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Cave Creek Trail and Skunk Creek Trail Professional Review and Guide
"Butcher Jones Trail runs along a section of Saguaro Lake’s northern shore, offering many scenic overlooks of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Burro Cove, this hike’s destination, commands an impressive view of Four Peaks across the lake."
--Charles Liu, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Phoenix (Menasha Ridge Press).
As the other reviewers noted, definitely would suggest a clockwise loop as opposed to the Trail Guide suggested route. The Skunk Creek Trail has some mild climbs and depressions that would be more enjoyable early in the hike. Even in mid-November, the Cave Creek portion of the trail was very lush and scenic.
I gave this 4 stars because it's one of the few hikes around with water. Excellent hike. I did it like the author (counter clockwise) and wished I did it the other way around like the previous reviewer. You want to end up at the creek at the end of the hike.
I have to give this trail 4 stars simply because i would not at all recommend doing this trail on the counter clockwise route that the author did! When I hike this again I will definitely go clockwise for several reasons...the main one being i would prefer to get the most challenging part of the hike out of the way at the beginning (no shade and less scenic) and then enjoy the most beautiful portion of the loop at the end with trees along the creek providing shade! The trail was well marked with pink ribbons at the creek crossings and stacked rocks to follow when you doubt which way to go. It was hotter than normal today (103 in the valley) and I would not suggest hiking this in the summer since there is NO shade on the Skunk Creek portion of the trail. The Cave Creek portion was gorgeous - we stopped to eat along the creek and dunked our shirts in the water to cool off! Very refreshing...Loved the portion of the trail where you could see the old mine and hundreds of rusted tin cans...
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