December 4th, 2016 ~ Day 254
When a friend of mine posted a photo of this sign, it called to me, and I knew I was going to do this hike! So a few days later, Eric and I headed up to Cave Creek to find the Jewel of the Creek!
I’ve only hiked once in Cave Creek since this journey began. I’m not familiar with the area and it’s a 45 minute drive from my house. Yet the trails and the amazing beauty it has to offer are spectacular. I need to plan on coming here more often.
Oh what a jewel it is! Our hike began walking through the desert. From the start of the trail you can see the desert with a forest stuck in the center and mountains surrounding all of it. It’s December and the leaves are just now changing their color. So amazing seeing the changing leaves in the middle of the desert!
The views surrounding us were far and wide. There’s just so much area to hike! With the mountains in the background, it makes me want to go exploring!
The Jewel of the Creek trailhead is only a half mile from the Spur Cross Ranch trailhead. I’ve done a hike once from there, a long time ago, heading up to Elephant Mountain. Besides that, I’ve done nothing else in this area, but from where I stand in this moment I can see there’s so much more to hike.
From the desert hike we looped back across the dried up river bed heading toward the forest. Hiking along we walked through a canopy of trees in the middle of the forest. It reminds me of hiking back in the Midwest where the trees are so abundant.
We happened upon an old mining tunnel on our way back to the trailhead, so of course I had to climb in. I didn’t go too far. I’ve heard these things like to collapse and I’m always overly cautious. I was happy we found an actual cave in Cave Creek. ☺ I’ve since learned the area is filled with old mining shafts. I’d love the opportunity to find more.
Just before we turned onto the trail that takes us back to the trailhead, we found cattails along the dried up creek bed. It’s not very often you get to see these in the desert. Another thing to remind me of the Midwest where I grew up.
Our hike was about two and a half miles in one of the most beautiful places I’ve hiked. The Jewel of the Creek definitely lives up to it’s name.
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