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Friday, January 3, 2014

OVERTON-GO JOHN LOOP


OVERTON-GO JOHN LOOP
Cave Creek Regional Park
The high point of Overton Trail

Some of the benefits of loop hikes are dynamic, ever-changing scenery and surprises around every bend. An easier, but equally interesting  alternative to Cave Creek Regional Park’s signature Go John loop, this circuit coils around a massif of crumbling schist and outcroppings of milky quartz. Because a local horse outfitter heavily uses this loop, hikers should be on the lookout for "road apples" and respect the equine right-of-way, by stepping aside when riders approach.  The route tops out at a mountain pass with picture postcard quality vistas of Elephant Mountain, Sugarloaf and Skull Mesa to the east and a muddled montage of peaks and valleys rolling out to the western horizon.  Here, a bench beckons visitors to relax and soak in the sights while a collection of artful native rock cairns decorate the trail's official high point. Moving on, the path heads downhill to connect with Go John Trail. With the tough part of the hike completed, veer right and it's all downhill from here.
Geology on Go John Trail

LENGTH: 3.4- mile loop
RATING: moderate
ELEVATION: 2126' - 2501'
FEE: $6 daily fee per vehicle
FACILITIES: restrooms, water, picnic areas, nature center

GETTING THERE:
37900 N. Cave Creek Parkway, Cave Creek 85331
Take I-17 north to Cave Creek Hwy (SR74). Head east (right) and continue 7 miles to the park entrance at 32nd Street.  Follow the main park road to the Overton trailhead at the nature center.

A guided horse trail ride

INFO:  Maricopa County Parks & Recreation: 623-465-0431
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