2/29/2016: Hiking Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area

This has to be one of my all time favorite hikes.

My mom said she had a fun hike for me in Cave Creek, Arizona at the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.  We got an early start on a beautiful winter morning (spring conditions anywhere else in the country).

With Cave Creek running through the lower portions of the property, the area had a certain lushness not usually found in the desert.  But, as we progressed up the slope of Elephant Mountain, I could not recall a place where I had seen so many large Saguaros so closely spaced.  Add in the Ocotillos, Ironwood, jojoba, and wildflowers and the desert here had so many layers of interest and color that I could only describe it as lush.

I had to apologize to my mother for slowing her down as I repeatedly stopped to take pictures.  A 5 mile hike has never taken so long but I could not more than 10 feet without finding something else to watch, identify, or admire.  I hate to say, but this hike spoiled me before I saw the “Superbloom” in Death Valley.  This was a super bloom in it’s own rite with different wildflowers blooming at each elevation and aspect.  Unfortunately, every desert hike from here on out will be compared to this one and it is going to be hard to beat.

Elephant Mountain
Mule deer watching us
Lone Saguaro
Saguaro pups
Trail through the saguaros
Looking down on Cave Creek
Toxostoma curvirostre (Curve-billed Thrasher)
Yucca baccata (Banana Yucca)
Ocotillo blossoms
Wildflowers along the trail at every elevation
Elephant Mountain
Desert wildflowers
Solar Oasis


2 Comments on “2/29/2016: Hiking Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area

  1. Love the pretty little mule deer and the Lone Saguaro is a lovely photo. It looks like it was a really epic hike. Nice that you were able to do it before it gets too hot down there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. It would not have been the same hike at 110 degrees. The pleasant weather, morning light, wildflower blossoms, plant variety, bird songs, and panoramic views all made for an epic experience.

      Liked by 1 person

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