North Phoenix

North/Northwest Phoenix is a region in Phoenix, Arizona. While the area with this name has no official separate status, it usually refers to the Urban Villages of Paradise Valley (not to be confused with the independent Town of Paradise Valley), North Mountain, Deer Valley, Desert View, and Happy Valley.


Camelback Mountain and the Phoenix Mountains contained Native American sacred sites which had been visited for centuries. Almost no permanent settlement took place, however, because water supplies were irregular. The geographic area now called Paradise Valley, roughly to the north of the Phoenix Mountains and west of the McDowell Mountains, had been named by American visitors in the 19th century. Fort McDowell Military Road from Fort McDowell to Fort Whipple (Prescott) came through the area in the 1870s.

The mining town of Union existed for a few decades beginning in the 1880s in the area currently referred to as Deer Valley (also near the Union Hills which bear its name). It eventually declined and left only a few ruins, making it a ghost town. The last remnants were bulldozed in the 1990s to make way for new construction.

The old state route that is now Cave Creek Road went between Phoenix and the town of Cave Creek. The small, unincorporated town of Cactus existed near what is now the intersection of Cactus Road and Cave Creek Road until the 1960s, when it was annexed by Phoenix. Other named places nearby included Valley Heights and Montgomery. These locations as well are now within Phoenix’s city limits.

The US Air Force established the North Phoenix Airport as a facility for military use at some time around 1945-48 but dismantled it after the 1960s.

The North Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has existed since 1963. Significant development took place in this part of the Valley in ensuing decades and today only the northern edge of North Phoenix contains open land for construction.


Many residents commute by automobile to work in central Phoenix or other Valley cities. Major east-west arterial streets include Bell Road, Union Hills Drive, Greenway Road, and Thunderbird Road. Major north-south streets that serve the area most include 7th, 19th and 35th Avenues, and 7th, 24th, and 40th Streets as well as Tatum Boulevard (essentially an arterial extension of 48th Street). Interstate 17State Route 101 (Loop 101), and State Route 51 serve this community.

Phoenix Deer Valley Airport handles general and corporate aviation and is the busiest airport of its type in the country.

Valley Metro bus routes operate here. Several new routes have been implemented in North Phoenix because of rising demand. RAPID buses, so called due to their use of freeways to link suburbs with central Phoenix, have stops near Bell Road and I-17 and Route 51.

More transit centers are planned in the future as roads and freeways near capacity and few other options exist to accommodate transportation needs. Numerous intersections in North Phoenix have already begun to suffer traffic jams during peak commuting periods.


Deer Valley contains a regional mall near the intersection of Route 101 and I-17, which is anchored by a Target store and an AMC movie theater complex. American ExpressDiscover Card, and Best Western Hotels operate major customer service call centers in this area.

Paradise Valley Mall is a major shopping center located roughly at Tatum Boulevard and Cactus Road. The mall grounds also contain a Valley Metro transit stop for buses, and is slated as a location for light rail service in the future. It is not in the town of Paradise Valley, which is an exclusive, highly upscale independent municipality surrounded by Phoenix and Scottsdale, but the mall is about two miles to the north.

Other facilities in this part of Phoenix that use Paradise Valley’s name include Paradise Valley Community College near 32nd Street and Union Hills Drive. The Paradise Valley Golf Course is directly to the east. Paradise Valley Hospital and Paradise Valley High School are located at 40th Street and Bell Road. Paradise Valley Park and Paradise Valley Community Center are also nearby.

Kierland Commons is a major upscale master-planned shopping, residential and resort community developed in the late 1990s and is located on the eastern edge of Phoenix, on the border with Scottsdale.

Desert Ridge Marketplace is on north Tatum Boulevard near Loop 101.


Reach 11 Recreation Area is just to the south of Loop 101 and offers hiking and horseback riding among preserved desert trails.

The Phoenix Mountains are here, and others such as Deem Hills, Ludden Mountain, and the Hedgepeth Hills area near Thunderbird Park are nearby.

Private golf courses are numerous. There are also several operated by the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department, such as Paradise Valley Golf Course. The city and county administer public swimming pools for use during summer.


The Paradise Valley Unified School District, incorporating elementary, middle, and high schools, operates over most of this area. It is one of the largest school districts in the state. The main postsecondary institution is Paradise Valley Community College. It also hosts a branch office of Northern Arizona University, enabling students to take classes at this campus for transferable credit.

Southwestern College is a private four-year Christian institution located on Cactus Road.

Cultural facilities include many branches of the Phoenix and Maricopa County public library systems. The Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum is an Old West interpretive history center. Deer Valley Rock Art Center, run by Arizona State University, was created to protect and display ancient Native American engravings from the Hedgpeth Hills petroglyph site.


The following are popular communities in North Phoenix:

  • Moon Valley
  • Paradise Valley
  • Desert Ridge
  • Tatum Highlands
  • Aviano
  • Tramonto
  • Sonoran Foothills
  • Carefree Crossing
  • Arrowhead Ranch

Click Here for a complete list of communities in North Phoenix

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