Spur Cross Ranch, AZ

Told by Kuma & Written by Lorraine Bossé-Smith

Blooming Ocatillo I love adventures of all kinds, but those close to home are even better with less time in the car and more time exploring. Woof! My mom and I hike often, and a nice couple on the trail one day told us about this place called Spur Cross. Since it was close to home, we were game to check it out.

Spur Cross is a Conservation Area within the Maricopa County’s Regional Park system, and it is located in Cave Creek, Arizona, about 45 minutes from Scottsdale proper. Although only 2.154 acres, Spur Cross boasts some rugged Sonoran desert. To help support the conservation efforts and keep the area open to the public, humans must pay $6 at the entrance gate. The friendly people there had hats and other items for sale with all proceeds helping the cause. My mom loves roadrunners, so she bought a nifty hat with one on it. Me, I was ready for a fun adventure! My kind are most welcome on a leash, and horses are allowed as well. Several clopped by us. Eeeesh. They are big creatures. I always give them plenty of room.

The temperatures were toasty already, so we opted for a short loop of 3.5 miles, although several longer options are available. With your adm
ission, you get a map. We chose the Spur Cross Trail loop. Always know your limits and bring plenty of water. Desert hiking can kick your butt!Wow that is tall

The wildflowers were all in bloom. Blankets of yellow covered the hills. The trail starts off moderate and gives views of the Spur Cross Guest Ranch, which I believe is still active today. When we connected to the Metate section, the trail got easier, but the cactus got taller. Spur Cross is known for super-size Saguaro cactus, and they weren’t kidding. Wholly smokes! I thought my humans were tall, but these things about touched the sky! They are very impressive, and if you look closely, you can see all the birds living in those tall cactus condos.

Kuma ready to exploreWe opted to take a little jaunt on the Towhee Trail because we were told it would bring us to Cave Creek. I’ve been to the town, but I didn’t know it was a real creek. I’m always up for a swim, and sure enough, we found fresh water right there in the desert. I can’t tell you how refreshing that felt on a hot, dusty day in the desert. Life is so good! Apparently, a bird by the name of Albert Towhee lives off this part of the trail. We didn’t meet, but he certainly has a great home within all the mesquite trees. We appreciated his hospitality.

Kuma cools offAll too quickly, our hike was over. We were back talking with the friendly humans at the gate. Over by the parking lot are some old ruins; be sure to check those out before you head home. Even though Spur Cross is close to home, I felt like we ventured out for hours into the wild, deserted desert. It gets high marks on the Kuma scale, and I encourage you and your humans to visit. Check their website for hours and trail ride tours: www.maricopa.gov/parks/spur_cross/ Happy trails!

Kumaito (Kuma for short) is a multi-tan Shiba Inu, an ancient breed from Japan, who was born in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, moved to Friendswood, Texas, and now calls Phoenix, Arizona home. He enjoys running almost every day with his mom, chasing rabbits out of his yard, playing with toys, pestering his brother Edmond, eating, napping … well, Kuma loves about everything and everyone! His mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help him tell his story. She is the Founder of the F.I.T. Leader Formula and a certified professional behavior analyst (CPBA) who has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs across the country. She is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness expert, and author of eight published books who helps companies rewire their business for success and inspires people toward a healthier, more balanced life. You can reach Kuma through Lorraine’s website: www.lorrainebosse-smith.com. Be sure to visit Kuma Dog’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KumathedogYou never know what he’ll be up to next!