Just North of Cave Creek, the area of Bloody Basin was the site of a bitter skirmish on March 27, 1873. It formed part of Gen. George Crook’s Tonto Basin campaign to force the Apaches and Yavapais to submit to reservations. Capt. George Randall, leading a small force including Apache scouts, surprised a rancheria ensconced near the crest of Turret Peak. The battle at Turret Peak proved to the Indians that there was no sanctuary from the soldiers.
The pressure on the Tonto Apaches began to have its effects. With the army destroying any discovered food storage areas, the Apaches were beginning to suffer. Hunger drove the Apaches to surrender. By 1877 about 5,000 Indians from various tribes shared the San Carlos Reservation.
Two weeks later, most of the Apaches and Yavapais surrendered to Crook at Camp Verde, Arizona. Army scouts trailed a group of Apaches to the top of Turret Peak. The scouts crept up the peak during the night. At dawn they captured or killed nearly all of the Apaches.
The Battle of Turret Peak proved to be a major turning point. The time of the Tonto Apaches along Cave Creek was over and a new era of mining was coming to Cave Creek.
Cave Creek Regional Park
Park Supervisor Natalie Olson
37019 N. Lava Lane
Cave Creek, AZ 85331