Central Arizona Butterfly Association

Phoenix Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association.

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Rackensack Canyon/Wash

Rackensack Wash is occupying a non-descript crack in the landscape just a few miles north of the golf communities of Cave Creek, Rackensack Wash retains an “old west” ambience. A 2005 wildfire swept through this part of the Tonto National Forest, but it’s amazing how fast the canyon’s vegetation is recovering. Although it’s kind of “out there” in terms of ease-of-access, Rackensack is no secret to butterfly watchers, birders, wildflower aficionados, equestrians and hikers alike. LENGTH: 3 miles roundtrip to the water tank; 5.40 miles roundtrip to Rackensack Springs.

GETTING THERE: From Loop 101 in North Scottsdale, take the Pima/Princess Road exit and go 13 miles north on Pima Road to Cave Creek Road. Turn right (east) and continue on Cave Creek Road 8.5 miles (past the Sears Kay Ruins) to where the pavement ends. From here, go another 0.4 mile to a wide parking spot on the right. For reference, there’s a do not block drive sign across from the parking area marking the start of the hike. NOTE: Cave Creek Road is also referred to as "Seven Springs Road" and FR24. Do not block the dirt side-roads; there are some private properties in the area that use them.

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