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Cave Creek Recreation Area - Maricopa County Parks and Recreation

Summary: A Phoenix area park with 11 miles of trails open to hiking, mountain bikes and horses. The park also features camping facilities with showers ($18 per night) and horseback rides ($30 per hour) and ranger led activities. Click here for more specific park events.
Directions: From Phoenix, drive north on I-17 to exit #223 and head east on the Carefree Highway. Drive about 7 miles then turn north on 32nd Street. Enter the Park at a self service fee station ($5 per car load per day).
Road Conditions: Passenger Car - paved all the way
Navigation: Easy - wide, well marked trails throughout
Length: 0 - 15 miles
Date Hiked: December 2003
Weather Conditions: Cool and sunny
Required Skills: None
Hike Description: All hikes pass through vegetation typical of the Upper Sonoran Desert. Along the way you'll see: saguaro cactus, cholla, prickly pear, palo verde, ironwood, brittle bush, jojoba, ocotillo and mesquite.
Go John Trail (4.7 mile loop):
The longest loop in the park, the trail begins at the parking lot for the Go John Trailhead. The trail circumnavigates a prominent ridge, passing several abandoned mine sites along the way. There is one moderately steep, if short, hill which is found just north of the trailhead.
Overton Trail (2.1 mile loop):
This hike may be started from either the Go John or Overton Trailheads. This hike forms a loop around another prominent hill in the park.
Clay Mine Trail (0.8 miles one way):
This trail leads from a parking lot along Jasper Way along a ridge line to connect with the Overton Trail. Along the way it passes the Clay Mine, which you can walk into about 50 feet.
Slate Trail (1.6 miles one way):
A mostly flat trail which leads from the horse stables at the Go John Trailhead to the park boundary. Seems to be mostly used by mountain bikes and horses.
Flume Trail (1.5 miles one way):
Despite it's rather exciting sounding name the Flume Trail just follows a dry wash southeast to an old rocky road. Also seems to be traveled mostly by mountain bikes and horses.
Jasper Trail (0.2 miles one way):
Not much of a trail really. This short path provides a connection between the Go John and Slate Trails.
Rating (1-5 stars):
Nothing exceptional, but an ok place to hike if you don't have time to get away. Not sure if my experience was typical, but I only saw a few horses and mountain bikes on the hike. The author hiked all the trails in the park (since some were out and back this was about 15 miles) in about 5 hours.
Maps: Click here for a Cave Creek Recreation Area map
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.

View along the Overton Trail. View along the Slate Trail.
Typical sign found at
each mine entrance.
Clay Mine tunnel - you can
walk in for about 50 ft.