Within a half-hour’s drive from Phoenix/Scottsdale, one of America’s most significant metropolitan areas, you can find yourself in the middle of the Old West, the likes of which you see in some of the world’s most famous westerns. Carefree, Cave Creek & North Scottsdale make for a great add-on to any trip to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.
The dichotomy that exists between the cowboy/biker town of Cave Creek and the more stylin’ artsy scene of Carefree assures lots of options for all kinds of travelers. Make sure wherever you find yourself, you check out the variety of desert panoramas within this lightly populated area. Note that North Scottsdale, known for its top resorts, also exudes a terrific Western feel albeit with a much grander, more polished approach.
This part of Arizona offers extraordinary opportunities to experience the Sonoran Desert, a colorful and wildly diverse habitat that’s home to a huge variety of animals, birds, reptiles and plants. Punctuated by saguaro, prickly pear, organ pipe and other wondrous types of cacti as well as a cornucopia of bright blooms, the desert landscape here is both vivid and texturally fascinating.
Stunning vistas may be enjoyed from a network of trails designed for hiking, biking and horseback riding. This area ranks tops for outdoor enthusiasts. You can even rent ATVs, a 4WD vehicle or sign up for a guided off-road tour.
Cave Creek Regional Park offers some of the best views around. Make sure to allot time for the Visitor Center, the Nature Center and lots of picture taking. Although smaller, Cave Creek’s Spur Cross Ranch will also leave you awestruck by its beauty; despite its name, the hiking here is gentle enough for just a short desert stroll.
Back in the more gentrified town of Carefree, stop into the Carefree Desert Gardens for a more manicured look at the fascinating flora of the Sonoran Desert. The sculptures here are pretty interesting, too.
Seeing the desert from above is not only unique but also super cool in many ways. Hot air ballooning rates as one of the favorite outdoor activities in the region.
And there’s even water fun to splash into in water parks, pools and lakes, so bring your bathing suit.
Boulders, boulders, boulders. Smooth and powerful, the ancient geology here will rock your world. Whether big or small, red or russet, this is the place to go for rock watching, climbing and meandering. No kidding. Just stare and soak up the vibes. Awe inspiring.
Carefree, Cave Creek & North Scottsdale boast over a half dozen terrific golf courses. Isn’t golf what Arizona is all about? Fore!