Cave Creek Regional Park, AZ

Congress, AZ

We enjoyed our short three day stay in Cave Creek Regional Park just north of Phoenix.  The park is quiet and the spacing between sites gives each site a great deal of privacy.  Our first day we did a hike just under six miles starting on the Clay Mine Trail which begins inside the campground.

Just a few hundred yards up the trail is the namesake for the trail, the old clay mine.

You can clearly look through the mine to an air shaft about twenty yards into the hillside.

The Clay Mine Trail winds through the hills for less than a mile to where it ends at the Overton Trail.

On the Overton Trail

The Overton Trail combines with the Go John Trail to form a loop of a bit over three miles back to the Clay Mine Trail.

Turning on to the Go John Trail

Brittlebush flowering along the Go John Trail

The next day we hiked back out the Clay Mine Trail, then on to the Slate Trail to check out an interesting Saguaro, called the Michelin Man by some hikers.

The Michelin Man

Later that day we drove into the center of the town of Carefree to check out the huge sundial located in the town center.  The sundial, constructed in 1959, is reported to be the third largest in the Western Hemisphere.  Of course, it was a fairly cloudy day in the “Valley of the Sun” so we couldn’t check out the time using the sundial.

Sundial Plaza also has a great display of rare desert plants from around the world.

Monstrose Apple Cactus

Totem Pole Cactus

Ferocactus Robustus (a barrel cactus found in Mexico)

Quiver Tree (southern Africa)

Hot air balloons frequent the skies north of Phoenix

A sunset lit up our little home

We have a reservation in a park on Lake Powell along the Arizona-Utah border later this month but have ten days to fill before that.  Our plan was to go up to Congress, just north of Wickenburg and stay in North Ranch, an Escapees Club park.  North Ranch has about four hundred permanent private sites, most with small houses on them, and over a hundred campground sites in the front that are rented out by the park.  We intended to get a site in the campground section but Janna, a fellow blogger (Tin Teepee/Log Cabin) who owns a house in the park, informed us that some sort of an activity being held in the park had filled most of the campground portion.  So with the North Ranch campground being too crowded for us, we spent some time researching parks along I-17 up near Sedona and were able to reserve a spot in a nice park in Camp Verde for eight out of the ten days needed.  But later in the day we received an email from Janna telling us friends of hers were leaving one of the permanent sites and the owners agreed to rent it to us for the ten days we needed.  So we cancelled our reservation in Camp Verde and headed the sixty miles to North Ranch.  Janna and husband Mike met us at the park entrance and guided us to the site.  Later they invited us to their home in the park for a happy hour.  They did all this for two people they had never even met!  Thanks again, Janna and Mike!

Our great site in North Ranch

This is another example of the wonderful people we have met during our travels.  Is this a great country or what?  We now have ten days to enjoy this great site and explore the Congress/Wickenburg area.

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32 Responses to Cave Creek Regional Park, AZ

  1. Jim and Barb says:

    The Clay Mine Trail looks like it has some interesting history. Love the picture of the Michelin Man cactus!

  2. There are a lot of good people out there. Interesting Clay Mine Trail.

  3. We have yet to stay in an Escapees park. Looks like a nice place to hang out for a while!

    Love all the flowers along the Cave Creek trails!

  4. There are a lot of good people out there. We stayed at a friends lot in Salome AZ, then jetted home while the weather was taking an inhale for the next storm. Enjoy your stay.

  5. Dick Savage says:

    Great Mexien Restaurant in Wickenburg. Cant remember it’s name but I’m sure your friends will. The Bayfield group are just up the road in Congress.

  6. Mary says:

    We have done several art shows in Carefree, it’s a nice little town. We have wondered about that cave creek park too, as a place to stay. Looks very nice.

  7. pmbweaver says:

    Lovely header photo.

    Leila was quite the sales lady. And just think…many women put clay on their face…hehe

    The Michelin Man is aaaaaaamazing. Such wonders along the trail.

    The hot air balloon photo is beautiful. The sunset photo on the MH is super too! Good job!

    Janna and Mike are really good people. How nice of them to help you out. Of course, you two are pretty nice people too…lol

  8. Jeff says:

    Carefree does not have a ballpark, have never stopped there on our Cactus League outings. But from your blog it should indeed be a destination. More great cactus pics – Michelin Man!

  9. Ingrid says:

    Three years ago we managed to stay at Cave Creek Reg Park for 5 weeks and enjoyed exploring the trails and the area. I love the cactus garden in Carefree. It’s like a mini botanical garden. We’ve met some of the nicest folks via the blogosphere… sorry we missed you guys when you were in the area. We’ve had a busy and crazy month and it’s not slowing yet!

  10. Sue says:

    Go John Trail!!!!!

  11. Phyllis says:

    We were just in Congress a couple of weeks ago. When there we always enjoy the ride to Prescott on Route 89. Wow! What a ride. Just don’t even attempt it with a rig in tow.

  12. Debbie L says:

    Such cool cactus/cactui! You do see some great things in your travels. Looks like a good time and 10 days on a really nice site.

  13. geogypsy2u says:

    Some very crazy cactus out there. I’ve actually seen a Quiver Tree in South Africa. You scored at North Ranch, and made new friends. Where are you camping on Lake Powell?

  14. RV Cheaper! says:

    Some great sites I have not seen in more than 20 years! We’ve been guilty of taking our back yard for granted 🙂

  15. Sherry says:

    That is definitely one hum dinger of a saguaro. I love the shot of the hot air balloons in the sky over the cactus. Your rig looks fabulous in that golden light. Hats off to blogging friends. So glad they were able and willing to help you out. It is amazing isn’t it to find friends you never have met yet.

  16. Jodee Gravel says:

    Looks like a great trail to the mine. Beautiful photos of the variety of plants at the sundial – they’re really wild! Love the balloon over the saquaros. That is another wonderful site – you’re going to have a great time :-))))

  17. libertatemamo says:

    Looks like you had some wonderful hikes (as usual) and great that you’re connecting with Janna & Mike in Congress. Will you be going ATVing/Jeeping perchance?
    Nina

  18. Please thank Janna personally for me, as it was her who suggested hiking Vulture Peak two years ago.
    We love Cave Creek so we don’t mind going back there for the third time. Too bad the crested saguaro hid from you when you visited the desert gardens 😦

  19. Gay says:

    What a nice stop over. Great hiking and I love the Michelin Man…way cool! The tree from S. Africa is amazing.

    Glad it all worked out for your stay in Congress. I know you will have a great time.

    The picture of your home in the sunset is a beauty…

  20. Laurel says:

    “Go John” trail — haha!!! We’ve long wanted to stay at Cave Creek — it looks great. The hikes and exploring you did make it even more appealing, including that lovely cactus garden. How wonderful that Janna and Mike arranged such a nice site for you! More new friends via the blog!

  21. What a great looking site! We’ve wanted to check out North Ranch but haven’t made it there yet. Isn’t it amazing the nice people we meet through blogging?

  22. Jeff says:

    I just read that 20 of those little burros are being put up for adoption – might make a fun hiking partner 🙂

  23. Maxxtrails says:

    The Michelin Man saguaro was pretty cool, and I love the sunset on the side of the bus 🙂

  24. LuAnn says:

    We really enjoy Cave Creek Regional Park and the hiking in the area. Too bad you weren’t with us when we stayed there so you could scope out the best cacti.

  25. Nancy says:

    Love Michelin Man!

  26. Nancy says:

    The whole area is filled with trails and we have explored many! 💚🌵

  27. Kim Nowell says:

    Enjoyed another great blog post and pictures, thanks for sharing so we can make a note to go see these awesome things. And so refreshing to see great things people do for each other, that was awesome. Enjoy your stay there.

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