Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Taste of Travel: Reata Pass Scottsdale AZ

Arizona Spring 2012 236A dust-filled rocky trail once led over Reata Pass just to the north of downtown Scottsdale, Arizona. In 1882 there was a one-room stage station there that served the coaches traveling between Phoenix and Fort McDowell on the Verde River. 

Reata Pass is now where we have our timeshare ‘home away from home’ at the Four Seasons Scottsdale Residence Club.  So close were we to the summit that from our place we could see the old water tower.

Our location put us conveniently between three wonderful Scottsdale eatery traditions: the Cavalliere family’s Reata Pass Steakhouse (which was closed for the season) and their Greasewood Flat outdoor eatery (click the link to read about it.)

Arizona Spring 2012 214This time – with a whole week in which to explore the area – we ‘discovered’ Pinnacle Peak Patio – and I say that with a smile because the place has been around since 1957 and we’d never even heard of it until last week.  (Have you noticed? There is just too much to discover when you travel!)

Arizona Spring 2012 243Perhaps a bit touristy, but if you want a taste of the Old West – not to mention some good ol’ Western hospitality – this expansive eatery and brewery (Cowgirl Blonde Ale and Gunslinger Stout among the brews) is the place to go.

We made two visits: once to belly up to the bar and sip some margaritas and the second time to fulfill a need for animal protein.

Arizona Spring 2012 242We dined at the outdoor picnic tables (open from April to October) and listened to some country music. Looking to the west we saw Pinnacle Peak and to the east Troon Mountain.

A  post about this place wouldn’t be complete without mentioning “Big Marv” Dickson – ‘a man of many steaks’ – who came to work here back in the 60’s as a dishwasher/landscaper and progressed up the food chain, you might say. He now holds the distinction of ‘having cooked more than 11 million mesquite grilled steaks.” So. . .that might be a tall tale, but with the number of steaks we saw being served we have no doubt it might be true.

Arizona Spring 2012 240

This was our picnic table view of  Troon Mountain, elevation 3,478-feet (1,060M). To put that in perspective, the elevation of Washington State's Snoqualmie Pass is 3,022-feet (921M).

If You Go:  North on Pima Road to Happy Valley (you’ll see Pinnacle Peak) Follow Happy Valley to Alma School Road. Left on Jomax to reach Pinnacle Peak Patio (10426 E Jomax Rd. 85262, phone 480-585-1599) or continue on to Greasewood Flat and Reata Pass.


  1. Back in the early 1980's, directly across the road from Doc's Reata Pass steak house, was Horses for Hire. I was a wrangler and trail guide with Horses for Hire. A deal waas worked out with Doc, if any of his employees wanted a guided horse-back trail ride, we would serve them, in return I was able to get a meal from Doc. Food was grat and so was the iced tea, which Doc served me on the hot summer days. I took my family back there in 2010, still the same great food. Too bad the area is over-populated today. I have many fond memories of the establishment, Horses for Hire, and the good food from Cavallieres Reat Pass Steak House.

    1. Thanks so much for writing! What a wonderful time that must have been on Reata Pass. I love the idea of Horses for Hire, just think of all the place you could explore on horseback! Hope you'll continue to follow our tales of Arizona - your old stomping ground.

    2. Thank you for acknowledging the post. I wasn't much on picture taking then, thought it would all stay in my head. Riding green horses, breaking them for trail rides, a camera in a saddle bag wouldn't last long. I said that to ask this, would you happen to have pictures of Reata Pass before the developement took it over? All I have from that area now is some old halters I used, an old horse brush I used when putting the horses up for the day, and fading memories.

    3. It does sound like that saddle bag wouldn't have been the best place for a camera! The Pinnacle Peak area is a relatively new 'discovery' of ours so I don't have old photos. However, we noticed a book "Pinnacle Peak" part of the Images of America series that is by Les Conklin and the Greater Pinnacle Peak Association. It has some great historical photos in it. (I have it on the Amazon carousel on the right hand column of our travelnwrite home page - you could click on it and take a look inside to get an idea of the photos it has included - that's not a sales pitch, by the way, just an easy way to sneak a peek. I am researching for a future post Lois Kellogg's Crescent Moon Ranch that was sold to the Four Seasons, so if you have any information about that, we'd love to hear it as well.

  2. Thanks for sharing this post! Looks like you had a great time in Scottsdale! I love doing tourist things when I'm on vacation. Great photos!

    1. Hi Stefanie, Thanks for the comment. I see you represent Gainey Suites Hotel in AZ. Hope the hotel and you will soon be regular followers of our blog, FB page and our tweets. We focus on AZ quite often and would look forward to a tour of your property sometime.


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