Cave Creek Trail And Skunk Creek Trail

MODERATE 79 reviews
#15 of 123 trails in

Cave Creek Trail And Skunk Creek Trail is a 9.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Cave Creek, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 9.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,722 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

hiking
rocky
washed out
1 month ago

nice hike but no great view. a little bit of shadow at the beginning. I would recommend to wear long pans Grass is high 2 and scratching. don't try to follow quien sabe 247 trail isn't make anymore I had to turn back after 2miles couldn't see the trail anymore. Otherwise it pretty nice early morning when not too much sun. great wild flowers

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail - super diverse landscape. We did it counterclockwise and I feel it’s the best way to get the most of the views. I swam, the water was so nice. I recorded 11.1 miles. Only minus is the crazy amount of sticks and needles that glued to my boots! Gaiters would have been useful. Would hike that one again in a heartbeat!

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
2 months ago

Beautiful Hike 5-10-19 .... Lots of different terrain which kept this hike interesting and fun along with the beautiful sounds of the creek and singing birds. Extensive dirt and narrow roads to get to trail head but worth the drive. Lots of wildlife of bunnies, mule deer, turkey vultures, a few cows, tons of lizards and a couple snakes! Encountered my first Rattlesnake today from a safe distance on the trail...be alert! No fees, washroom and plenty of parking. Enjoy!!

hiking
washed out
5 months ago

Lovely trail for quiet and solitude. I went counter clockwise. Took me four hours. Lots of running water and some wild flowers. I encountered just one group of three people, and they had turned back at the crossing just before the Skunk Tank junction. I realized why once I got there, as the creek crossing has been washed out by flood. Pay special attention to the few cairns there and on the other side of the creek to know where to go. The distances posted on some of the signs seem inaccurate: 5.5 miles from the Skunk Tank turn off, rather than the actual 4; the final section, from the end of Skunk trail back to the Cave Creek TH, posted 3/4 of a mile, when it’s probably more like 1 1/4. Overall, though, the loop is the approx. 10 miles that it’s listed to be. Apart from the extra attention needed to keep the trail, the terrain and elevation gains/losses are of moderate difficulty. I’d hike there again, with company next time!

We went clockwise and it was beautiful. Every time I thought it could be get prettier - it did. 10.7 miles tracked w gps.

hiking
5 months ago

I agree with the previous hiker. This trail should be rated hard. The mileage and elevation gained alone are impressive. But the real factor is the trail surface. We did the hike clockwise and except for the last couple of miles the trail was pretty rocky. Going down took almost more time than going up. That said, it is a beautiful trail that offers solitude (we saw only 3 other hikers all day), scenery, and a wide range of desert ecosystems. The deep canyon just before the intersection of the Skunk and Cave Creek Trails where the spring flowers were the most prevalent was particularly interesting. Definitely worth the effort!

hiking
Monday, March 26, 2018

I am a seasoned hiker and would rate this more hard than moderate. My car made it just fine, no need for 4wd. We went clockwise and I would recommend that. Bring snacks and plenty of water. My mile 8 we were all feeling pretty fatigued. Granted I did this with a pack to train for a longer hike. The views were incredible. Some loose rock along drop offs so wear shoes with sturdy tread. Rarely cell service and we only saw 2 other people on the entire trail. The cairns were helpful. Def worth the drive out of Phoenix!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Went here today for quick day hike. I only hiked about 1/3 of way in had to turn around for time sake. Very beautiful and easy on the part I was on. Bring a water filter plenty of places to fill up

hiking
Monday, March 05, 2018

We finished the Cave Creek and Skunk Trail combo Jan 14/18. For someone in less than perfect shape for a moderate alpine-desert hiking trip, plan for about 8 hrs for the trek, taking the trailhead and going clockwise- that’s important!!. The trail is rocky and very steep in places, and we had trouble finding the trail markings at time , and is actually about 14 mi. Get going early so that you are done by sundown . The weather gets warm around mid day and can get quite chilly as the sun goes down so dress in layers. We download the map to AllTrails and that was a brilliant idea because there is no cell service for the entire trek. Take at least 4+ Bottles of water for each person plus some high energy snacks enough for 8 hours. BTW: Some people did it in less time than us too. By comparison, We previously went on the hike at Lake Louise Canada to the Plain of the 6 glaciers, and this was much harder!!

hiking
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I hiked this trail a week and a half ago with three of my female hiking buddies. The road driving in to the trailhead was about 6 miles of dirt road and pretty windey road for part of the way. The trail is a beautiful trail and we literally saw only 3 other hikers on the trail. All of which were men. If you are looking for beauty and solitude this trail is it. I recommend when you get to the sign that says Cave Creek & Skunkard to take the Skunkard Trail to the left and loop up the mountains then back down the Cave Creek Trail. This is truly a hidden gem.

