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Old 09-14-2020, 11:37 AM
34 posts, read 28,028 times
Reputation: 17


We're looking for more rural towns in the greater Phoenix area. We've looked at Cave Creek and Carefree and like them both although prices seem to be quite high now for an acre or so with a nice home. At another website someone mentioned the Gold Canyon/Apache Junction area and we're totally unfamiliar with it.

Would love to get some feedback on that area including natural beauty, access to hiking, access to services (Home Depot, supermarkets, restaurants etc) and driving distance to Sky Harbor.

How developed is the area and what about traffic?

As a frame of reference if you can compare the area to Cave Creek that would be very helpful. Many thanks.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:39 PM
106 posts, read 142,665 times
Reputation: 322
GC/AJ are in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains, and partially surrounded by Tonto National Forest. Many of the lots in unincorporated Pinal County between AJ & GC are 1.25 acre horse properties. Depending on exactly which neighborhood you choose, you could literally have to look up at the mountain from your yard, so views are almost universally spectacular. There's still quite a bit of state trust land, in addition to state parks and national forest, so plenty of room for hiking, horseback riding, off-road vehicles, etc. AJ, unincorporated Pinal County, and GC each have somewhat different flavors, so spending some time scoping out each may give you a better idea of which you prefer.

As for services, there are grocery stores, drug stores, and hardware stores in each, and it's about a 10 minute drive to HD and Lowe's, and less than 15 minutes to theaters and multiple restaurants. I would estimate 20-25 minutes to Mesa Gateway Airport (served by Allegiant), and 30-40 minutes to Sky Harbor.

Probably more than many other parts of the valley, the east Mesa/AJ/GC area has large seasonal fluctuations in population due to winter residents. Summers mean you can walk in to your favorite restaurant on a Friday night and be seated immediately - winters mean an hour wait at 7:30pm on a Tuesday.

Traffic is relatively sparse east of Ironwood (the main artery to the rapidly developing areas of San Tan Valley and Queen Creek), but it's increasing steadily as more homes are built to the east.

Easy access from that part of the valley to all four lakes (Saguaro, Canyon, Apache, and Roosevelt), and points east like Superior, Show Low, etc. Also, the "back way" to Tucson, through Florence.

I can't compare to other parts of the valley, except to say every time I venture out I complain about the traffic and mention how glad I am to live where I live.
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Old 09-16-2020, 05:25 PM
Location: Landrum,SC
706 posts, read 416,719 times
Reputation: 597
The reply above is a good summary. If you're into the outdoors , you'll love being close to Tonto and the Superstitions . If you're into the going out on the town every weekend , You'll want to scurry over to the Riverview area of Mesa by the Cubs stadium. Mesa has a cool farmers market on the weekends, though I'm not sure how often a month they do it. Some people will say AJ is trailer trash . I find that a bit harsh as its an OK area if you want a change of pace from other parts of the valley that are more populated .
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