I made my first visit to the wilderness, northwest of Scottsdale, AZ, known as Cave Creek Regional Park, on Saturday. Actually, the park is the southern tip of a region which will be featured frequently in my posts this year. I began my exploration of the Cave Creek area by hiking Go John Trail, a loop which takes in the eastern two-thirds of the park.
No one seems to know the origin of the name “GoJohn”, but my guess is that it had something to do with the gold miners who thronged in this area, during the 1870’s. At any rate, GoJohn Trail goes from the Cave Creek Nature Center’s picnic grounds, north as far as the boundary with a parcel of State Trust Land, then loops around to the east, goes around GoJohn Mountain ( a mild ascent) and down through a canyon, cut by a branch of Cave Creek, and southward, back to the parking lot.
Here are some views of the trail.
Once at the junction with Overton Trail, which straddles the west side of the park, GoJohn heads north to the State Trust Land, which will lead any hiker with a permit to Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, a distance of 4.3 miles.
From a ridge on the northeast end of GoJohn, one spots Elephant Mountain, the centerpiece of Spur Cross Ranch.
The granite and basalt of Cave Creek Regional Park are most prominent on the east side of GoJohn.
The riparian character of the area is most pronounced, as the GoJohn heads back southward.
Heart rocks greet me everywhere, and this trail is no exception.
The trail turns into a Pink Carpet, of sorts, as the homestretch begins.
GoJohn meets up with two eastward-bound trails, the Quartz and the Jasper, along its last mile.
Lastly, the sunsets in the area do not disappoint.
Much more remains to be seen, in the area drained by Cave Creek.