Cave Creek, AZ Community

Cave Creek is located on the northern outskirts of Phoenix and is bordered by Maricopa County to the north, Phoenix to the west and south, Carefree to the east, and Scottsdale to the southeast. The town encompasses approximately 31 square miles.

There are many modern residential developments in Cave Creek; however, the center of town has an Old West character and flavor to it. Approximately 20-30 minutes from Phoenix and Scottsdale, Cave Creek has easy access to Phoenix and the East Valley, via Interstate 17 or the Loop 101.

Cave Creek was named for the small stream that flows from the hills to the northeast and flows southwest for 25 miles before reaching Paradise Valley. The stream was named for a high, overhanging bluff along its west bank that forms a wide open-mouthed cave about two miles north of the town.

The town has a 100 year history, but Native Americans were living there long before any of the Europeans. Various tribes of Indians came in and out of the area to hunt and gather food. The Hohokams made the area their permanent home, setting up villages along the creek, using the water from the creek to irrigate their crops. Occupying the land from 800AD to 1400AD, they disappeared, leaving behind remnants of their irrigation ditches and their small houses. The Tonto Apaches later claimed the land.

When gold was discovered in California in 1848, thousands of minors headed west in search of their fortunes. In 1863, Arizona had its own gold rush. The Tonto Indians would raid the mining camps, prompting the U.S. Army to establish Fort McDowell on the west bank of the Verde River in 1865.

The actual town of Cave Creek was born when the Army built the first wagon road from Ft. McDowell to Ft. Whipple near Prescott. In 1873, Cave Creek Road was built from the small village of Phoenix north to join the Army’s road, near the east bank of the Creek.

Fast forward to 1935, when the building of Bartlett Dam on the Verde River brought more people to the village of Cave Creek. In 1946, electricity and telephones came to Cave Creek, and in 1952, Cave Creek Road was paved all the way from Phoenix.

In 1986, the Town of Cave Creek was incorporated.