As spring came to the desert, I journeyed out not only in search of paintings, but to fully enjoy the desert coming alive. If you have seen the desert blooming in its prime, you know what I mean. One from afar would not think so much rich and vibrant color and texture could be found in the desert. An artist friend recommended I hike in the Spur Cross Conservatory north of Cave Creek Road.
The Conservatory is the newest addition to the Maricopa County’s Regional Parks System, encompassing over 2,000 acres. There was a development planned in the mid 90’s for hundreds of homes and even a resort. The citizens formed the friends of Spur Cross and worked with the state, county, and the Town of Cave Creek to stop this, purchase the land, and create a plan for conservation, protection, and recreation.
This area is diverse and rugged, a lush portion of the upper Sonoran Desert. I know, lush and desert just don’t seem to go together right?! It’s true, the trees and bushes are larger and denser here. I’d been told this was a must see in the spring for wildflower lovers and I now know this is true! The Conservation Area offers over seven miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. I only had time for a short two mile hike on this day. I saw such beauty everywhere I looked, from the jagged rock formations, colorful blooms, majestic Saguaros and Ocotillos, and the reflections upon the water as Cave Creek flows throughout the winter and spring months. I understand this area contains fascinating archaeological sites and remnants of early mining and ranching along with a diverse collection of wildlife. I look forward to exploring the area extensively.
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