Maricopa County's regional park system attracts thousands of visitors each year. With over 120,000 acres in the park system, there is plenty to see and explore. However, sometimes visiting a new place can be a little overwhelming when you don’t know what’s available. To make sure your visit to Cave Creek Regional Park is a pleasant experience, we’ve pulled together a couple of basic itineraries to get you started on your journey.
|I have this much time available
||Here's what I can experience
|1 - 2 hour visit:
- Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Overton/Clay Mine Trails to the Clay Mine. The trails are rated easy to moderate.
- Outdoor enthusiasts with a minimal amount of time to spend in the park can also hike the Overton/Slate/Jasper/Go-John Trails in approximately 1-2 hours. The trails are 1.7 miles in length and are rated easy to moderate.
- Stop by the nature center to say hello to the friendly staff. While you're there, check out the critter viewing center and peruse the products in the retail area. Whether you need a bottle of water, a postcard for a relative back home or are looking for a book on the Sonoran desert, the nature center has you covered!
Pack a lunch, round up your friends and family and enjoy a picnic under a shaded ramada or in the picnic areas.
- Attend an interpretive program hosted by the park ranger. Most interpretive programs are included in your day-use park entry fee.
- Looking for something out of the ordinary to photograph? Then you won't want to miss Cave Creek's Michelin Man which is found along the Slate Trail approximately .5-miles from the Slate Trailhead.
|2-3 hour visit:
- If you have a couple of hours to spend in the park, you could hike the Overton/Go-John Loop in 2-3 hours. These trails combined make for approximately a 3.5-mile hike and the suggested trails range from easy to moderate in difficulty level.
- OR, hike the Go-John/Quartz/Slate/Jasper Trails. At approximately 3.3-miles, these trails range from easy to moderate in difficulty level.
|3 hour visit:
- If you have a little time, venture farther (1.5-miles) down the Slate Trail to the Flume Trail to visit the "flume". Together, the trails range in level of difficulty from easy to moderate. These are shared use trails so, if you encounter an equestrian user, please move slightly off the trail so the rider and horse can pass safely.
|4-5 hour visit:
- At 5.8-miles in length, the Go-John Loop is the most popular trail in the park. The trail receives a moderate to difficult rating and is a favorite for those who prefer to take their exercise routine outdoors. During the springtime, those who recreate on the Go-John Trail are treated to Mother Nature's finest as she blankets the mountainsides with beds of yellow, orange and purple wildflowers.
- Have you ever wondered what a scorpion or rattlesnake eats? Join the ranger for one of the many "Feeding Frenzy" programs offered at the park.
- Are you interested in learning archery? Several times each month the park offers an Archery 101 course where participants can learn how to shoot a bow and arrow in a fun and safe environment. This program is included in the park entry fee and all equipment is provided. Registration is required and classes fill up quickly.
- During the cooler seasons, treat your family and friends to a horseback ride along a scenic trail in the park. Trail rides range from one hour on up, depending upon package. Vendor on-site and can easily accommodate impromptu rides.
- Don't miss...the Ranger highly recommends the Clay Mine hike/program. This program highlights the history of the mine and how its contents were used to "cure what ails ya" back in the day. The park supplies the hard hats; however, you must bring your own water, flashlights and sturdy shoes. This is an "open house" format so feel free to come and go at your convenience. Please check the calendar of events for program dates and times.