HIKE – Spur Cross Ranch (CAVE CREEK)

Wildflowers, creek side wildlife, abundant desert vegetation, remnants of early mining and ranching…

This easy trail winds through Spur Cross Ranch to the Dragonfly trail and along the actual Cave Creek. Along the way we'll see the gorgeous Sonoran desert, lush riparian areas and hopefully a multitude of dragonflies!

The abundant vegetation present in the conservation area provides a rich habitat for a diverse assemblage of wildlife. Remnants of early mining and ranching from which the park gets its name, are still apparent in the park.

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. Expect this hike to last 2-3 hours

For the asking, I will have handouts discussing geology of the area, and plant and animals we’ll likely encounter. Also I bring reference books for after the hike.

Here are photos from our hike 3/24/12


slide show


Here are links to photos taken during a “beginner hikers meetup” hike in February


slide show:


Here is a gallery of photos from 2006:


Here are two accounts of hiking trips to the area



Here is a trail map:



Distance: 4 miles

Time: 2- 3 hours

Difficulty: easy side of moderate

Trail: packed dirt, gravel, rocky, riparian

Elevation: 2133- 2508 ft.

changes: 2300 to 2500 to 2133 to 2341 ft.

Parking: big gravel lot

Porta potties are located just inside the park to use before your hike.
Entry fees: $3/ person ….
Children under 16 are free!

Dogs: OK on leash


Always carry and drink plenty of water!

Sunscreen and insect repellant is advised.

Supportive footwear is also advisable.

SAFETY FIRST… we have no medical provisions.

Hike at your own risk.

How to find us: Meet the parking lot (directions below)… If lost or late, my cell is[masked]-5945.

To get there: From the intersection of Carefree Highway and Cave Creek Road head north on Cave Creek Road about 2.5 miles to Spur Cross Road. Turn north for approximately 4.5 miles to the public parking area.

(Note after the first 3 miles the road turns to all-weather graded. The last 1.5 miles is suitable for automobiles but can be confusing… continue north on the graded road past the green house, through the tall gateposts and on past the horse corrals to the signed public parking area on the right).

The intersection of Carefree Highway and Cave Creek Road is about 10 miles east of I-17 and just over 2 miles west of Scottsdale Rd.


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 Carefree Highway. Google Maps tells me it should take about 55 minutes from Bell Rd. to reach the parking lot.

Those traveling from the Tempe/Mesa area could 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 Scottsdale Rd.. Google Maps tells me it should take about an hour and ten minutes to reach the parking lot.

Following the hike: we may re-convene at Harold’s Corral in Cave Creek. To get there simply return to Carefree highway, turn left and travel 3 miles east to Cave Creek Rd. and turn left and follow it 4 miles north then east to 6895 E. Cave Creek Road, it will be on the south (right) side of the road.

Harold’s is THE place in Cave Creek, Arizona for good food, great music and a dang’ good time. Hitch yer hat, hang yer hoss and kick back to enjoy some good times eatin’, drinkin’ and dancin’. Harolds serves up the best durned cooking in these here parts (or any other parts, for that matter)

AsCave Creek’s original “Wild West Saloon and Restaurant,” Harold’s is a landmark and popular stomping ground for both locals and tourists. Celebrating over 70 years of history and good times. If it happens in Cave Creek, it happens at Harold’s.

Johnny Walker opened the Corral Bar in 1935 to serve the workers who were building Bartlett Dam. It became Harold’s Cave Creek Corral in 1950 when local character Harold Gavagan purchased it. It has spawned a million crazy stories – from lions and tigers caged in the back to Harold himself along with his flamboyant friends, movie stars, (real) cowboys and other colorful characters. Gavagan’s flamboyant ways helped to turn it into the local landmark that it is today.

Harold’s features the finest Choice hand carved steaks and daily delivered fresh seafood. All our BBQ meats are smoked on premise using mesquite wood to provide a traditional southwest flavor. Our wide variety menu features everything from Salads, Steaks, Seafood, Italian & Mexican dishes, to the best Hamburgers in Arizona.

Check the place out and its menu here:


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