The Cave Creek Trail System is a stunningly beautiful, 35-mile network of hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and horse riding trails located on the Tonto National Forest between Spur Cross Conservation Area and Seven Springs Recreation Area. It offers an impressive variety of hiking options, both in length and difficulty, including:
- the iconic but challenging Skull Mesa Trail with breathtaking view of desert foothills
- a portion of the Maricopa Trail
- crossover hikes between Spur Cross Conservation Area and Seven Springs
- spring wildflower hikes
- multiple backcountry hiking loops through a variety of upland desert and riparian areas
- backpacking loops for multi-day trips
However, this trail system is in desperate need of TLC. Trails are seriously overgrown and trail signs are missing or in disrepair, making the trails very difficult to follow and compromising the safety of its users.
All these issues are about the be addressed! The Desperados Trail Scouts made a significant donation to the Friends to pay for new signs, and the Tonto National Forest Cave Creek Ranger District has secured funding for backcountry crews to perform heavy trail brushing and sign installation. New trailhead kiosks will include updated maps, interpretive information, and QR codes to download trail maps. All trail junctions will be clearly marked, and new fiberglass trail markers will ensure users can confidently find their way.
Check the Friends calendar for volunteer events and registration information. We need volunteers to help us return this trail system to its full potential. Periodic volunteer events for light trail brushing and fiberglass trail marker installation will be alternately held from one of the three trailheads: the Bronco and Cave Creek Trailheads in Seven Springs Recreation Area, and the Spur Cross Trailhead accessed from the Spur Cross Conservation Area. Tonto National Forest personnel and Friends of the Tonto will be on hand at the events to train and assist volunteers, and all tools will be provided.
Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to seeing you on the Trails!
Cave Creek Trail System Map
Tonto National Forest, Cave Creek Ranger District
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