hiking
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

One of the most beautiful hikes I've done, esp in spring. It was closer to 14mi, though.

hiking
Sunday, February 18, 2018

Great loop hike! Lots of great views. After the 2nd mile we didn’t see anybody the rest of the way on a Saturday.We did the loop counterclockwise as we prefer to do the steepest part of the elevation going up. Worked out great for us and our knees. Our GPS on an iPhone x recorded 11.62 miles. And it felt it.

hiking
Monday, February 12, 2018

Hesitant to write a review about this since one of the things I loved is I saw 4 people in 10.5 miles. Fantastic hike that takes you through multiple desert terrains. I hiked counterclockwise and if I had to do it again I would hike it clockwise, not because it is easier, just saves the best part of the hike (the creek) until the end vs the beginning. As far as dirt forest roads go the road in is pretty well maintained and most cars would have no problems getting to the Trailhead.

hiking
Thursday, February 01, 2018

The trail actually clocks in at 10.4 mi. After 10 mi, that .4 makes a difference . Walking the trail clockwise allows you to get the hardest parts over in the beginning. The cairns were very helpful.

hiking
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Hiked out 3 and back for a total of 6 miles from Seven Springs end. This is a beautiful trail. The gravel road getting there was smoother than expected. Guidebooks don't give an accurate assessment of how far out to drive and whether it is marked. It's a good 10 miles and the trail sign from the road is clearly displayed as trail #4. Beautiful hike from Seven Springs along creek with few people (government shutdown closed the campgrounds). Cool, quiet, great bird watching. Moderate with not much elevation if you are only doing the first few miles.

hiking
Friday, January 19, 2018

What a great loop trail! I did it clockwise; it was such a treat to be high enough in elevation to be able to walk through and past many juniper trees on the way up, a different experience from my last many hikes around Phoenix. The trail was easy to follow, especially when you keep an eye out for the cairns strategically placed. What great scenery! So varied, so may wonderful vistas. As others have said the trail is smooth in many parts, but is also quite rocky in others, as you might expect. Loved it!

hiking
Monday, May 22, 2017

It was a very beautiful trail! You hike up and down 3 mountains which give you amazing views. At times it felt like an obstacle course because we lost the trail in the creeks and there were multiple gates (and one set of stairs) to get through fences. It made the trail very enjoyable and interactive.

hiking
Saturday, April 29, 2017

Great hike! We completed this hike on an unseasonably cool April day that had high temps in the low 80s. My son and I used 2 liters of water apiece, so if you go during warmer weather, carry plenty of water. I'm not sure if the creek runs all summer, but if you carry a water filter, that is an option as well. This is a beautiful riparian habitat. You will hike from the creek with cottonwoods and sycamores to the high desert dodging prickly pear cactus on steep and narrow trails. Portions of the trail are smooth dirt, but much of the trail is narrow and rocky with lots of rolling rocks underfoot, so watch your footing. The trail is not hard to follow, but it is just rough enough it might take you a little more time than you might think. Based upon the recommendation of others, we completed the loop in a clockwise direction. This gives you more shade and creek access during the latter part of the hike when the sun is higher. The area is fairly remote and I had no cell service (Verizon) during the hike, and I didn't reconnect to service for several miles after leaving the trailhead. The dirt road leading to the trailhead is several miles of rough washboard, but it is very well maintained, and any passenger car can drive it easily. Put this one on your list, and have fun!

hiking
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

very cool area

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

This is a great hike. Not to hard but not easy either. A lot to see!

hiking
Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Bring plenty of water. Maybe it was the distance, but this is rated as Moderate and I found it way more difficult than Camelback. Very remote during October with no cell service, so tell others where you're going if traveling alone. Keep a lookout for the structured rock towers that previous hikers have constructed so that you know you're on the right trail, as the trail is not marked by signs and is VERY easy to get off track.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Hiked 247 to Spur then back on trail 4 to cavecreek trail head. It was a long day but loved every minute if it. Second time here and will be back again, so much to see!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Trail is narrow and slightly overgrown from lack of use, but definitely still passable. I went hiking with my boyfriend and two dogs and we will definitely be back. Be sure to drive a higher clearance vehicle because its off-road driving for the last 7 miles to the trailhead. We'll try camping sometime this summer.

hiking
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My family is new to hiking. We consist of mom dad and 2 boys (3yrs old and 7). We started on skunk creek trail and did a 4 mile loop. We saw all of the normal desert life, lizards quails & bunnies. We got there a little later than normal but didn't have to cut the hike short due to there was plenty of shade along the way. Great hike for us beginners

hiking
Sunday, January 05, 2014

Approximately four miles along the valley, the valley is spectacular, and you can swim in the summer, climbing the gently sloping slopes past the plains.

hiking
Sunday, March 03, 2013

Beautiful hike even when it's hot because it follows the creek and has good shade.

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