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Cave Creek, Arizona

Elephant Mountain Fortress Hike

5.5 Miles Total - 867 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally 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. 

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Elephant mountain

Awesome hike. My girlfriend and I did all of the loops and loved it. We were some of the only people hiking out there as well. I think it cost us $6 but was totally worth it. Beautiful views of everything, especially on the top! A must hike in PHX

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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