Why We Live Here
“I love it up here!” It’s the most often expressed sentiment from new residents relocating to Cave Creek. At an elevation of 2,200 feet, the lush desert landscape combined with small town character, charm, and all the amenities of the city just a short distance away, it’s easy to see why this is such a desirable place to live. When real estate is located in a sought-after location such as ours, history has proven that it continues to appreciate over time.
The Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce creates an annual community guide and services directory that provides very resourceful information to residence and visitors – see here. Also see here for more information. For the city’s stats on housing, schools, the job market, and much more, click here.
- Incorporated 1986
- Area 37.7 sq. mi.
- Elevation 2,126’
- County Maricopa
- Website https://www.cavecreek.org
- Population 6,038 (2021 est.)
- Population Density 160.1 per sq. mi.
- Median Age 61.4
- Families with Kids Under 18 22%
- Average Household Income $78,982
- Overall Cost of Living 153.1
Cave Creek was first inhabited by the ancient Native American tribe known as the Hohokam. The area, which in the 1800s belonged to Mexico, was ceded to the United States in what is known as the Mexican Cession of 1848. Years later, Major General George S. Stoneman, who was the commanding officer of the U.S. Cavalry stationed in Camp McDowell, wanted to establish a trail which would serve as a short cut between his camp and Fort Whipple in Prescott, Arizona. In 1865, he investigated an old Native-American trail which cut through the McDowell Mountains, a chain of extinct volcanic mountains and Black Mountain of the modern-day cities of Cave Creek and Fountain Hills. The trail was named the “Stoneham Military Trail.” He found an area bordering a flowing creek with bubbling springs which would in the future be known as Cave Creek. Soon, Anglos began to settle the area and in 1877, the “Cave Creek Station” was established. The station was a lodge where travelers could dine and stay overnight.
In 1873, William Rowe located a rich gold mine on Gold Hill in 1874. This attracted miners and settlers to the area. The first recorded gold mine in the area was called the Continental. Another mine called the Golden Reef Mine was established. The invasion of new settlers to the area irritated the Tonto Apaches. This was one of the factors which played a role in what became known as the “Cave Creek Ambush”. In 1882, the last skirmish of the Apache Wars between the 5th U.S. Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Walter S. Schuyler, and the Tonto Apaches was fought in Cave Creek.
Some of the structures in Cave Creek are listed in the National Register of Historic Properties. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_historic_properties_in_Cave_Creek,_Arizona.)
“Where the Wild West Lives” was adopted as the town motto by the Cave Creek Town Council during a November 2013 meeting.
Cave Creek and Carefree share a beautiful, ancient landmark – Black Mountain – and a dedicated Chamber of Commerce.
Major Attractions and Events
- Arizona Horseback Adventures and Cave Creek Rides
- Cave Creek Museum
- Cave Creek Recreational Park
- Frontier Town
- Gateway Desert Awareness Park
- Bryan’s Black Mountain BBQ
- El Encanto Mexican Patio Cafe
- Grotto Café
- Local Johnny’s Café and Tavern
- Tonto Bar & Grill