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South Fork Cave Creek Professional Review and Guide
"A beautiful area, Cave Creek Canyon on the eastern slope of the Chiricahua Mountains is home to a varied selection of flora and fauna. One of the best places to enjoy the area’s ecology is along the South Fork Cave Creek. Accessed by a nice, easy trail, this drainage bottom makes for a wonderful outing."
--Scott S. Warren, 100 Classic Hikes Arizona (The Mountaineers Books).
An easy hike along (and across a few times) South Fork Cave Creek. Most of the trail is in moderately dense woods, yet the cliffs on each side occasionally provide spectacular views in openings. Significant flash-flood damage (September 2014) is evident throughout the area; the road from the north/south fork to the south trailhead is currently closed to vehicles and thus becomes part of the hike... The trail itself is well blazed and easy to follow despite the damage, thanks to the hard work of volunteer caretakers. Lots of birds including raptors, even in January, although we failed to spot a trogon.
This is a nice, easy trail with not much ascent. The trail actually goes on further to join with other trails to reach higher points. Depending on your energy level, I would plan to go on to gain even more scenery. This trail is very close to the Portal. There is a little store there where you can have a sack lunch prepared if you wish. The rock scenery is pretty outstanding. I was there following 9 months of no rain but I am sure it is really great when the stream has some water flowing.
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