The Preserve at the Cave
Restricted public access - guided tours only
Cave Creek, one of the last free flowing streams remaining in Maricopa County, bubbles up from springs in Tonto National Forest and makes its way through the Town of Cave Creek. It is believed by many people that the creek and subsequently the town were named for this unique geological feature – a 100-foot rock shelter carved into a cliff bordering the west bank of the flood plain.
Studies of the cave by the Desert Foothills Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society have documented habitation by a variety of cultures, including the pre-historic Hohokam people (ca A.D. 1 – 1450) who built an extensive system of irrigation canals along Cave Creek. The rock art chipped and painted on the walls of the cave and the grinding holes in the floor date from these periods.
Because of the cave’s unique history, fragile environment and identification with the town and the creek, DFLT had long felt that it was a significant part of the foothill’s heritage, one that should not be endangered. Previous owners of the property, Fred and Cathie Rosenbaum, enthusiastically agreed and worked with the Land Trust to protect 15 acres, including a quarter mile of the creek.
A conservation easement was granted to the Land Trust in March 1996. There is no public access, but guided hikes are offered by the Land Trust up to six times a year.
Additional information: The Cave of Cave Creek - a History
Photo by Marianne S. Jensen