Cave Creek, Arizona

Written by on August 20, 2013 in AZ Cities, Dining, Lodging - Comments Off on Cave Creek, Arizona

The charming town of Cave Creek, set amidst the stark beauty of the Sonoran Desert, is a lovely place to visit. The town is named for a small stream that rises in the hills to the northeast and flows southwesterly to Paradise Valley. In turn, the stream was named after a high, overhanging bluff along the west bank the forms an open cavern approximately two miles north of present day Cave Creek.

The area and the cave in particular, have been popular places for human settlers for centuries. The Ancient Hohokam Indians stayed in the area from 800 A.D. until 1400 A.D. The remains of their stone huts, pit houses, terraced fields and irrigation channels yet remain, if you know where to look. In addition, the Native people decorated the area with hundreds of petroglyphs (rock art) chipped into the desert patina of the stone.

Later, the area was firmly held by the Tonto Apaches who ran off any who encroached on their territory. In 1865, the army established Fort McDowell and for 15 years, the soldiers and Tonto Apaches fought bitter skirmishes. Just north of Cave Creek, in a place called Bloody Basin, a terrible battle took place. Army scouts had trailed a group of Apaches to the top of Turret Peak. During the night, the scouts crept up the peak and at dawn they captured or killed nearly all of the Apaches. It was a major turning point in the battle for the land.

Located in the foothills of Black Mountain, Skull Mesa and Elephant Butte, Cave Creek retains its Old West character and charm. The town features saloons, western shops, rodeo events, art galleries, southwestern jewelry shops, specialty stores and live music throughout the year. To emphasize the Old West character of the town, in June 2009, a game of chance was used to break a tie in a vote for town council. 25-year-old law student Adam Trenk beat incumbent Town Council member Thomas McGuire with a better draw of the cards. Oddly enough, it was all perfectly legal. The Arizona State Constitution allows a game of chance to be used to break ties.

Carefree is characterized by its charming small town feel and quaint street names like Ho Hum Road, Tranquil Trail and Easy Street. Downtown Carefree has quaint shops and boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and a small amphitheater that hosts the farmer’s market and cultural events. The town also has plenty of activities throughout the year to keep visitors entertained. The Cave Creek flea market, better known as the Thieves Market, takes place the first Saturday of every month from October through May. The Cave Creek Museum preserves the prehistory, culture and legacy of the Desert Foothills area is open October through May. Cave Creek Regional Park and the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area offer plenty of great places to hike, bike and horseback ride. And, of course, guests always want to visit the famous sundial. The giant sundial has been attracting people to Carefree since 1959. At the time the sundial was built it was the second largest working sundial in the western hemisphere and measures 90 feet in diameter. Throw in some amazing golf courses, and Cave Creek has something for everything.

Other attractions in the area include:
Sears Kay Ruin
Agua Fria National Monument

Town of Cave Creek
37622 N. Cave Creek Rd.
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
(480) 488-1400

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