I didn’t post an adventure yesterday like I usually due because of the holiday. Dad had the day off, so we were able to go on an adventure. The weather was just wonderful, and we thought we better enjoy it while we can as the clouds were already rolling in. Rain is coming, and the desert desperately needs a good, long drink of water.
Anyway, we headed east on Carefree Highway and then turned left on Cave Creek Road. I have to warn you, you will be driving a good hour from north Phoenix for this one. You’ll continue on Cave Creek past the Bartlett Lake turn off and keep going even when the road turns to dirt. Any vehicle can drive this road, but it does have ruts, so expects a bumpy, dusty ride. When you see the Bronco Trail on your left, you are getting close. You’ll come to the CCC Campground first, and the very next left after that is the trailhead parking lot.
To give you some reference, this is the other side of Spur Cross Ranch. You can hike from there to here, or from here to there. Clear as mud? This is the Cave Creek Trail #4, and it goes a very long way. Most of us are familiar with it from the Cave Creek Regional Park or Spur Cross Ranch, but we went to the very opposite side.
Parking is free and there is one human restroom for men and women to share. Because you are out in the middle of nowhere, be sure you have plenty of water and emergency supplies. No cell phone coverage here!
There is a good map that shows you the hiking options. We chose the Cave Creek Trail #4 because it follows the creek. Believe it or not, there was water in the creek! Sorry, I got excited and ahead of myself.
From the parking lot, go to the left and follow the trail. It is a moderate trail with some rocks and elevationbut nothing too bad. Mom just bought new hiking boots the other day as her old boots fell apart. The bottoms came off! Apparently, those boots are older than me, so she was due. Anyway, this trail was a good test to ensure they are a good fit. We dogs have it so easy – no clothes or shoe issues. We are ready to go without any effort. Woof!
You will follow Trail #4 and as I mentioned, it goes along Cave Creek. Yippy! I got to take several dips in the stream to cool off and get a nice drink. That makes me a very happy dog! Dad said if there was water in it now with the drought, it will have water all the time, so this would be a great hike any time of year. Most of the trees lost their leaves, and we crunched our way along the creek bottom. At one point, you will cross a 4-wheel drive road. You will see a big ranch over in the distance and will keep following trail #4. You will need to walk over a set of stairs that are used to keep the cows from roaming. I did okay, but small dogs may need a little assistance.
We didn’t run into any cows, but we saw plenty of piles of poop. We gathered that this land is owned by the ranch and they allow passage through. Kind people! Be respectful please. This trail goes for 10 miles where it brings you to Spur Cross Ranch like I mentioned earlier. We did not have time to go that far, nor were we up for that today. We hiked until we felt like taking a break, had a snack, and then we turned around.
Because we were out in the middle of the desert, it was very quiet. Listening to the stream was quite peaceful. I had to shake things up by digging and digging. Woof! What can I say? I’m a dog. I didn’t find anything, but I had fun kicking up dirt on mom. Hee hee.
We headed back and went about 2.5 miles total. The beauty of this trail is you can go as short or long as you want. The terrain is very different here and actually reminded me of Texas. I’m sure the further you go, you would get back to the desert terrain. This was a neat change of scenery, and I’m sure it would be pretty in the spring when the trees bloom.
Since we had to drive through the town of Cave Creek to get home, dad stopped at Dairy Queen. He read my mind! Yum. Ice cream tastes so good after a hike. Should you try this hike, allow plenty of time for driving and hiking. Maybe bring a picnic lunch so you can enjoy more time next to the creek. Have fun!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!