Fascinating enough to keep a 4-year-old entranced, yet not too difficult or overly long, Dragonfly Trail to Jewel of the Creek Trail offers striking views, shaded nooks, a rippling creek, and numerous points-of-interest.
We hiked the trail with our granddaughter, Rae, and her parents when they visited us in February. Rae was our designated ‘leader’ much of the way which meant that we veered off the trail to explore craggy rocks and stopped often to study each budding cactus.
Dragonfly starts high above Cave Creek and winds down to the water’s edge. The trail follows the stream bed for a short distance to a boardwalk that leads across the creek. On the other side, a second trail links up to Dragonfly.
Aptly called Jewel of the Creek, the second trail passes by towering saguaro, over jutted rocks, and through a shaded forest of bushes and trees. Eventually, Jewel crosses the creek again. It links to Dragonfly once more, then loops back to the parking lot at the start of the trail.
We discovered a small cave midpoint along the Jewel portion. Tempting though it was to investigate, we bypassed it when we heard bees buzzing around the area. Several benches dot the trail, ideal rest spots or observation points. Our favourite stop was atop a huge boulder that jutted into the creek. It was perfect picnic spot for our group.
Combined, the two trails run a distance of roughly 3.5 kilometers. That was a manageable distance for Rae, and just long enough for the adults to enjoy a short workout.