SIGHTSEEING & ATTRACTIONS
The Carefree / Cave Creek area is a nature lover’s paradise. You can take jeep tours through the desert landscape and visit an old fashioned 1883 gold mine, or take in the view from a hot air balloon soaring over the desert floor. For more adventurous types rent a 4-wheel drive all-terrain vehicle and explore miles of back country roads on your own.
The Cave Creek Regional Park protects roughly 3,000 acres of extremely lush Sonoran Desert just north of the Phoenix city limits. The steep and very rocky slopes offer excellent habitat for cacti, desert trees, and many other plants. Wildlife is common at the park. Bird life is especially abundant, ranging from tiny hummingbirds to hawks. Hiking, biking, horseback riding and picnicking are favorite activities.
Cave Creek’s historic Spur Cross Ranch, a former guest ranch that was established in the 1920s, was once a welcoming destination for visitors from all over the world. Today, its more than 2,154-acre expanse offers avid outdoors men and women a gateway into the Tonto National Forest’s scenic network of paths. Now a conservation area, Spur Cross contains fascinating archaeology sites and lush riparian areas along Cave Creek, which flows throughout the winter months. This area is a must see for all wildflower lovers in the spring.
Gateway Desert Awareness Park is a native habitat park right in the heart of Cave Creek. A nature trail with labeled plants, natural history center, a children’s playground and shade ramadas with grills make this an excellent picnic and play area for families.
Bartlett Lake is located 48 miles from downtown Phoenix and 17 miles northeast of Carefree, it is a popular recreation area in the Tonto National Forest. After wet winters, the Bartlett Lake area often has fine displays of spring wildflowers. Bartlett Lake Marina’s family atmosphere and beautiful surroundings makes it a wonderful location for your friends and family to enjoy an unforgettable Arizona day on the water. Personal watercraft and boat rentals are available.