Wildflower season begins at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area

March 10, 2010

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desert anemoneCAVE CREEK – Generous winter precipitation in the desert foothills has resulted in a good herbaceous wildflower response and the wildflower season is just beginning at Spur Cross. We invite you to hike the trails in the conservation area or join us for our guided wildflower walks from mid-March through April. Scattered blooms can be found at lower elevations such as on the Metate and Towhee Trails. More abundant blooms are found at higher elevations in the park on the new Spur Cross Regional Trail and along the Elephant Mountain Trail. These areas require more hiking and are more difficult to reach so bring a hat, plenty of water, and good hiking boots.

Wildflowers currently in bloom:
The annuals that can be seen by walking along the trails include fiddleneck, filaree, combseed, small-flowered eucrypta, desert hyacinth, popcorn flower, bladderpod, wild heliotrope, scorpionweed, Arizona fiesta flower, desert chia, Coulter’s lupine, Mexican poppy, desert marigold, broad-leaved gilia, desert anemone, indian paintbrush, and desert chicory.

arizona fiesta flowerPerennials in bloom include jojoba, wolfberry, wild cucumber, canaigre, fairy duster, scarlet bugler penstemon, and deer vetch.

What to Expect: The Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area is largely wild upland Sonoran desert.  There are few facilities.  Hiking trails are unimproved with areas of unstable footing. Wear sturdy shoes and please bring plenty of drinking water. Dogs are allowed on leashes.
Notes: The entrance fee is $3 per adult (correct change please) unless you hold a Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area Pass or a Maricopa County Parks Pass. Children under 16 admitted free.

For driving directions and guided interpretive hikes visit www.maricopa.gov/parks/spur_cross/.
For more information call Ranger Kevin Smith at 480.488.6623.