Desert Highlands

Welcome to Desert Highlands

A private, gated community with a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course
Desert Highlands is an active, private community consisting of 560 home sites spread across an 850-acre area surrounded by the pristine open space of the Sonoran Desert. Entrance to Desert Highlands is restricted by a 24-hour guarded gate. Desert Highlands was one of the first planned golf course communities in the United States, and its masterpiece 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course has attracted golfing legends such as Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus himself.

Most homes in Desert Highlands have been custom-built. Large windows and free-flowing indoor/outdoor spaces accentuate views of the gorgeous surrounding desert and mountain scenery. There are also two neighborhoods of semi-custom homes within Desert Highlands, as well as a few remaining undeveloped lots for those looking to design their dream home.

What to Love

  • Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course
  • Private community with many social events
  • Awe-inspiring mountain and desert views

People & Lifestyle

Desert Highlands boasts a wealth of luxury amenities that make life here feel like a permanent vacation. The community’s Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course has been consistently voted one of the top courses in the nation by Golf Digest. With its awe-inspiring views of Pinnacle Peak, it's easy to see why the course here has attracted such acclaim. Desert Highlands was also the first club in the United States and second in the entire world to add a professional 18-hole putting course. Other amenities here include a world-class fitness center packed with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a heated, year-round swimming pool, 13 first-class tennis courts, two pickleball courts, and a dog-friendly community park.

Desert Highlands is also home to two dining areas – the casual Jack’s gastropub and the refined Veneta Dining Room. Members of the club and residents of the community gather in these and other spaces during regular social events. The Desert Highlands residential services team is on hand to offer assistance with all kinds of everyday needs, and residents and members also enjoy access to professional staff providing personalized fitness instruction and help with improving your golf or tennis game.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Desert Highlands’ proximity to Scottsdale means residents are within easy reach of a wealth of exceptional options for dining and shopping. The modern Spanish steakhouse Talavera at the Four Seasons combines vibrant Latin flavors with mesmerizing desert views. The signature dish here is a de mariscos seafood specialty topped with clams, mussels, lobster, and carabinero prawn. Mastro’s Steakhouse is another standout for artfully presented seafood and mouth-watering steaks. The steaks on offer in this impeccably upscale establishment include 40z Wagyu tomahawk chops and Japanese A5 Wagyu New York steaks. Retailers in Scottsdale include the lovely Pretty Please Boutique for trendy contemporary womenswear. Hornacek’s House of Golf is a full-service, family-run golf shop stocked with everything you need to master the Jack Nicklaus Signature course at Desert Highlands. Hornacek’s also offers golf lessons and an indoor, as well as a one-stop repair shop.

Things to Do

Desert Highlands is nestled in the spectacular landscape of the Sonoran Desert. Highlights of this magical area include the 2.9-million-acre Tonto National Forest. Within the Tonto National Forest, visitors can discover original cave dwellings built around 700 years ago by the Salado people. Tonto National Forest is also home to the picturesque 2,815-acre Bartlett Lake. Ringed by marinas offering long-term dockage and short-term rentals, this stunning lake is a popular destination for boating, jet-skiing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. You can even sail out onto the link on a hired party yacht!


Desert Highlands is served by the Cave Creek Unified School District.
  • Black Mountain Elementary School, Public, K-6.
  • Sonoran Trails Middle School, Public, 6-8.
  • Cactus Shadows High School, Public, 8-12.

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