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Apache Trail Scenic Drive

Apache Trail, AZ 85117
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Apache Trail and Dolly Steamboat One Day Van Tour
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The existing Apache Trail in Arizona is a 120 mile circle route through the Superstition Mountains. It was named the Apache Trail after the Native American Indians who originally used this trail to migrate through the Superstition Mountains for over 1,000 years. The current Apache Trail links Apache Junction at the edge of the Greater Phoenix area with Theodore Roosevelt Lake, through the Superstition Mountains and the Tonto National Forest. Today, much of the Apache Trail is paved, and the section east of Apache Junction is known officially as State Route 88. It is also the main traffic corridor through Apache Junction, turning into Main Street as the road passes into Mesa, and regains the Apache name by becoming Apache Boulevard in Tempe, ending at Mill Avenue. Prior to the completion of the Superstition Freeway in 1992, the Apache Junction portion of the Apache Trail was part of US Highway 60, which was rerouted to the Superstition Freeway once it was completed. The Trail winds steeply through 40 miles (64 km) of rugged desert mountains, past deep reservoir lakes like Canyon Lake and Apache Lake. The narrow, winding road is unpaved from just east of the town of Tortilla Flat to Roosevelt Dam; there are steep cliff drops and little in the way of safety barriers. The trail requires caution when driving and it is not recommended for large RVs, SUVs, or caravans. Some large RV rental companies in the US do not allow their vehicles to be taken on this route. Originally, and more historically correct, Apache Trail was built as a wagon route for the construction of Roosevelt Dam from 1902-1909 and was originally called the "Mesa to Roosevelt Road." Roosevelt, Fish Creek Station, Tortilla Flat Station, Mormon Flat Flat Station, Pinto Creek and Youngsberg aka Goldfield are just a few of the many historic landmarks along the America's oldest highway, the Apache Trail. As the old Southern Pacific Railroad used to say, "Every mile a scene worth while! Sunshine all the way!"
  • Excellent78%
  • Very good18%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“roosevelt dam” (104 reviews)
“tortilla flats” (183 reviews)
“dirt road” (64 reviews)
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Hours Today: 00:00 - 23:59
Suggested Duration: More than 3 hours
Apache Trail, AZ 85117

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1 - 10 of 435 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

On a recent trip the Phoenix area, we wanted to drive the Apache Trail. We had read many conflicting reviews about how easy or how difficult this would be and so we were a little confused. However, when we did the Trail and under our...More

2  Thank Carolyn_B_27312
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Give yourself an hour and a half, or more, to complete this 40-mile drive. It is dirt road much of the way and full of twists and turns right out of a Wile E. Coyote cartoon, but it is very much worth the effort. Views...More

2  Thank andrewwA7025WY
Reviewed 30 August 2017 via mobile

It is a long drive to go from Apache Junction to Roosevelt Lake but is well worth the time. We stopped at Canyon Lake and took the boat ride and then headed on down the trail. We stopped numerous times to enjoy the views and...More

1  Thank Kenmarsam
Reviewed 25 July 2017

This is a cool drive no doubt HOWEVER just past the observation point the road was not what we expected...single lane, hairpin turns, washboard gravel road on the edge of a cliff down a steep incline. Once you round the corner and start down the...More

2  Thank tadvisor7890
Reviewed 9 July 2017

A must see for everyone that can. It is so worth the time if you can do the "whole trail". Absolutely must see views at every twist and turn

Thank Mary K
Reviewed 5 July 2017

We went out on this scenic drive with our two little daughters, and really enjoyed it. Plenty of stops along the Salt River, with breath-taking views. An easy route as well, no need for a 4-wheel. Went through this one spot at one time where...More

Thank karendegiorgio
Reviewed 2 July 2017

Wow ..This is an amazing ride to do !!! Made with a normal car because the track was dry, I agree with the recommendations don't try in case of rain unless to want get stuck in the middle of nowhere .. It is not the...More

Thank Patrick D
Reviewed 27 June 2017

Okay, unless you are super squeamish, you really should take this drive! Just be prepared for a traffic nightmare if some"super intelligent" person tries to take their RV and gets stuck on a bridge....Whoops!

1  Thank Tiny6ft10
Reviewed 26 June 2017

We happened upon the Apache trail without pre-planning. What a fabulous find! Totall breathtaking views plus some hair raising narrow gravel road sections...loved every minute of it!

Thank Kathy M
Reviewed 14 June 2017

We had a few days in Phoenix so we decided to do the Apache Trail Drive. Spectacular scenery! We enjoyed the drive so much we decided to do the drive again the next day. Some great places to stop as well. Day 1 we drove...More

1  Thank tpg1
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Nearby Attractions
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Canyon Lake Lookout
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Questions & Answers
18 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Goven | Reviewed this property |
My husband says you need to factor in intense summer heat(take lots of water) and remember there is lots of switch backs which slows your speed. He suggests 3-4 hrs would be more realistic. Make sure your vehicle is in... More
Robin B
9 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from pwuchief | Reviewed this property |
OK not a motor bike person - all I know is a Harley is a Harley. But I did see one bike when we were there. It is loose gravel so make sure you have your chaps on!
Barry B
10 November 2016|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Apache T | Property representative | Reviewed this property |
The existing Apache Trail in Arizona is a 120 mile circle route through the Superstition Mountains. It was named the Apache Trail after the Native American Indians who originally used this trail to migrate through the... More