Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Jewel of the Creek Spur Cross Day Hike
when Trip Report : June 16, 2022
where Cave Creek
the hike     The hike will begin at The Jewel of the Creek Trailhead sign at 6 AM. We’ll meet at the main parking lot.
    We will descend into the riparian area of the Jewel of the Creek Preserve follow the loop to Dragonfly Trail, out to Spur Cross Trail.
    We will finish by descending Spur Cross Trail past Metate to the picnic tables and portapotties and return to the Main Parking Lot.
    Flowering desert sage, whispering cottonwoods, towering Saguaro cactus along with the hushed burble of cool water welcome those seeking a hiking oasis from out of the heat into a shaded sanctuary.
    A few miles north of Phoenix in the historic town of Cave Creek, lies a hidden hiking trail known to locals as the Jewel of the Desert. The actual name for this hiking spot is the Jewel of the Creek Preserve, which inhabits 27 miles of rare desert preserve trust land surrounding a flowing stream.
    Prospectors referred to the stream as Cave Creek in 1870, when the Cave Creek Mining District was established. An old military map dated in 1866 shows the location of the cave and referred to the stream as Cave Creek.
    The Jewel of the Creek differs from other valley hiking spots because it contains three distinct habitat types, Sonoran Desert Upland, Mesquite Bosque and Riparian. The riparian area is supported by year round water and is home to a beautiful canopy of Cottonwoods, Gooding’s Willow, Arizona Ash, Sycamore, Arizona Walnut and rising Saguaro Cactus, all in close proximity.
    The Jewel Creek Preserve’s butterfly-laden path is home for Sonoran Mud Turtles, Lowland Leopard Frogs, Canyon Tree Frogs and a long list of colorful, singing birds. The creek preserve is surrounded by stair-stepped rock formations, sandy shores, and grassy fields.
    Park in the main Spur Cross parking lot. Do not head down the hill to the portapotties.
    Check in with me at the parking lot. We will walk down the hill past the horse corral you saw on the way in and take a group photo and do introductions at the Jewel of the Creek Trailhead sign.
distance 3.9 miles
time 2 hours
type loop
starting at Jewel of the Creek Trailhead sign
on trail 100% — Dragonfly, Jewel of the Creek, Spur Cross Trails
rating "C"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost $3 Have exact change. Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Phoenix
meet 6:00 AM in the main Spur Cross parking lot.
•  Take Cave Creek Road north from Phoenix into the town of Cave Creek.
Turn left onto Spur Cross Road for about four miles.
Spur Cross Road soon turns into a smooth dirt road for the last mile, where it ends at the Spur Cross Ranch on the right
Parking for Spur Cross hiking trailhead at the Jewel of the Desert is located on the left, in front of a private home.

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updated June 17, 2022 © Copyright 2022, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.