Cave Creek

Cave Creek, Arizona (Maricopa County)

Last Updated: 11/22/2021
4.4 / 5 ( 20 reviews )
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Highlight: Cave Creek
Following along the Great Western Trail, Cave Creek will take you through several canyons and up and over several mesas and mountains. The further you drive north, the more interesting the road gets. It's a true gateway to the desert mountain landscapes or, even more so, a gateway for a multi-day overland trip not far from Phoenix, Arizona, following the same route that the pioneers before us drove with horses and buggies.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The dirt portion of Cave Creek Road starts at the FR285 trailhead, which is a short out and back trail. There is space here for a few vehicles to air down. If you are looking for an air down area with a large group, Sears Kay Native American Ruins has a large parking area is an interesting location in itself. Throughout the length of this trail, there are scattered ruins of the ancient Hohokam Indians who occupied this area in the 1000s and then mysteriously disappeared in the 1200s. Sears Kay gives you a chance to see this history.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Carefree, AZ, Cave Creek Road

From the town of Carefree head east out of town on Cave Creek Road. If you are coming in from the south, head north on Pima Road until you intersect Cave Creek Road and then turn right heading east on Cave Creek Road. Follow Cave Creek Road east until you reach the trailhead where dirt starts.



Trail Reviews (20)

Questions & Answers (3)

Q: When you get to the FS Road 18 (Red Creek Trail) Intersection (33.9 mi), do you have to take the Red Creek Trail? The description above says it's very difficult so I'm hoping that is not the only option to get to Sheeps Bridge once one makes it this far.
–Lance Struble (06/21/2019)
–Bobby Nelson (06/21/2019)
Q: I have a 2018 Tacoma OR with Bilstein 5100's, so raised about 1.5'' from stock. I'm interested in doing this trail, should I have any concerns given my rig setup? Specifically, I'm interested in a trail that will end up taking me down by the riverside, recommendations/options?
–Lance Struble (06/21/2019)
–Bobby Nelson (06/21/2019)
Q: I have a 99 Subaru impreza wagon, very off road capable. 7 inches clearance. I would be going in a group of other off road vehicles, how far do you think my car would make it on this trail?
–Jon Sauber (03/06/2017)
–Bill Loux (03/06/2017)

Writer Information

Bobby Nelson

Mapping Crew - Arizona

While living in the Midwest, I developed a passion for searching out new trails and hidden spots. That passion continues to this day in the beautiful southwestern United States. My wife and I are full-time RVers who travel from region to region, exploring every nook and cranny we can find. While we're getting to know the locals, we gain insight into these areas then pass on that knowledge to our subscribers. We truly enjoy traversing long, beautiful back-country routes with epic campsites, but we equally enjoy pushing the limits on challenging rock crawling trails. Our rig was built to do everything, and that's what we hope to share with our subscribers. Please visit our website to follow us and for opportunities to join us on our adventures. You can also view our vast video library on YouTube. Xploremor YouTube
For individual use only, not to be shared.