Explore Cave Creek - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Cave Creek Map
1 day ago

Great hard hike - second time up and it and it takes about six hours and three liters of water in January. Tried it in September last year when it was about 90 and ran out of water before the final climb. Lots of water this year in the creek and a bit in one of the washes.

I absolutely recommend this trail!! I went today for my first time. It was challenging, I definitely broke a sweat! Not too crowded. Incredible views. The trail was sometimes tough to follow heading up, but I am sure next time won’t be as hard since I know which way to go now.

I will most definitely be back. The top of this mountain was so serene, and again, the views were beautiful. The challenge was so worth it.

5 stars for what it is: a steep 1 mile climb (21% average grade vs Camelback which is 22%, for reference).
I chose this over the more popular hike because the 1% challenge difference isn't worth the challenge of dealing with throngs of people and limited parking. I saw a handful of people and all were quite friendly, which to me means they're all regular hikers and added to the pleasure of this trail.
You have to park a quarter mile before the trailhead and pass some houses to get to the start. You're never out of view of houses actually, but that's because this trail is in an urban area. Some people lower their rating because of this but... It's in an urban area. Besides, the houses are pretty cool.
You can hear music from one of the restaurants in town all the way to the summit. If you like southern rock and country you'll enjoy it. BTW, there are several biker hangouts in town ... so you will also hear a lot of loud bikes. Definitely not a "backcountry" experience. Haha
Lots of wildflowers, a few coyotes, sharp jagged rocks and 360° views made it a good short workout hike. pics on Instagram @cliknstik

on Horton Creek Trail

nature trips
9 days ago

Beautiful, easy trail. Elevation may bother you if you are from the Valley.

If you want a short warmup, park down at Cave Creek Rd. Otherwise if you park in the neighborhood closer to the trailhead proper, the grind begins immediately and doesn't relent until 2/3 to the summit. Lots of sharp rocks & irregular stepping spots, recommend good ankle support. Fantastic view from the summit justifies the burn.

14 days ago

Good, fairly challenging hike with great views. Reminds me of Piestewa Peak but with a more gradual incline rather than stair-stepping. That being said, the trail basically goes straight up the mountain. The trail markers are few and far between, and there are many alternative “paths” one might get lost on if not paying close attention, but most seem to end up in the same place. One star off because of the rich pseudo-cowboys whose houses line the trail and mar the mountain.

Because you can't park right at trail start the hike will be longer than 2.2 miles. Sharp rocks and cactus along trail, maybe not great for curious or non-sure footed little kids. First time my child was 5 and he did great, didnt make it to top but loved it. Beautiful views. Dogs allowed.

I hike this regularly. Beautiful hike, dogs love the water. Any level of hiker can hike this. In and out as far as you wish. Parking can be an issue on weekends so come early.

Great trail

20 days ago

What a beautiful day! It had snowed the night before, so the trail was a bit hard to follow for the last miles-and-a-half. The summit of the mesa offers great views of the Cave Creek drainage. I saw several animal tracks along the way (coyote, deer, and bobcat).

great way to start 2019

much of this trail is smooth and not rocky so it's easier on the feet,.. also it reaches a nice elevation where you get good views ... nice places to stop... pretty vegetation... one of the better trails in Phoenix area

This trail will kick your butt with the incline lol.

Great shirt hard hike with amazing views!

1 month ago

What makes it challenging is the time that takes to get to the base of the Mesa.. otherwise the climb is relatively easy.. Take lots of water

1 month ago

FYI, I thought I’d mention that you can’t park at the trailhead. It’s down the street and then you walk up a hill to get to the start. This is a challenging hike that is pretty much straight uphill until you get to the top. Gorgeous views make the climb worth it! I did need to use my hands to climb in certain spots. A little tough on my knees coming back down. Proper footwear with good grip is important.

This is straight up and straight down Great views but couldn’t really enjoy until you stopped. But great workout

1 month ago

Just did this oneand had a blast. Has a strong vertical ascent line. It’s not camelback grade but it’s a good solid workout and a lot of fun. There’s an American flag at the top which makes for some fun pics. I will probably do this one again with a weighted vest to crank up the workout.

1 month ago

Wonderful hike up to three spring going through the forest following the Horton Creek with some mini waterfalls all along. Very beautiful scenery, very peaceful and relaxing. This hike is at a moderate level.

For in town it’s very nice and if I lived here I’m sure I would go often.

Great for dogs

1 month ago

This trail is my favorite hike yet. The pine trees and creek are breathtaking. I highly highly recommend you make it to the top - the views are so worth it! It was very windy and chilly at the top and the trail toward the top is not marked. Allow yourself 4-5 hours.

1 month ago

Great hike!! This is the “jalapeño” hike in terms of just the right amount of heat for most people... if you want to turn it into a “habanero” you can by running up the hill but the elevation gain is probably just right for less than running. It is steep and rocky so wear solid boots and drop lower becoming more parallel to the trail in the vertical areas... this will help prevent falling/slipping and allow you to maintain pace while also utilizing hand holds on the rocks. A few false summits till you get to the flag and amazing 360 degree views at the top! Glad yesterday was leg day at the gym.... this “enhanced” my experience during today’s hike!!

Definitely a challenge but the homes all around it being built are taking the scenery away from it. Don’t let the short 2.2 miles fool you it is a butt burner.

The road was very rocky, but manageable. It was an excellent hike up, the view was incredible and I would highly recommend this trail to anyone who enjoys a magnificent view. I drove from Glendale and I was impressed, I will totally do it again.

Love the flag at the top!

Great hike today! Relatively easy hike.

I have Black Mountain in my back yard. As a local, I can walk to the trailhead and hike to the top - I do this a few times each week. I LOVE this hike, but it is not for the faint of heart. It’s challenging because 85% of the trail is very steep and rocky, making the ascent quite rigorous and the decent tough on the quads and knees. Make sure to stop periodically to drink and stay hydrated - bring enough water....take in the views. On a clear day you can see forever!

One of the best!

1 month ago

This is a serious buttbuster! Super steep! Scary coming down for me. I was hoping to find a stick to help me get down, but there was nothing. I recommend trekking poles for this hike.. it is gorgeous and totally worth all the work it takes to get to the top! I gave it four stars because I highly doubt I’ll do it again-my phobia of falling down steep terrain and my hope to do all the trails in Az are the only two reasons for this.

Load More