Cave Creek Regional Park is 8.6 miles from Roundhouse (16 minute drive). It is $7 per vehicle to enter, or accessible using the $85 per year annual pass, which is good at all Maricopa County regional parks (including Spur Cross).
This morning, Marie and I visited this new park (to us)…Cave Creek Regional Park, which is really close to home. We hiked the 6.2 mile “Go John Trail”, which took us almost 3 hours to complete.
The morning started out nice and cool, at around 72F. We had our Osprey light backpacks that each contain the 2.5L water bladder, some jerky, our binoculars, and this time I carried the 55-300mm lens with the Nikon.
The trail is nice and wide in most spots, and is designed for multi use (hiking, horses, and mountain bikes). Overall, I’d say this is a moderately difficult hike due to some of the elevations and rocky areas. There is also little to no shade, so in the summer I’m sure it’s particularly challenging.
The vistas are certainly beautiful, dotted with cholla and saguaro.
The Go John Trail splits in a couple spots to the Mine trail, the Quartz Trail, and the Overton Trail. We plan on hiking all of them.
To the point above, we were about 2.5 miles in and had seen few birds – Black- throated Sparrows, Curve-billed Thrashers, Gila Woodpeckers, Verdin, Cactus Wren, and several Phainopepla.
You can see how the area has been recently under fire (wild fire).
Above is an example of a technically difficult stretch of trail. Below is Marie, facing northwest into the valley. The variation in geology in this passage was extreme…slate, shale, quartz, talc, granite.
Below is a sign depicting what we think is the Sonoran Desert version of paper, rock, scissors. Horses apparently always win.
Above is me coming down the trail near the end. Below is a golden prickly pear that is naturally heart shaped.
After the hike, we visited the very good nature center and picked up the annual pass. We then went to Harold’s Corral in Cave Creek for lunch. Harold’s is a country and western bar that attracts bikers on the weekends, and Steeler fans on Sundays, but today I was stunned to hear 4 Black Sabbath songs, followed by 4 Iron Maiden songs! When is the last time you heard Maiden in a restaurant at lunch! [The four songs were “Run to the hills”, “The Trooper”, “Number of the beast”, and “Hallowed be thy name”]. I couldn’t help but recall when I saw them live in Phoenix in June or July 2010…outside in the amphitheater. Talk about hot.
Enjoy some more pictures below!