In the deserts north of Phoenix, Arizona lies the small town of Cave Creek. Its landscape is dominated by the great Sonoran Desert.
This is where the Saguaro, nature’s equivalent of a high-rise cactus, rise up from the chaparral and low bush to tower over the landscape in a scene that looks like something from another world.
However, visitors shouldn’t be fooled by the cream and rust colors of the desert views. Cave Creek is a place that’s very much alive. It’s a vibrant place to visit, actually.
Here’s a couple of things that the aspiring cowboy can do for kicks in this desert retreat:
- Take a hike!
There’s little that can make you feel more like a cowboy for a day than putting your hiking boots on and hitting the trail through the beautiful Sonoran desert, especially if you come from places with far different vegetation and views.
A morning or an afternoon hike will invigorate you with that early-morning tranquility that reigns over the rocky bush or let yourself take in the sunset’s rays. Nature lovers will love going out to get a feel for the local flora and fauna.
The Jewel of the Creek trail at the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area is a cool area to go for a walk or do some trail running. It includes several old mining tunnels, trails, and desert views. Other points of interest include access to the Cave Creek and a small pond.
Look at those wide skies! Arizona is the perfect place to take a ride on a ballon!
- Take a hot air balloon ride
Nothing really beats a sunset view from the sky from a hot air balloon. You can see these massive balloons in the distance from many other parts of Phoenix. The area is blessed with clear skies all year long, and pilots even come down here to learn how to fly.
Is your visit coinciding with a birthday or an anniversary? Perhaps you’d like to surprise a special someone? This is the perfect idea for an outing!
Cave Creek even boasts a balloon festival! A balloon ride is something that you’re likely not to forget any time soon!
- Become a cowboy for a day
Ride your horses on the scenic trails around cave creek and even tether them up outside of your favorite bar! Nothing else could make you feel like a cowboy in this day and age. Horses are a lifestyle in Cave Creek, and there’s plenty of people who organize horseback riding tours.
A sunset ride along desert trails to add a bit of romanticism to any trip and it’s the perfect way to get into the western vibe that makes Arizona such a special place to visit.
Remember to bring along your cowboy hat!
Watching some brave cowboys riding some ferocious bulls is what rodeo is all about! It’s truly an awe-inspiring experience!
- Rodeo at the Buffalo Chip
I will never forget the first time I went to Buffalo Chip and saw my first rodeo. Watching the bull-riders cling onto their seats for dear life from among a shouting crowd is as American as it gets, and will give the night a little of that western flavor that will truly make for an unforgettable experience.
[Click here to see some cool images of a rodeo!]
If you’re an international visitor, you can’t miss this opportunity to witness a piece of quintessential American culture.
Bonus Tip: Use your camera to take fast-shutter pictures, which work well for taking pictures of subjects that are moving (or, in the case of the bull riders, jerking) around. I can guarantee you’ll walk away with some fantastic photos!
- Go bar-hopping through the cowboy and biker bars
Cave Creek, although a sleepy little community in the afternoon, fills up after the sun goes down.
Then be sure to bar hop around the multitude of bars next to the road. Many of these restaurants and bars specifically cater to cowboys and bikers, which makes bar-hopping here particularly fun. Want a rowdy, Wild West experience? There’s a bar for you. Want to switch it up? Go to the motorcycle-themed bar at the other side of the road.
Have you gone to Cave Creek? Have any cool stories or recommendations to share? Be sure to post them below!