Travel

World's Tallest Kachina and America's Largest Sun Dial: Hidden Valley


The "World's Tallest Kachina" looms over the sleepy subdivision of Tonto Hills, about six miles east of Carefree. This 40-foot tall marvel lends a splash of color to the adobe landscape, and has become an off-the-roadside attraction for visitors to the Valley.

Designed by renowned Southwest sculptor Phillips Sanderson, the kachina is made in four sections, which makes it movable. There's a "For Sale" sign at its feet, and if you're interested in having it moved to your yard, it can reportedly be yours for the sale price of $400,000.

Although it's technically located in Scottsdale, the kachina is on Cave Creek Road, just east of the towns of Carefree and Cave Creek. It sits off to the west side of the street, atop a small hill at the entrance to the Tonto Hills community, a couple miles past the sign for Bartlett Lake.

It's a bit of a drive from central Phoenix, but makes for a great road trip. The kachina is actually just the last sightseeing stop along that stretch of Cave Creek Road.

The Carefree Sun Dial, "America's Largest Sun Dial," is about eight miles west of the kachina. Designed in 1959 by solar engineer John Yellot and architect Joe Wong, the 62-foot sundial points to the north star and is the largest sculpture in an already-impressive sculpture garden. It's also surrounded by a quaint shopping plaza that includes various art galleries, Native American jewelry stores, the English Rose Tea Room, the Black Mountain Coffee Shop, The Door Store, and AZ Wine.

Oh, and there's this really cool slide made to look like a Gila Monster, too:

For more information on the Carefree Sun Dial, click here. For more information on the World's Tallest Kachina, check out this Phoenix New Times news short.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea