Arizona Hiking Gallery
Go John Trail Loop Hike
Cave Creek Recreation Area, AZ
December 4, 2005
Gallery contains 39 photos
Gallery last updated: 1/1/2006
Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 1
The Go John Trail travels through classic Sonoran Desert landscape. Here you can see the trail climbing up a saddle as it heads north near the beginning of the loop hike.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 2
A "rabbit eared" saguaro?

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 3
A rocky hillside studded with Saguaro and Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 4
Close up of a rock outcropping.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 5
A view looking up the hillside near the top of the saddle.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 6
The Saguaro Cactus is right at home on the rocky slopes of the Sonoran Desert.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 7
A view from the saddle looking south back down the trail toward the Go John trailhead.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 8
A large desert vista looking north from the saddle toward Elephant Mountain and New River Mesa in the distance. Behind the shrubs at the lower left is a fenced-off mine shaft.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 9
Many animals nest in the Saguaro Cactus. This hole was likely made by a Gila Woodpecker or a Gilded Flicker, two birds that commonly nest in the cactus.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 10
A desert view from the northwest corner of the Go John loop.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 11
Teddy Bear Cholla (Opuntia bigelovii) is a common cactus of the Sonoran Desert. But don't go hugging this teddy bear!

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 12
Engelmann's Prickly Pear (Opuntia engelmannii) is another common cactus of the Sonoran Desert. At the bottom right is a Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus wislizenii).

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 13
A view of Continental Mountain to the northeast.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 14
Closeup of a Teddy Bear Cholla.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 15
From here the Go John Trail travels easterly, easily contouring around the north side of these two peaks (to the left in this photo) before turning south and heading up another small saddle behind them.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 16
The afternoon sun sets the silvery spines of the cholla aglow in this view toward the northwest.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 17
Elephant Mountain.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 18
Skull Mesa.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 19
Skull Mesa.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 20
Inside, the Saguaro Cactus is supported by wooden ribs. Here the ribs still stand after the cactus has died.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 21
Closeup of Saguaro ribs.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 22
Apache Peak.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 23
Footprints and tireprints in the sand, evidence of a well travelled trail.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 24
There are four spur trails that lead out of the Cave Creek Recreation Area, however, they aren't for general use!

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 25
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Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 26
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Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 27
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Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 28
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Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 29
A view back to the northwest as the trail climbs up the second saddle.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 30
After reaching the second saddle majestic views to the southeast are laid out before you. Four Peaks is in the center with the McDowell Mountains (I think) on the right.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 31
Looking over Cave Creek and Carefree with the Mazatzal Mountains in the background including Four Peaks on the far right.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 32
Wildflowers in December? Only in Arizona!

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 33
Ocotillo in silhouette against a blue Arizona afternoon sky.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 34
Looking over the outskirts of the city toward Continental Mountain.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 35
A field of Teddy Bear Cholla.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 36
Teddy Bear Cholla.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 37
A view overlooking the Cave Creek and Carefree toward Pinnacle Peak and the McDowell Mountains.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 38
Saguaro Cactus.

Go John Trail Loop Hike: Image 39
Saguaro Cactus.

All images Copyright ©2005 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.