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.