Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Traveling The Historic Apache Trail, Arizona
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Here I am, your friendly tour guide.
Come travel with me as we tour and enjoy our trek into some rugged country in Arizona along The Historic Apache Trail. There's much to see, it's a full day. Most of my reading about this trail before hand indicated the trail took 5 hours, is 41.5 miles in length, and begins 15 miles outside of Phoenix at Apache Junction. The information I read did not indicate how truly rugged the roads were, that bathrooms were limited, and food even more scarce. The scenery though is well worth it. Beautiful outcroppings, sheer mountains, remote desert areas with cactus and lizards, a ghost town, mountains, hiking, camping, and Ancient Ruins. We spent the entire day...well beyond the 5 hours noted.. You'll experience hairpin turns as your drive through the Sonora Desert and see two common cactus -- Saguaro and Fero.
I suggest beyond my usual note to wear sensible comfortable shoes (which do not include flip flops or sandals), a bottle or two of water, you bring a picnic. There is only 1 place to eat along The Historic Apache Trail, and the offerings there (Tortilla Flat), are very very limited. A another word to the wise, do NOT pass up any opportunity to use a bathroom........it's a long day with only a few places available and most of those are pit toilets. You might also be wise to carry tissues. The shoes are needed to avoid the dirt, dust, and cactus. You will be traveling twisting, wilderness type roads. Only a portion of the drive is on a paved road.
So many sites to see along the way. Beautiful vistas from the inside of the car; as well as multiple opportunities to get out, walk and explore. Theodore Roosevelt Lake and Dam among them.
One of the interesting and very educational sites when traveling the historic Apache Trail is Tonto Monument. There's a visitors center, with a nice gift shop.
A pretty good hike to the top of the ridge provides quite a view of Tonto Monument off in the distance, as well as the city below.
The Indian Ruins are reported to be over 1,000 years old.
Goldfield, a mining town in it's day has been reconstructed, this memorial plague so notes this. You can tour this little reconstructed town for a taste of old west. In it's hayday, this ghost town produced 3 Million Dollars in 4 short years between 1892-1896.
We're looking down on the rugged road, one of the most rugged in all of Arizona. Large RV's and other over-sized vehicles aren't permitted. Some rental agencies don't even permit their RV's to be on this road due to the ruggedness.
The road had recently been graded, scraped...notice the dirt ridge on the edge.
Theodore Roosevelt Dam. The building of this dam was the primary purpose of the road (the paved road), which was built in 1930.
At Days end, a beautiful site. A man made bridge against an awesome sky(not man made) before we start our trek back to the hotel.
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