Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
Located about 35 miles north of central Phoenix, Spur Cross lies in the beautiful Sonoran Desert abutting the Tonto National Forest. This protected area encompasses 2,154 acres of diversely rugged land that features archaeological sites, ancient petroglyphs and lush riparian spots along Cave Creek which generally flows with its crystal waters during the winter months.
All of this natural beauty of rolling hills and mountains is dotted with tall Saguaro cacti of unique shapes and forms that have taken thousands upon thousands of years to grow. Remnants of early mining camps from the 1870s and ruins of the ancient Hohokam Indians holds many secrets of times past.
Seasonal changes bring variation to the landscape, from beautiful spring wildflowers, flowering cactus in May and running creeks during the winter season. Don’t forget your camera … photo opportunities abound! From the diverse flora and fauna to the many unique creatures that call the Sonoran Desert home, you’ll be sure to enjoy the scenic beauty all along the trail.
Tonto National Forest
The Tonto National Forest, Arizona, embraces almost 3 million acres of rugged and spectacularly beautiful country, ranging from Saguaro cactus-studded desert to pine-forested mountains beneath the Mogollon Rim. This variety in vegetation and range in altitude (from 1,300 to 7,900 feet) offers outstanding recreational opportunities throughout the year, whether it’s lake beaches or cool pine forest.
As the fifth largest forest in the United States, the Tonto National Forest is one of the most-visited “urban” forests in the U.S. (approximately 5.8 million visitors annually). Its boundaries are Phoenix to the south, the Mogollon Rim to the north and the San Carlos and Fort Apache Indian reservations to the east.