Monday, March 04, 2013

The Apache Trail Scenic Drive

Wayne and I spent an afternoon on the Apache Trail Scenic Drive while we were in Arizona. It was fairly close to Tempe where we were staying, and the sunny warm afternoon made for a great time to be outdoors. The road called Apache Trail starts in the town of Apache Junction. It travels through high desert with lots of cactus, including the impressive branching saguaro.

The route was originally used by the Apache to get through the Superstition Mountains.  It later became a stagecoach trail before an automobile road with grades and switchbacks. It must really been something to experience back in the day.

We found a trailhead near the top of the pass with an old cattle pen. This time of year there's quite a bit of grass on the desert floor, so I guess you could run cattle in these mountains.  But it would take a lot of land to sustain just one.

We passed Canyon Lake with boats waiting for the season to start. Today sure felt like the right season to me. And the campgrounds and picnic areas in the Tonto National Forest weren't crowded.

We drove as far as Tortilla Flat, a former stagecoach stop turned into a tourist area. For us this was the end of the road before turning around and returning the way we came.  To continue,  the road becomes dirt and we didn't want to try that is a rental car.

You can make this trip in half a day, or take longer depending on how many attractions you want to see along the way.  We opted for the low key version. -- Margy


  1. I may have missed something, but are you traveling by boat? Camper? I have a dream of traveling throughout the US to see the places I've never seen...when I do, I think I will have to follow this Apache Trail Scenic Drive! Looks fabulous!

  2. Hi Margy,

    Beautiful pictures!

  3. Lise - We flew to Mesa on Allegiant Airlines. They fly direct from Bellingham, so it is an easy trip. You just have to watch for the add-ons to make sure the flight costs don't escalate from cheap to expensive. We rented a car at the airport so we could travel down to Tucson for the games there, then back to Phoenix for more games. A great mini-vacation in the sun. You have your river place. We only have places in the cloudy north. So trips like this get us out in the much needed sun during winter.

    LaVera - Good to hear from you. Had fun meeting you in computer blogging class.



We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy