Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Spur Cross to Skull Mesa Day Hike
when Saturday, April 10, 2021
where Cave Creek
the hike     This hike was recently featured in an article by Mare Czinar in the Arizona Republic. This will be an exploratory hike, since the club has never done it before.
    If you’ve never hiked any of the Maricopa Trail before, this stretch of it is considered by many to be one of the most scenic and diverse of all. Recently completed, although still expanding and improving with even more access points, the 315-mile-long Maricopa Trail is one of Arizona’s newest trail systems, circling the entire Valley and connecting all 10 county parks in one continuous loop.
    From the Conservation Area start hiking north on the Spur Cross Trail, originally a ranch road. Before long we’ll be hiking parallel with the Cave Creek riparian corridor, a shady and green stretch with huge cottonwood and sycamore trees that depend on the steady water supply delivered by Cave Creek.
    After several more hilly sections of trail and a few normally dry creek crossings, we cross the border with Tonto National Forest. We’ll hike for another mile or so before intersecting the Skull Mesa Trailhead, two miles beyond our starting point.
    Option 1: Continue beyond Skull Mesa Trailhead for another mile or so, before turning around and hiking back to the trailhead, for a total of 6 to 7 miles of hiking.
    Option 2: Continue beyond Skull Mesa Trailhead for another 3 miles before turning around and hiking back to the trailhead, for a total of 10 miles of hiking.
    We will need an experienced deputy hike leader for this longer option, since I’ll be leading the shorter hike.
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•  Lunch or snacks
•  Camera
distance Option 1: 6-7 miles RT
Option 2: 10 miles RT
time Option 1: 3 to 4 hours.
Option 2: 5 to 6 hours.
EC Option 1: +/- 144 feet.
Option 2: +/- 144 + feet.
elevations 2,263 feet to 2,407 feet.
type round trip
starting at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
on trail 100%
rating "C" or "B"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost $3 per person entrance fee. Please bring exact change.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Cave Creek
leader    You must email the leader to confirm.
meet 7:00 AM at the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area (see directions below).
•  From Loop 101 in Phoenix, take the Cave Creek Road exit.
Take Cave Creek Road north for 9 miles to Carefree Highway.
Continue north beyond Carefree Hwy. for another 2 miles to N. Spur Cross Road.
Make a left turn onto N. Spur Cross Road. (NOTE: This turn is very easy to miss. As you get into the main part of Cave Creek, watch for E. Rancho Manana Blvd. on your right. N. Spur Cross Road is the very next street, about 200 yards ahead).
Continue north on N. Spur Cross Road for another 4.5 miles to the parking area at Spur Cross Conservation Area.
Restrooms are located near the parking area.

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updated February 2, 2021 © Copyright 2021, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.