Elephant Mountain Fortress Hike

Rate this Adventure Arizona Spur Cross Ranch

Added by Dan Deublein

Summit Elephant Mountain and view one of the premiere archaeological sites within Spur Cross Ranch! 

This hike beings at Spur Cross Ranch in Cave Creek, which is a lush riparian area flowing with Saguaros. Starting at the trailhead, you will start this loop by hiking clockwise on Tortuga trail which will connect with the Elephant Mountain trail at 1.5 miles. As you start to ascend the Elephant Mountain Trail, you will start appreciate some magnificent desert views!

As you adventure around the northwest side of Elephant Mountain, you will start to see and old Hohokam Fort perched high on the hilltop. While there aren't any pueblos located at the top of Elephant Mountain, there is a 4 foot thick defensive wall that is about 80 paces long. It's a classic and wondrous example of a defensive fort. 

To continue the loop, progress back onto the Elephant Mountain Trail. This trail will intersect with the Spur Cross Trail and take you back towards the trailhead from an awesome loop hike. 

Here is a Map of the Spur Cross Area. Keep in mind, this trail does have some unstable footing with an elevation gain of over 800 feet. Trekking poles will help in your ascent and you should be in good physical condition. 

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Water
  • Food & Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Hiking Poles
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Autumn, Winter

Trail Type:



5.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

867 Feet


Easy Parking

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Added by Dan Deublein

Dan is an explorer for The Outbound and editor of The Proper Function, an outdoor online editorial. He is passionate about exploration and can’t stay put for more than a week.

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