With a nature center, covered playground, and hiking trails for all levels, Cave Creek Regional Park: a Maricopa County park is a great place to explore with the family!
We started our morning at the nature center, which had some live rattlesnakes to view, history about the area, other cool desert bugs (Desert Hairy Scorpions anyone? Don’t worry, they were dead!), and a small gift shop. Restrooms are also here. Per the recommendation of a volunteer, we opted to hike a 2-mile moderate trail that started from the nature center.
All the volunteers here are fabulous and full of facts and info. Ask any questions! And don’t miss the desert tortoise behind the building.
Our hike took us on a loop on the Overton, Clay Mine, and Go John Trails and offered some beautiful views! Many trails intersect at various points, making it easy to extend your hiking adventure. Trails are clearly marked, and not paved, so leave strollers at home. There are also several benches for resting or snack breaks.
Cave Creek Regional Park: A Maricopa County Park
And the playground is a great place to stop for a snack break too! The desert-themed structures are super fun, with a scorpion slide, oversized boulders to climb, and two swings. We played here for a good half hour. There are also restrooms and several covered ramadas nearby.
The entrance is $7/car, and is located at 37019 N Lava Ln, Cave Creek, AZ 85331. Park hours are May 1 to October 31 – 5 am to 9 pm daily / November 1 to April 30 – 6 am to 8 pm daily. Nature Center Hours – May 1 – October 31: Open from 7 am to 2 pm Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sunday. November 1 – April 30: Open from 8 am to 4 pm daily.
Camping is also available, as well as horse trail rides from Cave Creek Trail Rides, both for an additional cost. More information about the park can be found on their website.