then we went off-trail across the mesa to the ruins. We returned the same way except this time we took Trail 247A (or is it 247B?) off of the Cottonwood Trail and connected to the Mariposa Hill Trail in the Spur Cross Park. This shortcut saved almost 1.5 miles on the way back.

This is a fun hike that is a good workout. Up on the mesa we found some petroglyphs that I have been trying to find for a couple of years -- some say that the glyphs are X-rated, but I am not so sure about that.

Walking up on the mesa did not seem as bad as it has in the past, maybe because I managed to avoid the prickly pear this time. Going down Trail #248 reminded me why it is one of my least favorite trails.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Inversion Layer
_____________________
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
1 archive
Jan 15 2020
LosDosSloFolks
avatar

 Photos 1,882
 Triplogs 191

65 male
 Joined Feb 10 2019
 Cave Creek, AZ
Cottonwood Trail 247-247A Loop, AZ 
Cottonwood Trail 247-247A Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 15 2020
LosDosSloFolks
Hiking8.12 Miles 1,285 AEG
Hiking8.12 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   1.71 mph
1,285 ft AEG      45 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 no routes
Partners none no partners
We did this same lasso loop almost a year ago to the day. Route is shown in the photoset. This time we went clockwise instead of CCW as before. We knew the gain would be greater this direction but figured it would we spread out over a longer distance so it would be "easier". We were wrong. Miles 3-5 were much tougher than we expected. :( Pretty much the same as climbing Black Mountain, bad tread and all. I guess what I'm saying is CCW is the better way to do this hike IMO.

We started at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area and hiked north on FR 48 (aka Maricopa Trail, Spur Cross Trail) to get through the SCRCA and into the Tonto National Forest and to the Skull Mesa Trailhead. Headed east on Cottonwood Trail 247 and at the junction of "alternate 247" we headed south using this cairned shortcut to get to "Unofficial Trail 247A" (HAZ has a guide for this) which returned us to the Mariposa Hill area north of Spur Cross. Came in at just over 8 miles but felt more like 12, but then again, we are the SloFolks. :)

The creek was flowing nicely and the farther north we went the crossings got trickier and trickier. Lots of head scratching as to which rocks to step on or climb over. On our final crossing I learned if my new Lowa boots were indeed waterproof. They are. Some good photos are attached with captions (probably too many) but this area is always beautiful even when it's not at it's greenest and lushest. Fall colors are about gone but it should have some good blooms in a couple of months or even sooner.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
The best things in life are humans, dogs, coffee, and trails.
Dec 21 2019
LindaAnn
avatar

 Guides 47
 Routes 387
 Photos 3,990
 Triplogs 1,287

40 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Skull Mesa RuinsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 21 2019
LindaAnn
Hiking14.21 Miles 3,022 AEG
Hiking14.21 Miles   8 Hrs   21 Mns   1.87 mph
3,022 ft AEG      44 Mns Break
 
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Met Laurie at Spur Cross at 0700, and we got started a few minutes later. At Mariposa Hill, we went past the Area Closed sign and took 247A up to Cottonwood, then east on Cottonwood. Saw one deer bounding north not far from the gate.

On the way up to Skull Mesa, I commented to Laurie that I always see campers up top, but that I couldn’t figure out how anyone could camp comfortably in all the rocks and cactus on the mesa. Sure enough, we topped out and saw two tents.

We headed north northwest across the mesa towards the ruins. After a short distance we ran across two guys who weren’t sure of the exact route to take to the ruins, so they ended up joining us on the hike across the mesa. Turns out, they were the campers whose tents we had seen. Lots of tall grass along the top, which obscured a lot of the prickly pear, so it was slow going in a few places.

Once at the ruins, we looked around and took a break, then headed back. Plenty of good conversation to fill the time during our tedious cactus avoidance endeavor. Saw another group of four hikers on our way back across the top. Once back across, we exchanged contact info with the guys before parting ways, then Laurie and I headed back downhill.

Saw group of five hikers on the way back down. Slow through the steep part, plus it was getting warm. Once back down, it was an easy hike retracing our steps back to the trailhead, finishing up a little before 1530. Nice to see Laurie again and good weather for this hike today. Definitely a cooler weather hike; the lack of shade and risk of snakes hidden in the grass up top makes this a hike I would never attempt in warmer weather.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro - Crested
Named place
Named place
Skull Mesa
_____________________
Dec 21 2019
Crzy4AZ
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 96
 Photos 2,637
 Triplogs 601

48 female
 Joined Apr 02 2007
 Scottsdale, AZ
Skull Mesa RuinsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 21 2019
Crzy4AZ
Hiking14.21 Miles 3,022 AEG
Hiking14.21 Miles   8 Hrs   21 Mns   1.87 mph
3,022 ft AEG      44 Mns Break
 no routes
My work and kid life schedule is always overbooked and rarely open - - but Linda is a planner - and we set this Saturday to hike somewhere together way back several months ago. I thought I needed to be back home by mid-afternoon to get ready for a holiday party - so we started early at 7 with good bit of wind and we both had ear coverage and light layers on. Linda is a curator of cool gear/outerwear, and I always leave a hike with a shopping list after a hike with her. Loving her wool (bien sur) arm sleeves that allowed her to wear short sleeve shirt and not have to shed a heavy layer couple hours later. Side note: I would make Linda "Wool-kopelli" if I was in charge of such things.

