SCENERY, SAGUARO AND THE SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS
The Apache Trail is a great scenic drive outside of Phoenix, Arizona. As you drive down a 4×4 road, you will see amazing views of the Superstition Mountains. This infamous route is a popular one in the Jeep community for a reason. I had so much fun on the trail that I even shared the driving for a bit so everyone could enjoy the experience first-hand.
Although it isn’t a “hard” trail, it can be very narrow in spots. Be sure to check the weather before you go because this area is susceptible to flash flooding. The Apache Trail is about 40 miles long, so plan accordingly with gas and supplies. Like many of the places I explore, cell coverage will be limited if you’re lucky to get any service.
There are lots of vistas along the trail as well as places to stop. The Apache Trail is located in the Tonto National Forest, which covers roughly 3 million acres. Here you can also find a few lakes, reservoirs and even a natural bridge. Not to mention the epic mountain views!
Since you are technically in the Sonoran desert, you can also find lots of saguaro and ocotillo cacti. If you visit during the spring, you may catch lots of beautiful wildflowers. The views are what seem to be endless as you Jeep down this legendary trail.
There are quite a few things to do besides hit the Apache Trail within the Tonto National Forest. Head to Roosevelt Lake to watch for wildlife and to kick back and relax. Or, take a stop at Canyon Lake for lunch or to hang out during the hot summer months.
As you Jeep along the Apache trail, you can find the Dolly Steamboat and take a trip on the water to learn some history. I found the pier just fine, but quite literally missed the boat by a few minutes when I visited.
If you skipped lunch at some of the other stops, you can grab a bite to eat at Tortilla Flat. This is also a popular stop for a quick break. This is a super small town, but charming nonetheless. If you’re looking to do some hiking head over to the Lost Dutchman Park along the way.
One of my favorite places along the trail to stop was the Goldfield Ghost Town! This old mining town gives you a great look into what life was like back in the wild west. They even do live gun show reenactments every hour, which is a lot of fun to see.
As you wander around the ghost town, you can see many old buildings like the town jail, saloon, church and so much more. You can head to the museum to learn more about the history of Goldfield, or even take a tour around the mine! You can also hop on a train that heads around the town and get some killer views of the Superstition Mountains.
At the end of the Apache trail, or the beginning depending on which direction you take, you will find an epic bridge and a really cool dam. The Roosevelt Dam was once the world’s tallest masonry dam. It was key to helping the agricultural industry thrive by turning the desert land into fertile land to farm.
The Theodore Roosevelt Bridge was built upstream of the lake much later on to help take away some of the traffic driving over the dam. It used to be the longest 2-way steel-arch bridge in North America, reaching over 1,000 feet across the lake.
As you can see, there is a ton to do here! This makes a great day or weekend trip to take with your friends or family.