Go John Trail
Cave Creek Recreation Area is home to many species of plants and animals.
It's hard to pay for hiking, but sometimes it's unavoidable (and totally worth it).
Such is the case with Cave Creek Recreation Area, home to a number of moderate to easy trails, picnic areas, campgrounds, a nature center, and a ton of plants and animals.
I picked the longest trail, Go John, a 5.8-mile loop trail that overlaps the shorter, but more popular Overton Trail.
The woman at the entrance of the recreation area (where you have to pay $6 to enter) told me that I should travel counter-clockwise -- the steepest part's at the beginning and I'd be going up instead of down.
I didn't take her advice.
The "steep part" is actually a gradual climb that only lasts about a mile. Once you reach the top, you make a big circle around several small ridges. There are about three other steep parts along the way.
View from Go John Trail in Cave Creek Recreation Area.
The trail stays on the desert floor most of the time, and hikers are surrounded by trees and bushes on both sides as they cross several washes.
Go John is a medium, meandering trail that busy only when it overlaps Overton, which hosts many horserides and mountain bikers. It's moderately difficult due only to the length; it took about two hours to complete the loop.
To get to Go John Trail, take Cave Creek Rd. north and turn left on Carefree Highway. Turn right onto 32nd St. and after entering the area, access the trail by making the last left into the parking lot.
Check out our other recent hiking news/reviews:
Hawes Trail No. 52
Alta Trail at South Mountain
Sunrise Trail at McDowell Mountains
Climbing Sven Slab: McDowell Mountains
South Mountain: Mormon Trail
Phoenix Summit Challenge
Dreamy Draw Trails
North Mountain Summit Trail
Parking Fees to be Enforced at Local Trails
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.