Massive sundial in Carefree, AZ is America’s largest

Where else but in the Valley of the Sun would you expect to find America’s largest sundial?

About 27 miles north of Scottsdale, in the town square of Carefree, AZ, you’ll find America’s largest sundial. If you don’t think a sundial can tell time with any accuracy, let alone one this huge, think again.

35 feet tall sundial in Carefree, AZ

Notice in the pictures below that the time of photos (see Android phone screen shot) was 9:36 a.m. The shadow cast by the large sundial (and the smaller replica) lands almost exactly on that time. If for some reason the sundial was the only means to tell time in Carefree, you certainly wouldn’t have to worry about being late for dinner.

At 35 feet tall, America’s largest sundial casts a long shadow in Carefree, AZ

Carefree sundial plaque
Descriptive plaque near the base of America’s Largest Sundial in Carefree, AZ
Small scale sundial in Carefree, AZ
Scaled down version of America’s largest sundial in Carefree, AZ
Time of screen shot was 9:36 a.m.


Check out the video below for a better perspective of the size and accuracy of the sundial.

More about the Carefree Sundial:

  • Stands 35 feet tall, extends 72 feet and is 90 feet in diameter
  • Shadow-casting portion of the dial rises 35 feet above the plaza
  • Largest sundial in the country; 3rd largest in the Western Hemisphere
  • Points to the north star
  • Constructed in 1959 of steel and plated with anodized copper and the metal gnomon
  • Designed by architect Joe Wong and solar engineer John Yellott

Want to see the Carefree sundial for yourself? This map will help:


  1. You will never go late in Carefree, Arizona as this huge sundial will always remind you of what time is it. It is so fascinating how the sundial tells the time exactly, i am so amazed. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post and giving us a proof that it is real.

    1. Thanks for the comment, William. I was quite fascinated with the sundial as well. Such an amazing piece of old-school engineering combined with modern construction techniques. It really deserves more attention than it gets.

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