HIKE --- CAVE CREEK (Seven Springs Recreation Area)







This trail provides serenity and a pleasantly shaded mild hike along the banks of perennial Cave Creek.  Enjoy the classic riparian flora and the trickling water. Featured are a wide variety of plant and animal life normally not found in the desert.  You’ll see juniper, maple, cottonwood, sycamore, walnut, willow, elm, and even quaking aspen trees. There is a crested saguaro about 3 miles out.  And the stream is habitat for rare fish... long fin dace, fathead minnow, green sunfish and the endangered Gila top minnow.  The long range forecast is for temperatures to be in the mid 80’s.


Our hikes are generally at a pace conducive to social banter of interest to heathens, and allowing for time for photography of the local geology and wildlife. However, since this is an out-n-back trail, hikers may choose their own pace and distance.  We will all turn around and return at a predetermined agreed upon time or when the lead group does. I expect we will go out about 2-3 miles and time expended overall should be about 3 hours.  The hike is considered “easy”.  The trail will gradually descend about 150 feet before we return.


Here are photos from our hike here 5/15/11:


slide show:



Here is a link to beautiful photos of the entire hike ..and more than we’ll do:




Distance:     2-3 miles TBD

Time:            3 hours

Difficulty:    easy

Trail:             packed dirt, gravel, crushed rock, one or two creek crossings

Elevation:   3300 ft.

   change:     about 150 ft.

Parking:       paved lot with toilet

Tailhead GPS:  33° 58’ 20.95” N, 111° 51’ 59.74” W

Entry fees:   NO… see below

Dogs:            OK on leash



Always carry and drink plenty of water! 

Sunscreen and insect repellent is advised.

Supportive footwear is also advisable.

Water shoes can be useful around rocks and water.

SAFETY FIRST… we have no medical provisions.

Hike at your own risk.


 How to find us:  Meet at the trailhead parking lot. (See directions below) …. If lost or late, my cell is[masked]….but cell phone service is bad out there.

 TO GET THERE… from the 101 drive north on Pima Rd. 12 miles and turn right and follow Cave creek Rd. 6 miles to the Tonto National Forest. Continue on Cave Creek Rd. which turns into FR24 which becomes a dirt road “suitable for most passenger cars”.  Go 10 miles down FR 24 to the pay station at Seven Springs Recreation Area.  Then proceed about a half mile further to the Cave Creek Trailhead. THERE IS NO NEED TO BUY A PARKING PASS AS LONG AS YOU PARK AT THE CAVE CREEK TRAILHEAD.


Google says trail head is about 1 hr. 20 min. from the intersection of the 101 and Pima Rd

Google says trail head is about 1 hr. 30 min. from the intersection of the 101 and I-17

Google says trail head is about 1 hr. 40 min. from the intersection of Northern and the 51

Google says trail head is about 1 hr. 40 min. from the Fiesta Mall or the 51

Google says trail head is about 1 hr. 45 min. from the intersection of the 10 and I-17



On the way to the trail head, just inside the forest boundary, is a ½ mile side trip to Sears-Kay Ruin, the remains of a 1000 yr.-old Hohokam settlement.  A self-guided tour includes signs explaining the site. Allow an hour if you intend to visit those ruins.



Carpooling can save gas but also enhance the social experience. If you’d like to carpool, you must contact others for arrangements.  You could email members or post comments on this announcement page.


Although you may know of better choices, and I want to hear of them, I can suggest these carpool locations around the valley:


Those traveling from north or northwest of Phoenix could meet at the park-n-ride just west of I-17 on the south side of Bell Rd. From there you can take the 17 to the 101 to Pima. Allow at least an hour and one half to get to the trail head.


Those traveling from the Tempe/Mesa areacould meet at the parking lot just north of the 60 on Alma School Rd.  . . enter Fiesta Mall toward the west from Alma School Rd. and park straight ahead at the perimeter of the parking lot across from Best Buy. From there you can follow the 60 to the 101 to Pima. Allow at least an hour and forty minutes to get to the trail head.


Susan has previously suggested … Those traveling from the Scottsdale area could meet at the Wal-Mart parking lot 4915 N Pima Road, (just south/west of Chaparral & 101). Allow at least an hour and one half to get to the trail head.


Following the hike, we will undoubtedly end up at a rehydration location in Cave Creek…

Harold’s again (http://haroldscorral.com/)

OR or The Horny Toad (www.thehornytoad.com)

OR Buffalo Chip Saloon  (http://www.buffalochipsaloon.com/buffalochipmenu.html).

OR Cave Creek Smokehouse (http://cavecreeksmokehouse.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=29)

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  • Al T.

    great group, as usual... next time lets go farther

    April 30, 2012

  • Mike

    Outstanding hike location, about half was along the creek, great views, lower temps were nice as the summer approaches.

    April 30, 2012

  • Jack S.

    Great hike. Need to do it again in the fall when it's cooler

    April 30, 2012

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