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Elephant Mountain Trail - Spur Cross - 40 members in 146 triplogs have rated this an average 3.2 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 30 2019
Sun_Ray
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 753
 Triplogs 1,015

71 male
 Joined Sep 09 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Limestone Trail #252 - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 30 2019
Sun_Ray
Hiking6.36 Miles 940 AEG
Hiking6.36 Miles   4 Hrs   6 Mns   2.16 mph
940 ft AEG   1 Hour   9 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
We did a counter clockwise loop starting on a Spur Cross Trail heading North. Creek crossings with water in all but first dry crossing. Took a lot of time finding place to cross. Took my shoes off once. Heavy tall grass in some areas made watching for snakes a joke. Still as rocky as ever. This will be the last time for Jude and I.
AVE HR 105
HIGH HR 135
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
Brian
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday......there is no SOMEDAY!
3 archives
Mar 15 2019
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 337
 Photos 5,888
 Triplogs 439

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Rondo Spring Trail from Spur Cross, AZ 
Rondo Spring Trail from Spur Cross, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 15 2019
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking6.60 Miles 1,690 AEG
Hiking6.60 Miles   6 Hrs   20 Mns   1.04 mph
1,690 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Went for a hike out of the Spur Cross Trailhead to get some exercise and enjoy the desert greenery and flower displays brought on by recent rains. I decided to take the Elephant Mountain trail part way up to the saddle and then take the trail that forks off across the park boundary leading to Rondo Spring and Black Mesa. I was not disappointed. This route has some significant AEG (for me) with lots of ups and downs. The north facing slope of Elephant Mountain had nice displays of New Mexican Golden Poppies and Lupine. I stopped for a light lunch on top of the ridge where the trail forks off south to Rondo Spring and north towards Black Mesa. This would also end up being my turn-around point as I was running out of both time and energy.
Named place
Named place
Black Mesa
_____________________
Feb 03 2019
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,074

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

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

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

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

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Page Spring - Spur Cross Dripping Dripping
_____________________
2 archives
Jan 18 2019
Tim
avatar

 Guides 10
 Triplogs 368

58 male
 Joined Feb 25 2002
 Scottsdale
Elephant Mountain Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 18 2019
Tim
Hiking7.25 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking7.25 Miles   2 Hrs   55 Mns   2.49 mph
1,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was a counter clockwise loop of the Spur Cross, Tortuga, Elephant, Tortuga and Dragon Fly Trails. It's always nice to return to the parking lot along the creek. It was 52 degrees when I started at 9:25 and 62 when I finished. The loop came in at 7.25 miles in 2 hours and 55 minutes with 1,500 feet of AEG.
_____________________
Jan 17 2019
gad38
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 5
 Photos 61
 Triplogs 14

64 male
 Joined Jan 21 2018
 Scottsdale
Spur Cross TH to Elephant Mtn TH, AZ 
Spur Cross TH to Elephant Mtn TH, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2019
gad38
Hiking1.71 Miles 464 AEG
Hiking1.71 Miles      45 Mns   2.33 mph
464 ft AEG      1 Min Break4 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Thu 3:39 pm
Quick trek from Spur Cross trailhead to Elephant Mountain Trail where it splits from Tortuga Trail. Good conditioning trip if you have limited time. Mostly flat and uphill going out and then mostly downhill and flat coming back. 3.4 miles round trip and around one hour and 20 minutes round trip.
1 archive
Dec 28 2018
jochal
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 1,878
 Triplogs 482

35 male
 Joined Sep 13 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Elephant Mountain Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 28 2018
jochal
Hiking7.34 Miles 1,495 AEG
Hiking7.34 Miles
1,495 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Beautiful day, high of about 50, which is a great temperature for carrying a 2-year old. Went up the backside of the mountain, then came out through Dragonfly. Would like to explore Dragonfly area more. Some dramatic clouds around were icing on the cake.
_____________________
Dec 23 2018
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 15
 Routes 234
 Photos 6,048
 Triplogs 438

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Spur Cross LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 23 2018
DarthStiller
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,092 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   3 Hrs   50 Mns   1.96 mph
1,092 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Jim was wanting to maybe go out to the Supes, but with a 2:30 kickoff, I had to do something a little closer. We had originally planned to include hiking over the saddle on Elephant Mountain, but we slowed down a bit on Trail 252. Once we got to junction where it was the point of no return, we decided to skip it and take the shorter loop.

