Desert Awareness Park

A Family Park in the Heart of Cave Creek

Just off Cave Creek Road is a honey of a spot for young and old alike. With the hum of traffic muffled by desert trees and the rolling topography, civilization seems to disappear, though hints of it remain with scattered housing and, more on the scene, a children’s playground, ramadas and barbecues for picnickers.

Two self-guided trails through Desert Awareness Park pass a variety of naturally occurring desert plants, which are identified by signs. The Desert Heritage Center highlights natural and cultural history of the area in a unique building which also serves as a gathering place protected from the harsher elements of the desert.

One visit to Desert Awareness Park isn’t enough. As the season passes from the summer heat to cooler fall temperatures, plants become more vigorous, sprouting leaves on what had appeared to be a dead plant last summer. As winter approaches, some plants show signs of developing flowers, others sport seeds or berries. With sufficient rain, the desert masks its dryness with lush plants which take full advantage of Nature’s bounty. With the spring, cacti shock the green and beige desert palate with waxy gold, pink, purple and other bright flowers.

Learn more about desert plants by exploring the park, open daily to the public during daylight hours. Facilities may be reserved by contacting the Town of Cave Creek at 480-488-1400.

Discover Desert Awareness Park

The creation of this native habitat park was spearheaded by community volunteers. The park was primarily financed by Arizona State Park’s Heritage Funds along with contributions from the Desert Foothills Community Foundation, the Town of Cave Creek, and numerous community groups and individuals. The 26 acre park, with its innovative concept and educational format, became a reality with extensive use of volunteers building a true community park.

Finding Desert Awareness Park

The park is located one block north of Cave Creek Road on Vermeersch Road. Vermeersch Road is located at the bottom of the big hill on Cave Creek Road and runs along the west side of Cave Creek Building Supply.

From Scottsdale Road: Take Scottsdale Road north past Carefree Highway (where it turns into Tom Darlington Road). At the first stop sign (Cave Creek Road) turn left. When you get to the bottom of the hill, you’ll see Vermeersch on your right.

From Cave Creek Road: When coming from the WEST toward the town of Cave Creek, take Cave Creek Road north past Carefree Highway. Continue through the one stop sign in town (Schoolhouse Road). Continue east on Cave Creek Road passing the Buffalo Chip and Harold’s Saloon. Look for Cave Creek Building Supply on the north side. Turn left on Vermeersch Road (which runs by the Building Supply), it leads you to the park. If you get to the big hill you have gone too far. When coming from the EAST toward Cave Creek, continue west at the Cave Creek Road and Tom Darlington intersection. You will go down a short hill, and on your right will be Cave Creek Building Supply. Turn right on Vermeersch Road which runs by the Building Supply. Vermeersch is a dirt road that will lead you into the park.

Desert Awareness Park Location Map