Picking up from where we left off for the holidays, our tale of the Sonoran Desert outing continues. Aside from partying in the desert with our new friends, we took time to go beyond Cave Creek Regional Park and sightsee the areas of Cave Creek, Carefree and Apache Junction. These communities are just a sliver of the Phoenix Metropolitan area collectively known as the Valley of the Sun, with Phoenix as the center city.
Tucked in the foothills of the Sonoran Desert, Cave Creek and Carefree are two small distinctive towns. The former is reputed as one of the most recognized charming western towns in the U.S., while the latter is considered the “new west.”
Heading toward Apache Junction, Superstition is the largest mountain range surrounding Phoenix, standing very imposing. This majestic monolith of Superstition Mountain is the world famous icon that separates urban luxury and wilderness adventure in this area. The mountain was probably named by early settlers and farmers who heard the stories of mystery, strange happenings and how the Pima Indians feared the sacred grounds of the Apache. Credit goes to Ingrid of Live Laugh RV for persuading us to check this area out, we were not disappointed!
Driving on the Apache Trail (running alongside the Superstition Mountain Wilderness Area) was one of the most scenic drives we have enjoyed. We drove as far as Tortilla Flats, which was the last surviving stagecoach stop on the historic Apache Trail. Despite the ubiquitous power lines that criss-cross the mountains, the high desert landscape was breathtaking.
What else did we do here after sightseeing? As you may have guessed, we enjoyed our favorite outdoor activity – hiking. The park offers abundant hiking trails with trailheads in the campground area. And speaking of campgrounds, Cave Creek Regional Park (CCRP) has the most spacious sites we have seen. There was plenty of room for partying or privacy, but it was a quiet location where wildlife was plentiful and we could watch hot air balloons drift by. And we saw the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets, which may require a separate photo blog. This place is a winner!