The time-saver route (barely breaking any rules to go 200 ft past sign into Tonto Forest) avoided some AEG - which was fine by me especially on the way back when my toes and knees were ready to be done. We had cloud cover for first hours - then beautiful blue sky. Temperature mid-day was lovely - although I don't have pants that serve as catclaw/cactus protectors AND are lightweight. Drank more water than I expected from being over-layered and used some of Linda's extra stash in the last mile.

Was quite the surprise to pick up the two stray hikers who did not find the ruins. Of course I have sympathy for the disappointment they were feeling before we invited them to follow us. I tried to find the ruins 11 years ago :next: triplog. I see why people would camp and then spend a separate day at the ruins - so much to pour over up there - although camping on the edge of Skull Mesa seems like a windy rough spot.

I saw way more petroglyphs in 2008 than I did yesterday (can I add pics to a photoset from 2008? :lol: :lol: ) but that's probably b/c I was so focused on my own feet and not twisting something or making toes hurt worse. WTH with my toes hurting? Same boots - good socks - same body weight - as usual hiking. Maybe just so much twisty/torque of scrambling or downhill for so long? I wanted a toe-transplant by the last mile. No blisters - and this morning they are fine. Maybe I'm just old and the toes are the canary in the coal mine.

It was a great day outside - super fun as always with Linda - 11 yr closure on ruin finding - and then I ended the day in my jetted tub with AZW beer I picked up (3 yr anniversary cans). Merry Christmas to all! (I swear there was a Christmas tree emjoi smile we used to be able to add???? Reindeer one - what happened to it?)
Culture
Culture
Intrepid Back Shot
Named place
Named place
Cave Creek - SPRCA Skull Mesa
_____________________
Feb 24 2019
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 352
 Photos 7,341
 Triplogs 549

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Skull Mesa Trail #248Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 24 2019
DarthStiller
Hiking8.40 Miles 1,701 AEG
Hiking8.40 Miles   4 Hrs   31 Mns   1.86 mph
1,701 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
My original plan was to hike the new sections of the Hawknest and Latigo Trails in the MSPN that extend to the Pima-Dynamite TH. Once I arrived there, I wasn't very happy to learn that the whole north part of the preserve is closed due to the ground being saturated. My guess this is prevent the trails from getting torn up by the mountain bikes. I spent some time in my car trying to figure out a good place to go that would be open. All the county parks were open, with only restrictions for mountain bikers and horse riders. Spur Cross seemed like the best bet and shortest drive.

Despite the delay, I was the first person at the Spur Cross TH. This lasted about 3 minutes before a swarm of 20-30 cars arrived all at once. Snowbirds. Snowbirds on a group hike. To look at the snow. :doh:

I still wasn't sure where I would go exactly, but I decided to get out of the car and get ready : rambo : . The snowbirds were very loud, and had southern accents. Few things pierce the eardrums worse than the tinny twang of a "Y'all" before 7am. I had to move quickly. High ground seemed like the best idea. It was the area where they were least likely to go.

A group of 20 or more got ahead of me. I was dreading having to wait by the self pay station, but it seems like they didn't bother to stop there. They did, however, stop at the porta potties, where 2 lines had quickly formed. This gave me the opportunity to create some distance between me and them. I was thinking either to try Black Mesa or Skull Mesa. Black Mesa was closer, but I had just hiked some of the trails up to that area 2 months ago with Jim. I was already on a late start, so I wasn't expecting to get all that far. I decided on Skull Mesa, partly because it would provide a quicker route to some solitude and peace, even if it was farther.

I headed over to Mariposa Hill and took the shortcut trail over to the Cottonwood Trail. Cave Creek was flowing and I wasn't sure if it was even passable, so the shortcut was definitely the way to go. Not far in, I arrived at a junction. The left trail headed up to a ridge, the right looked like it descended. :-k I took the left, figuring that was the quicker way. It was, and I later discovered that it's a section of a trail I had never hiked before :y: . The right trail is the way I took when I hiked to the Skull Mesa Ruins 8 years ago.

I hiked about half way up to Skull Mesa by the time I had done 4 miles. With the late start, I would barely be done before noon turning around there, so I decided to do that. The snow was patchy around the trail. Not a whole lot, which is good anyway. I still remember my snow death march in the eastern Supes 12 years ago, so I'm over that.

on the way down, I ran into two women also hiking up to Skull Mesa. They would have likely caught up to me very soon if I hadn't already turned around. We talked briefly about the nice snow scenery, the swarm of snowbirds at the trailhead, and where the various ruins are nearby. They took the same shortcut I did, mainly to avoid Cave Creek, which they said was impassable. I was considering to return that way, so based on their assessment, I decided against that.

