This trip is a repeat of 2015 trip but several weeks later to hopefully catch migrating birds as they head north (or to higher elevations).
The Seven Springs area is an extensive desert riparian area surrounded by Juniper forest on the hillsides. Several years ago this area burned. The fire affected much of the Juniper forest but left the Willow/Sycamore stream areas mostly intact. Areas affected by fire can be very lush the next few years. The Willow and Ash trees should be leafed out but the Sycamores may still be bare. There is a huge abundance of wildflowers. Several streams come together at the old CCC Cave Creek Campground, which currently is in a poor state of repair.
We will start by birding the desert area between Camp Creek and Seven Springs before moving to the trailhead where we will work our way north through the group campsite where we should see many species of sparrows. We will then proceed downstream to the regular campsite with its large trees and running stream and warblers. We will then re-locate to the old CCC campground and the Cave Creek trail. Most of Cave Creek trail is under the canopy and nice and shady. This easy trail trends lightly downstream and we will determine how far we go as time permits.
Seven Springs is located approximately 12 miles north of the Bartlett road turnoff off on Cave Creek road. The last six miles of the road is dirt. Any car.
Things to Know/Bring:
- Seven Springs is a Tonto Pass area $6 per vehicle per day. Passes can be purchased at convince stores in Cave Creek.
Bring a lunch and lots of water.
Please bring binoculars and cameras. Bathrooms are available at the trailhead, nearby camping area, and picnic area. We will be doing moderate hiking, so plan on bringing sturdy hiking boots. A wide-brimmed hat and sun block are also highly recommended. You may get your feet wet!
Carpooling, Meeting Time/Location:
We will carpool from the Phoenix area. The meeting time and location is the Bell Rd & I-17 Park and Ride lot at 7:00 am. SW corner. It takes about 1 & ½ hours from the park & ride lot to the Cave Creek Trailhead. This includes a stop in Cave Creek to purchase the Tonto Passes. This is a popular area and the trailhead parking area can fill up.