Looking for a great trail in Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, Arizona? AllTrails has 16 great hiking trails, trail running trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 9 moderate trails in Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area ranging from 2.5 to 10 miles and from 2,339 to 3,169 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

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dogs on leash

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kid friendly

river

Went to Spur Cross today. The wash across Spur Cross was dry as a bone. Crossed Metate, and wound up on Tortguga to Elephant Mountain. Tortuga, of course, is marked Primitive Trail-Use at Your Own Risk. It is rocky and very rough, but no rattlesnakes today anyway. We made it to the turn to Elephant Mountain and the link to the Tonto National Forest, but that was as far as we went. Then right back to Spur Cross and back to parking. I am such a wimp! I have been thinking about doing Skull Mesa and Elephant Mountain for the last two years, but so far have avoided like the plague. Oh well, maybe some day.

a wonderful loop.. take water and snacks. A camera will be fun on this hike as well.

Narrow trail lined with cacti in some areas. I found it easy to follow. I walked it in clockwise direction. Several springs on the trail but completely dry June 1. Unfortunately the bugs were thick throughout the hike. They didn’t bite but they all wanted to land on me. River crossings were easy, it’s almost dried up now. If you like solitude and scenery this is very nice trail.

backpacking
over grown
24 days ago

The first 5 miles were great walking along the stream. You eventually see a sign that says you've gone 5 1/2 miles and the trail seemed to be heavily over grown after that. I dropped my pack to try and find the trail only to run into a rattlesnake in the tall grass. After about 30 minutes looking I went back to the sign and had to take another trail. Just a heads up.

hiking
no shade
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
25 days ago

A lot of creek crossings that are 30 to 70' across and require you to go up or down stream to look for a place to cross. Trail is not marked and difficult to find and follow and is very rocky and steep. At one place i went up a class 2 sand and rock face about 60' high. It's easy to get lost especially at the start. As for scenery lots of great views. Be careful.of snakes because of grassy over grown areas you have to cross.

Great little hike! Started at spur cross main trail head and crossed over to dragonfly when we came to the sign and ended at the parking lot - about 3.7 miles total, 1.5 hrs. Lots of cactus and great views! Even big trees when walking along the creek bottom.

love this trail, less people

Solid hike. Make sure to either start early to avoid the late morning sun or wear some sleeves and a hat. I'd also advise against bringing dogs on this as there are plenty of tall narrow grassy areas for snakes to hide.

This is the one trail I do EVERY trip to the Phoenix area. I would rate it on the easy side of moderate, and perfect to warm up for harder hikes. What makes this trail is the saguaro. In my opinion you get a better selection of saguaros on this trail than at any of the National Parks/Monuments in Arizona. The riparian forest around Dragonfly trail (the final portion of the hike) is exceedingly rare in the Phoenix area. It’s the end of May and there is still plenty of running water! Due to this watershed (perhaps) I generally find the desert flowers and cactuses bloom here more abundantly. There are some nice petroglyphs, but only one is directly on the trail. The rangers might help locate others. Overall, a pleasant hike with beautiful things to look at all the way through.

hiking
1 month ago

We were prepared for this hike. We went mid week and started at 7am. The hike is as described. We took the steep way up and more mellow side on the way down. We didn’t see any snakes etc.. and it took us 4 hours( half hour) for lunch. We only saw one person and I felt that the trail was well marked with a few times having to look for trail markers( stacked stones). This is a beautiful hike and something I would not do in my own (no cell coverage) If you start at the creek parking area it’s 8.5 miles.

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful hike with spectacular views. When you go through Cave Creek and turn down N. Spur Cross Rd, there are little brown signs with an arrow pointing straight ahead, leading you to the trail. However when you arrive at the little parking lot for the trail access, it is a bit confusing at first, because there is no sign there announcing that it is the Dragonfly (or Jewel of the Creek) trailhead. But you will see a brown metal gate (rather not noticeable). That will be the entrance to the trailhead. The trail is very easy to follow, only gets a little rocky in a few short spots. We really enjoyed our hike there!!! Bring lots of water.

