Tommy J. DeBardeleben

Jewel of the Creek Preserve

Fast Flight Facts

Target Species:  Desert riparian species

Elevation: 2250'

Habitat:  Cottonwoods and willows along flowing stream in midst of Lower Sonoran Desert

Overall Birding Rating: 2

Difficulty: 1-2 (Easy to Fairly Easy)

Birding Type: Easy to Moderate Hiking

Facilities:  None

Fees/Ownership:  None/Desert Foothills Land Trust

Closest Town or City/How far from Phoenix:  Cave Creek /30 miles east-northeast of Phoenix

Getting there:  Reached from Spur Cross Road, which is just north of Cave Creek

Overview:  Located just north of the town of Cave Creek, is the small but attractive Jewel of the Creek Preserve.  This 27-acre preserve was created by the Desert Foothills Land Trust, and offers birders the chance to see the resident and migratory birds in midst of a great desert riparian habitat.  The preserve has tall cottonwoods, willows, mesquites, ash, and a nice running stream through the area which is entirely surrounded by desert.  This excellent habitat will be inviting to migrating birds and would be a good stop to check for interesting species.  A few trails run through the area.  Despite the fact that the habitat is very good here, the area is still very small, with the small size being the downside of this spot.  Regardless of the size, one is very likely to have a pleasant birding outing while exploring Jewel of the Creek Preserve.

This small preserve will have good birding opportunities year round.  Due to the nice riparian habitat Jewel of the Creek has to offer, there is great potential here during both migrations and winter.  Watch for migrants common to rare.  Summer will have breeding birds typical of desert riparian habitat.  This will be a good place to also view the regular desert birds on a regular basis.

Birding Tip:  Jewel of the Creek Preserve has two trails that go throughout the small area.  Try birding both of them for the best results. 

Directions:  From the Loop-101, take the Cave Creek Road exit.  Head north on Cave Creek Road for just over 12 miles.  On the north side of Cave Creek Road is Spur Cross Road.  Take Spur Cross Road 4 miles north to the small parking area of Jewel of the Creek Preserve.  Jewel of the Creek Preserve is noticeable as you are pulling up, as large cottonwoods come into view.  The parking area will be on the west side of Spur Cross Road. 


Jewel of the Creek Preserve Maps

Jewel of the Creek Preserve eBird Data


Scenes and Sights from Jewel of the Creek Preserve:


Back to Area 11-Cave Creek

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