Cottonwood / Cave Creek Loop

This was supposed to be an overnight hike circumnavigating the Cave Creek Complex, but it took two different hikes.

Hike 1

DATE HIKED: 8+9 mARCH 2008

COMPANION: Ben

START TIME: Noon 3/8

END TIME: about 11 AM 3/9

ACTUAL MILES: 13.6

Ben and I started the tough but rewarding hike up (and I mean up) Cottonwood Creek trail with every intention of completing the loop back to Spur Cross. The late start is instructive – uphill most of the way, middle-aged man and junior aged boy made little better than 1.2 miles an hour, and consequently, it was well past dark when we finally decided we were lost, and we might as well camp at the next good spot.

In the morning, that spot turned out to be 50′ from the trail.

It also became apparent that I had a serious chest infection, with accompanying fever, and that hiking uder load was not improving it any at all. So we made for the campground near the Cave creek trailhead, and some nice campers gave a ride into Carefree, where we loitered pathetically at the Circle K until my wife could pick us up.

Second Hike

A day hike – an arranged car shuttle, going down Cave Creek trail back to Spur Cross. Just pretend, as I did writing the guidebook, that this was the second day of the overnight.

DATE HIKED: 19 April 2008

COMPANIONS: Ben (against his better judgement – more below) (And Jayson, who helped with the car shuttle)

START TIME: 10:45 AM

END TIME: 6:49pm

ACTUAL MILES:  11.45 miles

Ben had hurt his foot the week before. We (mostly he) thought it was all better, but halfway down the trail we realized that was increasingly untrue. I applied a liberal layer of mole-padding to his heal,. and he managed to limp all the way out to the car, but he was whining towards the end – which is not at all typical for him.

We encountered a gila monster going into Chalk Canyon. The 2 foot, brown and tan reptile for showed no inclination towards yielding the trail so, against my son’s specific advice, I encouraged it by throwing rocks into the ground next to it. Grudgingly, it moved aside.

I gotta try this hike again!

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4 Responses to “Cottonwood / Cave Creek Loop”

  1. Are We lost Yet? » Blog Archive » Ben’s Hiking essentials Says:

    […] By “pain pads” he means molefoam padding, which is how we got him and his bruised foot out of Cave Creek. Obviously, a lot of those items could be assumed to be in a good first aid […]

  2. Are We lost Yet? » Blog Archive » Cottonwood Trail #120 Says:

    […] is NOT the Cottonwood Creek Trail [247] that I wrote about earlier as part of the CCC Loop. Cottonwood #120 leads from Lake Roosevelt towards the Superstition […]

  3. Are We lost Yet? » Blog Archive » Skunked Tank Says:

    […] Creek Trail. My description of it in the guidebook is derived from notes taken on this hike and the Cottonwood / Cave Creek Loop. Bongo enjoying a break at third […]

  4. Are We lost Yet? » Blog Archive » Sierra Ancha Superloop Says:

    […] hike was the hardest of any he had done for the book. (I think it would actually be day one of the Cave Creek Loop – but he’s the judge of […]