A pretty nice little hike, but we did see three snakes! Two were fairly small and very well camouflaged into the middle of the trail.. still venomous though to the best of my knowledge. Then there was a three foot rattler in a palo verde tree about two-thirds of the day through. Other than the snakes the hike wasn’t too challenging. Looking forward to coming back here at some point to do the Skull Mesa trail.

on Fairy Duster Loop

1 month ago

Nice relaxing path well marked. Lots of nature including insects and grasshoppers.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Originally tried to hike this about two months ago and missed turning right to head down the Cottonwood Trail after the Tonto National Forest sign. Fast forward and was finally able to get back to hiking it. Up until the Skull Mesa Trail sign, the trail is easy to follow. There isn't much shade on the trail so you should start early. After the Skull Mesa Trail sign, the trail is fairly overgrown, but you should still be able to follow it. There were plenty of bugs, so bring your bug spray. Strava recorded this at 12.3 miles round trip. It took me about 5 hours to complete. I had 3 liters of water and finished with about a half liter.

What a beautiful hike! Lots of shade with the tree canopies over the trail in some areas. Lots of wildlife to see. Smooth trails with only a few rocks in areas. It is $3 per person to hike on, but worth it for the upkeep. There is a lily pond and a stream below. You could easily get a hit of a workout depending on the pace you want to set for yourself. Or just enjoy the views at a slower pace. Will absolutely do this hike again!

hiking
1 month ago

A great trail not to hard not to easy, inclines were nice and manageable, the terrain is beautiful and so many opportunities for pictures. Walking across a little stream was perfect.. 2.5 hours for this loop was just right. If you want a nice hike, get the heart pumping at times and a surrounding desert landscape that is awesome, this is your place.

on Spur Cross Loop

hiking
1 month ago

My best hike till today!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Come very early, not a lot of shade. Beautiful hike.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Easy to miss beginning of trail. Head due west from toilet. Scenic route amongst huge Saguaros. Interesting section though wash (watch for cairns). Invigorating steep climb to Elephant saddle. Good place for break. Long stroll to complete loop.

Great moderate trail. Cools by the creek. Nice change of scenery.

beautiful day today. still water in the creek. would do it again. I am not an avid hiker and it was easy.

This trail is well marked, maintained and overall beautiful. So many cactus. It’s like a cactus sea. Perfect day, fairly easy. Beautiful wildflowers along the way. A nice quiet stream to dip your feet in on a hot day. I’d definitely visit again.

horseback riding
2 months ago

Such a perfect time of year to see the back country/desert ❤️. Cactus in bloom. Tall, wispy grass for the ponies to nibble on. Several crossings over Cave Creek, so be sure you’re dressed properly or your pony will cross! There’s plenty of shady places to stop and have lunch, rest. Not too many open trails to gallop if that’s your thing, but sooo worth the investment. *Can be busy.

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Very rocky and not well maintained. The guide at the front was an incredibly rude and condescending young woman. Since we asked questions, she treated us as if we were idiots; we also had to pull information from her about the trails. Stark contrast to the very helpful people at McDowell who are happy to show different options on the map. I’m not coming back to give them my 3 dollars.

hiking
2 months ago

Picturesque views especially down by the creek and looking up at the saguaros! My 3rd hike to this area since the rains and tho the water level is lower it retains its charm.

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous right now with all the flowers blooming! Mild to moderate hike to the gate and brutal final mile but totally perfect at the top. Worth it! Went on a Saturday and only saw two people after the first two miles. Water crossings are all easy to cross with a few rock hops. Somewhat related: I’d never seen posted that the entry to this trail is in a conservation area. It’s very nice, there’s bathrooms available, volunteers who know the trails, and good parking. But there’s a fee. $3 and they only take cash!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Great hike. Lots of rocks. We used just 1 pole each and didn’t have a problem. Not too crowded on a Saturday morning. We also went counter clockwise which was perfect. We prefer the harder up hill, so this worked out well. There is a $3 per person charge to get into the area. Definitely worth it, but take cash or check. They don’t take CC.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful today, so many flowers and great views. Some parts of the trail (North side) are a bit overgrown due to the rains. I went CCW and took the Dragonfly down to the creek preserve

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