Riding a horse through the desert, surrounded by the alien-looking seguaro cactus, jumping teddy bear cholla and ocotillos, in a land where everything seems to want to reach out and poke you, may not seem like a dream come true, but it was truly incredible!
We arrived early, a feat in itself for us, and had fun trying on hats, boots and chaps before our ride! It definitely added to experience to get to dress up!
Cave Creek is a suburb just Northeast of Phoenix, but still in the Sonoran Desert, and named for the clay mine located there. I’ve seen a lot of mines but a clay mine was a first! Apparently the clay was mined and sold during the 1930’s as a presumed cure-all!
Cave Creek offers several different lengths of trail rides, from 1-hr to 3-hr rides, plus Sunset rides and the Clay Mine Ride, where you get to dismount from your horse and take a tour of the mine!
The Cholla is suppose to be able to seek out the heat from your body, and be able to “jump” and grab hold of you, a unique way for the plant to propagate! We were very curious to see if it would jump, and I even offered my youngest $20 if he could get one to jump on him, but they never did! It was pretty funny watching him try, though!
Because of the extreme heat during the Summer, Trail Rides are only offered during cooler temperatures. During the Summer, the horses are taken to Idaho in the Sawtooth Mountains for trail rides! In addition to your traditional trail rides, they also offer horseback camping trips, fishing and hunting trips! I am already planning a visit next year with Mystic Saddle Ranch.
Cave Creek Regional Park is a gated park, and we did have to pay an admission into the park, in addition to the fees for the Trail Ride. There is a nice trail and we did pass a lot of hikers while on our trail ride!
More To Do in Cave Creek, Arizona
Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area offers more day-use hiking trails.
The Desert Foothills Land Trust also offers guided and self-guided hikes to pictographs, Cave Creek Cave and other points of interest.
There is access to the Tonto National Forest in Cave Creek, also. There Tonto National Forest is, at 2.9 million acres, the largest National Forest in the state of Arizona!
Climb to the Summit of Black Mountain!
Cave Creek Trail Rides
37019 N. 32nd St., Cave Creek, AZ
Click HERE to visit their website.
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