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Cave Creek Regional Park: Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding

Cave Creek Regional Park: Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding

Solitude and sweeping views in all directions reward those willing to make a relatively short hike in this 2,922-acre park. Cave Creek Regional Park has more than 11-miles of joint-use trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. An additional 44 campsites with excellent facilities along with 51 individual picnic sites beckon the whole family.

cave creek regional park view bench
A bench atop one of the mountains offers splendid views of the valley. Photo courtesy Cave Creek Regional Park

Why You Should Go

The unspoiled Sonoran Desert vegetation of the park and well maintained facilities invite visitors to quickly escape the local urban environment and become enveloped in a tranquil, largely undisturbed natural world.

Rangers lead hikes out of the Nature Center. See the park’s calendar of events.

Dogs are also allowed but must remain on a leash at all times, and waste must be immediately cleaned up and properly disposed.

When To Go

October through May, when weather is cooler, are the best months for any mid-day hiking. But the Nature Center offers ranger-led hikes and environmentally oriented programs even during summer.

Trails (Trail Map)

Trails range from just 0.2-miles to 5.8-miles and from easy to difficult. Rangers recommend the Slate Trail if you want something fairly short and easy. Need a challenge? Try the 5.8-mile Go John Trail.

Be Safe

The joy of experiencing the beauty of the Sonoran Desert must be tempered with the knowing the risks. Heavy sole shoes are a must as well as sunscreen, and a large-brimmed hat. Sufficient water must be carried along while on the trail for any hike or ride. Always let someone know where you have gone in case of an emergency. Carry a mirror or whistle in case you need to signal for help.


The name Cave Creek comes from a high, overhanging bluff along the western bank of the local stream that forms a large, open cavern some five miles northeast of the park. Native people often used the large cave for shelter.

During a time in Arizona history known as the Apache Wars (1865-1885), the land in and around the park was the scene of many skirmishes and deadly confrontations between the US Cavalry and the local Yavapai Apache and Tonto Apache people. 

Just north of the park in an area known as Bloody Basin, a March 1873 early morning battle atop Turret Peak resulted in the death of 26 Yavapai warriors and is considered the turning point in the conflict in central Arizona between settlers and the local, Apache people.

Another skirmish occurred along the west bank of Cave Creek just east of the park on Christmas morning of 1873 resulting in the death of Apache leader Nanotz and eight of his Tonto Apache warriors. By 1877 the remaining Apache people of this area of Arizona had been moved to the San Carlos Reservation. The land was now free of the Apache people and open to miners, ranchers and settlers to occupy. 

Distance from I-17/Carefree Highway:  9.5 miles

Hours: See the park’s website.

Cost:  $6.00/vehicle

Camping Fees

37900 E. Cave Creek Parkway, Cave Creek, AZ
Linda and Dr. Dick Buscher
Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher are retired Arizona public school educators who brought their wealth of Arizona knowledge to the In&Out Publications team in 2007. Together they have been teaching and writing about the state since the 1970s. The Buschers co-authored an Arizona history program titled “Ali-Shonak: The Story of Arizona,” which is still used in many of the 4th grade classrooms in Anthem and around the state. The Arizona history portion of this program is available in the iTunes bookstore under the title “Arizona: The Grand Adventure.” The Buschers are also authors of “Historic Photos of Arizona,” available at local bookstores.
  • Cave Creek Regional Park: Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding
  • Cave Creek Regional Park: Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding
  • Cave Creek Regional Park: Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding
  • Cave Creek Regional Park: Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding
  • Cave Creek Regional Park: Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding
  • Cave Creek Regional Park: Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding

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

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