Got back to the trailhead by 11:30am, encountering more hikers the closer I got.
_____________________
Feb 13 2019
LosDosSloFolks
avatar

 Photos 1,882
 Triplogs 191

65 male
 Joined Feb 10 2019
 Cave Creek, AZ
Cottonwood Spring Loop - Cave CreekPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 13 2019
LosDosSloFolks
Hiking9.40 Miles 1,900 AEG
Hiking9.40 Miles
1,900 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
This is my first post so please excuse any errors in formatting. My wife and I have wanted to visit Cottonwood Springs on Trail 247 for quite some time. With heavy rain expected on Valentines day we set out early morning on 2/13. Good flow in Cave Creek for a scenic trip up to the trailhead but we opted instead to "diagonate" (my made up word) to 247 via 247A at the boundary of the Tonto National Forest and the Spur Cross Recreation Area. We left 247A after a couple of miles and headed north to 247 using a un-named but cairned shortcut we read about on HAZ that saved us a little mileage. Once on top of the ridge line we were greeted with lots and lots of poppy and lupine blooms. I think the display will only get better with all the rain in the forecast. Upon arrival at the gate where Skull Mesa Trail 248 intersects 247 we encountered roughly 100 Canadian Geese headed due west. The decibel level of their honking as they flew directly overhead was deafening. I took a last second photo of them before they went out of sight and will try to post as part of a photoset (if I can figure it out). The descent to the spring showed us more flowers and water flow was more than I have seen in any YouTube video of this site. There was a audible "babble" and a dozen or more flowing pools with a depth of 4-6 inches. We left Cottonwood on 247A to return to the Spur Cross parking lot. This section of the trail was very overgrown with tall grass and assorted weeds for the first 1 1/2 miles and was difficult to follow but after a couple of missteps we got back on track. A good time was had by all!
_____________________
The best things in life are humans, dogs, coffee, and trails.
3 archives
Jan 23 2019
LosDosSloFolks
avatar

 Photos 1,882
 Triplogs 191

65 male
 Joined Feb 10 2019
 Cave Creek, AZ
Cottonwood Trail 247-247A Loop, AZ 
Cottonwood Trail 247-247A Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 23 2019
LosDosSloFolks
Hiking8.24 Miles 1,120 AEG
Hiking8.24 Miles
1,120 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routes
Partners none no partners
This hike, as well as our Cottonwood Springs hike posted on 2/13/19 were exploratory and conditioning hikes towards the goal of eventually going up on top of Skull Mesa to check out the views and ruins. We've been to the gate at the 248 junction and it is only 1.1 miles up to the mesa from that point but alas, we are geezers and need to work up to it a couple of times!

We did this as a counter-clockwise loop which starts in earnest just north of the SCRCA in the Tonto National Forest. Parking was at the main Spur Cross lot. After starting out eastbound on 247A we took the un-named but cairned shortcut north to Cottonwood Trail 247. A screenshot of the route will be in the photoset. As mentioned in a previous log this shortcut was posted by several HAZ members and our thanks go out to you folks for the coordinates and route. Instead of heading east at the junction we opted to head west towards Cave Creek and the Skull Mesa and Trail 4 trailhead. This was our first time on this section of 247 and the scenery was fantastic.

After approx. 1 1/2 miles,(I forgot to mark the exact spot) on 247 westbound we came to a spring with a concrete box. This water source was not on any of the three maps we had with us. I'm sure someone knows the name of it and will answer with a reply in this log or photoset. Excellent water flow at this no-name spring but the cement box was filled with dirt and was bone dry. The water was flowing from 50 yards farther up the wash. We used the box as a chair to eat our lunch and take a break. I spied a vague damp spot at the corner of the box and proceeded to dig around with a sharp stick. Inquiring minds... I soon uncovered the end of a pipe clogged with dirt. After removing some dirt, water started to drip out. I found the perfect dead Hackberry branch and used it and it's thorns to pull out all the matted roots and assorted junk from a full 3 feet up the pipe. After some belching sounds (from the pipe), water came pouring out and it soon overflowed the remaining room in the box and went down stream. I'm not volunteering, but it would be a good idea to dig that box out and return it to being a water source for the horsemen and fauna in the area.

After lunch we made it down to the creek to soak our feet and then headed south following the creek back to the parking area. Is it just me or is that section of 48 southbound from the Mariposa Hill turnoff to the lot getting longer and longer??? :pout: Every time I return this way (no matter the length of the hike) it turns into some sort of Bataan Death March. There is something about that section of road that causes one of my upper-left quad muscles to stop firing completely. Time to find a specific exercise I suppose.
Culture
Culture
Spring Box
Named place
Named place
Dirt Trough Creek
_____________________
The best things in life are humans, dogs, coffee, and trails.
1 archive
Dec 25 2018
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 33
 Photos 2,316
 Triplogs 1,146

63 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
average hiking speed 1.91 mph

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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