Photograph by Terrance Reimer
Frank Lloyd Wright likened deserts to paradise and lamented Phoenix’s march toward Taliesin West, the home and studio he built 75 years ago in what was then a fledgling Scottsdale. Visit Taliesin and you can appreciate how Wright’s sharp angles and long lines harmonize with the Sonoran Desert. That’s no longer the case in much of Scottsdale, but the airy, earth-toned rooms at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North open to rocky slopes, where quail and zebra-tailed lizards scurry amid the barrel cacti and saguaros. A path leads from the rambling, village-style resort to Pinnacle Peak Park, Scottsdale’s answer to Runyon Canyon, and 17 miles north, Cave Creek Regional Park—3,000 unspoiled Sonoran acres—is best explored along the 5.8-mile Go John Trail. At the end of the day, you could do worse than have a steak on the patio at Talavera; the star-speckled desert sky is almost as spectacular as the sunsets.