What Is NoPho? The Definition of a North Phoenix Region

For 15 years, In&Out Magazine has been the definitive source of “Everything that’s going on” in and out of the community. We thank you, our readers, as well as the businesses that support the magazine through advertising, for that opportunity. But with little going on, and many businesses suspending or canceling their ads during the Covid-19 crisis, we are suspending publication of the magazine and web sites for the month of May. 


north phoenix sonoran desert
Looking northeast at parts of NoPho off Dove Valley Road and I-17. In&Out Staff Photo

What is NoPho? It stands for North Phoenix, a fast-growing area of desert communities along the I-17 corridor from Norterra to New River [map]. In an informal survey conducted by In&Out Magazine, residents of the region suggested NoPho as a nickname more than any other. And we liked it a lot.

phoenix growth
Phoenix population and boundary growth, 1881-2010. NoPho is the northernmost finger of the city.

NoPho (and the rest of Phoenix) are in Maricopa County, named in 2017 as the fastest-growing county in the nation. Separately, Phoenix in 2017 was named the fastest growing city in the country and regained its spot as the 5th largest city in the nation, bumping Philadelphia back to No. 6. Phoenix is just one of 24 cities and towns in Maricopa County, along with several unincorporated rural communities.

NoPho Distinctions

While the geographic and political definitions of North Phoenix as a whole are broader, NoPho is distinct in multiple ways:

  • It encompasses the northernmost reaches of the city, just a narrow finger of Phoenix that extends nearly 8 miles north of the Carefree Highway.
  • It includes the last major part of the city to be annexed, mostly between 1995 and 2004 (annexation map).
  • NoPho neighborhoods are mostly within 2 miles of Interstate 17, which serves as the main north-south artery for the region.
  • NoPho means less congestion compared to the rest of Phoenix. Residents enjoy both rural and suburban living with easy access to multiple regional parks — including Lake Pleasant — that offer extensive multi-use trails.
  • NoPho is the city’s gateway to Sedona, Flagstaff and the rest of northern Arizona.

NoPho includes not just city neighborhoods but adjacent parts of Maricopa County where residents share roads, a school district (DVUSD) and some services. These include New River, Desert Hills and the east side of Anthem.

The prominent landmarks Daisy Mountain and Gavilan Peak bring visual definition to the northern edge of NoPho, as I-17 leaves the burbs and begins a long, gradual ascent into the mountains. At the southern fringe is Happy Valley Road, marking a transition to extensive industrial and commercial districts southward. East and west of NoPho are miles of open space, a mix of preserves and State Trust land subject to potential future development.

NoPho Zones

NoPhoNews and In&Out Publications have mapped NoPho into zones that correspond to significant distinctions in where people shop, work and play, as well as in real estate activity.

north phoenix real estate zones


Help Save Our Community
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and even more so this community. Supporting local businesses during this crisis can help keep our community economically viable. Please strongly consider supporting the businesses below, In&Out Magazine's display advertisers, as well as those in the Classifieds section of the magazine (see the full April 9 issue in PDF form). Many of these businesses have been part of the fabric of this community for two decades, not just serving our professional, service and retail needs but stepping up to support local charities, sports teams and so much more. Tip: If you know you’ll need to schedule a service, consider contacting a local business you trust and paying the standard fee for the deferred service. The links below go to their web sites.

Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates • 602-242-4592
Anthem Senior Living • 602-909-9550
Appliance Pros • 502-501-5501
Business Network of Anthem • 623-455-9630
Carroll Law Firm • 623-551-9366
Century 21 Real Estate - Jeff Huff • 623-223-1221
Creative Home Enhancements • 623-551-5409
Daisy Dream Homes Real Estate • 623-879-3277
Daisy Mountain Dentistry • 623-551-5250
Desert Foothills Air Conditioning • 480-595-0938
Edward Jones • 623-551-0523
Element Dental Centers • 623-551-5555
Hand & Stone Massage • 623-551-6602
Kendallwood Design • 602-252-3844
Kodiak Roofing • 602-501-7717
Luv My PC • 480-703-6609
Merrill Gardens • 623-201-4881
North Valley Water Solutions • 623-551-0515
Preferred Business of Anthem • 623-551-0523 
Prickett Realty • 623-551-8111
ProSkill Services • 623-551-7473
RE/MAX Professionals - Mike Higgins • 623-640-7502
Rise Above Remodeling • 623-551-2013
Soft Water Plus • 623-551-7383
SonoranScapes Landscaping • 602-842-9948
State Farm Insurance - Justin Simons • 623-551-3700
Storage at Anthem • 623-226-8634
Sunset Cabinets • 623-687-6579
Thompson & McGinnis Attorneys at Law • 602-952-2666
Titan Tree Care • 623-444-8448
Titan Pest Control • 623-879-8700
Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical • 623-551-6688

For more local businesses, see In&Out Magazine Classifed Ads >>>