If the walls are closing in, and you have enough coin to put gas in the car, make a plan to hit Seven Springs. The drive is long, winding, dusty, and scenic, and ends pleasantly at a splashdown in a tree-shaded creek. Okay, that's the halfway point — you still have to get back. But that'll take less time than many desert escapes do, because Seven Springs is basically the far, far north Valley. Getting there is easy — just hop on Cave Creek Road and drive north. The prominent Phoenix thoroughfare eventually turns into the rural Seven Springs Road, which is nicely signed the whole way. Take picnic or camping supplies, including plenty of water for the full ride. (Go to the district office listed above to pay camping fees.) Another option is to take the abbreviated trip to the Sears Kay Hohokam ruins, found a few miles up Seven Springs Road. Don't forget your Tonto Pass. And remember to tread lightly, pack out your trash, and leave all treasures, manmade or natural, in good shape for the next people to check out.