Debra Johnson
Principal, Associate Broker, REALTOR®
Brokerage License: LC6391060000
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Why We Live Here

The Town of Carefree is a rural, residential township located in the northeast portion of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Overall, Carefree is characterized by its charming small town feel and quaint street names like Ho Hum Road, Tranquil Trail and Easy Street. Temperatures in Carefree are typically 5 to 7 degrees cooler than towns to the south. The Town sits at an elevation of approximately 2,400 ft., considerably higher than the City of Scottsdale at 1,250 ft. and the City of Phoenix at 1,100 ft.

Carefree surrounds Black Mountain to the south and west and then continues to the northeast of this prominent landmark. Residents cite the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert, clean air, less traffic, peace and tranquility as the top reasons to live in the area. Area residents are active and involved in a broad cross-section of activities and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle available in this region. Experience the Desert Beauty of the Carefree lifestyle!

For more information, click here. For the city’s stats on housing, schools, the job market, and much more, click here.

  • Incorporated 1984
  • Area 8.8 sq. mi.
  • Elevation 2,402’
  • County Maricopa
  • Website
  • Population 4,045 (2021 est.)
  • Population Density 459.3 per sq. mi.
  • Median Age 67
  • Families with Kids Under 18 8%
  • Average Household Income $97,773
  • Overall Cost of Living 175.2



In 1955, a 400-acre goat farm north of Scottsdale was found with an abundant well, and 2,200 surrounding acres were secured.  K.T. Palmer and Tom Darlington named their joint business venture the Carefree Development Corp., and the name “Carefree” was regularly used to describe their vision of the Town they proposed.

In 1968, the Arizona Film Commissioner Fred Graham builds Southwestern Studios. The 160-acre desert property featured three state-of-the-art soundstages, edit bays, a 35 mm screening room, make-up and production facilities, a Western street and a back lot. Stage 1 was used to film The New Dick Van Dyke Show, starring Town resident Dick Van Dyke.  The studio was later used in filming movies and other feature tv shows.

Interesting Facts

Carefree does not assess a local real estate tax. Overall, annual real estate taxes are approximately half of what area towns with local real estate taxes charge (county real estate taxes are assessed by Maricopa County.)

Carefree and Cave Creek are often thought of as a single community since the two towns share the local landmark Black Mountain.

The Carefree Sundial designed by architect Joe Wong and solar engineer John I. Yellott was erected in the Sundial Circle plaza in 1959 — it is the largest sundial in North America and 3rd largest in the world. The sundial, which points to the North Star, is made from a steel frame and covered in anodized copper. It measures 90 feet (27 m) in diameter. The metal gnomon, the shadow-casting portion of the dial, stands 35 feet above the plaza and extends 72 feet.

Gordon Lightfoot wrote and sang a song named Carefree Highway. He took the name from a section of Arizona State Route 74 in north Phoenix, to explain his mood at that time.

Major Attractions and Events

  • Annual Arizona Fine Art EXPO
  • Annual Fall Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival
  • Black Mountain Summit Preserve
  • The Boulders Club Golf Resort
  • The Carefree Sundial

Popular Restaurants

  • Black Mountain Coffee Shop
  • Carefree Coffee Roastery
  • English Rose Tea Room
  • Giordano’s Trattoria Romana Restaurant
  • Spa Café
  • Venues Café
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