We got an early pre-dawn start, but with the nearly full moon, we never needed to use headlamps. The lighting was very good, making for some nice pictures once the sun came up. Didn't see any other hikers untils the last mile or so, then the trails seem packed. The streams all had water running in them, making for more nice scenery with the yellowing leaves.
_____________________
Dec 23 2018
JimmyLyding
avatar

 Guides 109
 Routes 335
 Photos 4,221
 Triplogs 568

45 male
 Joined Feb 16 2007
 Walnut Creek, CA
Spur Cross LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 23 2018
JimmyLyding
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,092 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   3 Hrs   50 Mns   1.96 mph
1,092 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Another great hike with the Stiller. It was cool hiking in the dark (Darth Stiller demands a very early start for his storm troopers) under a pretty big moon before hiking uphill as the sun came up. The trip back down to the Dragonfly Trail was beautiful because of how the sun lit up the mountains behind us. Altogether a pretty sweet hike, and kudos again to Chris for putting it together.
_____________________
Dec 14 2018
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

dry Page Spring - Spur Cross Dry Dry
No longer a spring box: Now a sandbox.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Nov 23 2018
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 130
 Photos 2,263
 Triplogs 357

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Limestone Spring - Spur Cross Quart per minute Quart per minute
Full trough with a nice flow from the pipe.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Peterson Spring - New River Quart per minute Quart per minute
Full through with a nice flow from the pipe.
_____________________
Nov 13 2018
LosDosSloFolks
avatar

 Photos 508
 Triplogs 30

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

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

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

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

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

 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,112
 Triplogs 231

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

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

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

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

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

I encountered only one other hiker on the Limestone Trail. There were a bunch of other trail users on the other trails.
_____________________
Apr 01 2018
Yoder
avatar

 Routes 6
 Photos 909
 Triplogs 67

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

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

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

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

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

 Guides 6
 Routes 358
 Photos 14,451
 Triplogs 1,628

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

 Routes 6
 Photos 909
 Triplogs 67

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

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

 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,112
 Triplogs 231

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

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

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

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

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

 Routes 98
 Photos 713
 Triplogs 59

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

 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,723
 Triplogs 716

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

I started at Dragon Fly to avoid the fee. I saw a few people on the trails near the trailhead, but nobody after I turned off on Elephant Mountain Trail. The trail to the summit seems to have gotten a little more defined, but that being said, I still had to take a couple minutes a few times to locate the proper route. I spooked a pack of Javelina on the summit, which was about the most excitement on the day. I returned the same way I came.
_____________________
1 archive
Mar 03 2018
Nightstalker
avatar

 Routes 71
 Photos 5,352
 Triplogs 671

51 male
 Joined Apr 25 2011
 Phoenix, AZ
Spur-Lime-Elephant-Dragonfly Loop, AZ 
Spur-Lime-Elephant-Dragonfly Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 03 2018
Nightstalker
Hiking10.40 Miles 2,001 AEG
Hiking10.40 Miles   5 Hrs   6 Mns   2.54 mph
2,001 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Led a meetup group out of Spur Cross of 26 hike minded individuals. Took Spur Cross trail north out of the park to the Limestone trail #252 in the Tonto. Followed Limestone its entire length to Elephant Mountain. Limestone was in much better shape than I was expecting and fairly easy to follow. Just one spot we wandered off track a bit. Up and over Elephant mountain saddle down to Spur Cross again. Took Dragonfly down to Jewel of the Creek, not much going on there but a pleasant end to a long hike. For such a large group we made great time and didn't spread too far apart.
Named place
Named place
Limestone Spring - Spur Cross

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Limestone Spring - Spur Cross Dripping Dripping
Water in the cement catch and dripping from the pipe.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Page Spring - Spur Cross Dripping Dripping
The cement catch was filled in with debris, but wet. Didn't see the source.
_____________________
Dec 11 2017
TheMazzicMan
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 35
 Photos 32
 Triplogs 51

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

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

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

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

Right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...he's got the Mazzic hands...
average hiking speed 2.12 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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