Scottsdale Hiking: Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
We love hiking in Arizona.
When we have the occasion to take some first time Arizona hikers out on the trail, our first choice is to head for the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.
Located north of Scottsdale, in Cave Creek, Arizona, the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation area is the newest addition to Maricopa County’s Regional Parks System. The conservation area encompasses 2,154 acres of diverse, rugged upper Sonoran Desert.
This north Valley location contains fascinating archaeology sites and lush riparian areas along Cave Creek, which flows throughout the winter months. Remnants of early mining and ranching, from which the park gets its name, are still apparent in the park.
This area is a must see for all wildflower lovers in the spring. The abundant vegetation present in the conservation area provides a rich habitat for a diverse assemblage of wildlife.
Easy hiking trail just north of Scottsdale
This 2.3 mile loop is very well groomed and offers expansive views of the Sonoran desert. With half of the loop hugging Cave Creek you will enjoy lush greenery, massive saguaros, large boulders strewn about by ancient volcanoes, and a jaunt through the remnants of an early Arizona ranch.
- From the parking lot, head .2 miles to the kiosk and restrooms.
- Head in a northeasterly direction .9 miles on the Spur Cross (Maricopa Trail).
- At the trail marker, turn left and proceed .8 miles on the Metate Trail.
- About half way through the Metate Trail, you will come across a marker for the Towhee Trail. This is a short .2 mile trail that will take you down near the creek and loop you back to the Metate Trail. We like it, and recommend it.
- After again reaching the Metate Trail, head left until you find signs directing you back towards the parking lot.
This is a popular and well traveled trail. While you are very likely to encounter others along the trail, we recommend you find a quiet spot and let your ears take in the beauty of the area as well.