Go John Trail

Cave Creek Regional Park, Arizona
Elevation Gain3,125ft
Trailhead Elevation2,119ft
Elevation Min/Max2114/2547ft
Elevation Start/End2119/2119ft

Go John Trail

Go John Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Cave Creek, Arizona. It is within Cave Creek Regional Park. It is 5.7 miles long and begins at 2,119 feet altitude. Near the trailhead there is drinking water, parking, and restrooms.

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icon7 Total
Scottsdale, AZ
Pathfinder | 127 pts
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Evergreen, MT
Trailblazer | 616 pts
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Really a nice trail for almost any age, the trail is easy to follow and very well marked. When hiking the East side you'll have several nice climbs but nothing to hard. I hiked the Overton Trial, The Clay Mine Trail and the Go John Trail all in one day. I spent about 4 hours at med pace to complete them all.
Scottsdale, AZ
Adventurer | 396 pts
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A nice trail, though not as scenic as many others in the Phoenix area. Still worth the time to hike it though. Trail mileage is definitely longer than what this guide notes. The trail map they provide you upon park entrance states 5.8 miles, which more closely matches my GPS unit from hiking the trail.

We saw a few mountain bikers on the trail as well. The trail is well maintained for hiking purposes, but bikers should be aware that there is plenty of loose rock, etc. so beware as you traverse downhill.

Peoria, AZ
Pathfinder | 80 pts
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Awesome hike - very few people frequent this 5.8 mile trail, but you're bound to see some wildlife and there are excellent views of the surrounding mountains. Just enough of a climb to get your heart rate going, but not too strenuous.

Best time to go - March and April when the desert wildflowers are blooming!
Colorado Springs, CO
Adventurer | 327 pts
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We hiked this trail going clockwise and found it beautiful and scenic. We started around 5am and about 6am when the sun was coming up we heard a pack of coyotes not too far off the trail but never did see them. I have uploaded some photos from our hike of mines and scenic views along the way.
The trail is well maintained and easy going with most of it being packed dirt - Parking was $6 at the trailhead and we saw very few other people on the trail. Enjoy!
Peoria, AZ
Explorer | 30 pts
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Instead of hiking this trail, my husband and I rode our mountain bikes. I don't suggest this to to many people. You have to be the kind of rider that rides National at South mountain to ride this trail. It would be great to hike. The views are beautiful. I can't wait to go back and explore more of the trails that are located in State Trust land just outside of the park. We will probably ride our bikes again but just the first part of Overland trail and the east end of Go John.
Phoenix, AZ
Explorer | 40 pts
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I began the hike heading North
completing a 4.8 mile clockwise loop.
The time was approximately 8:15am.
Within the first 100 yards or so, a the
trail steadily began to incline at about
30-45 degrees. Once over the first of
two noticiable saddles the intensity
declines with the trail.
Most of the terrain is a combination of
small rock (mostly quartz i think) and
dirt, making it a fairly comfotable hike.
About midpoint the trail again begins to
ascend at a steady grade of about 30
degrees. On this particular day, the
trail was very dry and dusty. The views and scenary
are spectacular. I noticed that this
trail met up with a few others to
extend the distance (7/8 miles) or
could be kept to 4.8 miles. This trail
is very beautiful and well preserved.
If hiking with a group of people it
tends to get long, but for a quiet
peaceful hike for one or two, it can be
very rejuvenating. Highly recommended!

Go John Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Charles Liu
"Go John Trail is one of the best moderate loop trails you can hope for. Scenic hills surround Cave Creek Regional Park, and the undulating hike has just enough ups and downs to keep you on your toes. Go John Trail offers an excellent loop hike through landscape typical of the mountains near Cave Creek. This trail touches hills, plains, dry washes, and unique rock formations, and, of course, showcases plenty of desert flora. Be prepared, though, to share the trail with other hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers."
Best Hikes Near Phoenix (Falcon Guides)
Bruce Grubbs
"This trail winds through the lush Sonoran Desert foothills near Cave Creek, north of Phoenix. The first part of the loop follows an old road dating from the prospecting and mining era of the nineteenth century. After crossing a pass, the pleasant foot trail traverses the north side of some low hills, providing views north to the remote New River Mountains area. There are also good views of the Cave Creek area and the McDowell Mountains. surface: Dirt and rocks. This pleasant loop gives hikers a good introduction to the Sonoran Desert. From the trailhead, the Go John Trail first heads north up a drainage, climbing to a low saddle in the desert hills. It then drops north down a dry wash. As the trail turns east, watch for unmarked unofficial trails that leave the park; stay right, on the Go John Trail, at each junction. The trail crosses several minor drainages as it skirts the base of the hills on their north slopes."
Best Loop Hikes Arizona (The Mountaineers Books)
Bruce Grubbs
"The Go John Trail loops through beautiful Sonoran Desert in Cave Creek Regional Park, near Carefree. This easy loop presents sweeping views of New River Mesa, the East Cedar Mountains, the Bradshaw Mountains, and the Mazatzal Mountains."
Stewart M. Green
"A superb loop hike through desert canyons north of Phoenix."

Trail Information

Cave Creek Regional Park
Nearby City
Cave Creek Regional Park
Skill Level
City, Views
USGS Cave Creek; park map available at entrance and at maricopacountyparks.net/maps
Local Maps

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