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Carefree is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, with a population of approximately 3,799.

Characterized as an upscale residential area, Carefree was conceived in the mid-1950s by business partners K.T. Palmer and Tom Darlington as a master-planned community. Land sales commenced in 1955 and homebuilding followed shortly thereafter in 1958.

Typical of Carefree’s character are its street names—Tranquil Trail, Easy Street, Ho-and-Hum Roads and Long Rifle, Stagecoach and Bloody Basin—which reflect both its quiet, casual air as well as its Western heritage.

The motto of Carefree is “Home of Cowboys and Caviar, Where the Old West Meets the New.”

The Carefree sundial, designed by architect Wong and solar engineer Yellott, it was erected in the Sundial Circle plaza in 1959 and is the “third largest sundial in the Western Hemisphere”. It measures 90 feet in diameter.

Climate – Elevation

Temperatures in Carefree are typically 5 to 7 degrees cooler than the adjacent towns to the south. Carefree has an elevation of approximately 2,700 feet, considerably higher than Scottsdale at 1,250 feet and Phoenix at 1,100 feet.

Real Estate

Carefree does not assess a town specific real estate tax. Annual real estate taxes in Carefree are approximately half of what would be charged for an identical residence in cities and towns which have town specific real estate taxes as an add-on to the annual real estate taxes assessed by Maricopa County. For a median priced home in Carefree with a full cash value of $535,000, the incremental annual tax cost for an identical home in Scottsdale would be $3,100, and $2,900 in Phoenix.


School-aged children who live in Carefree typically attend public, charter or private schools within the Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD).

To include

  • Cave Creek Unified School District – Cave Creek Montessori
  • Dynamite Montessori – Foothills Academy