Traveling The Historic Apache Trail, Arizona

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Here I am, your friendly tour guide.
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'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.

The Dam
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.
Ancient Indian Ruins
The Indian Ruins are reported to be over 1,000 years old.

hiking trail
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.
Historic Goldfield Ghost Town

scenic twisting road
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.

Apache Trail
dirt road
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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  1. Looks absolutely wonderful. The pictures make me feel like I was there. Ifeel like I just went on a relaxing, stress-free hike.

  2. !st I want to thank you for stopping past my blog. I returned the favor with EC...anyway, those are some beautiful pictures that you have there.

    I remember when I went to the cave dwellings. it was around Christmas of a few years ago, and it was crazy to see all that indepth architecture.

    On a side note, you might want to size down those picture. They seem to be getting in the way of the text that you have up.

  3. Adorable tour guide photo!!!! Love this site....

  4. Your photos make me want to take a trip .... I'll just have to imagine I made it though. :D

  5. Sandy I am so happy to go on these trips with you through your post and the beautiful pictures. Otherwise I would never get to see these sites.
    Health, time and money keeps me in most of the time. I only get to my daughters home in Tennessee once a year. Be safe and keep showing us the sites through this blog.

  6. Wow, what you are doing in Arizona? I thought the next stop was to be in Oregon, or at least in that direction. For I would have hated it if you skipped an extended visit to the Mt. Shasta region of northern California. Anyway, did I mix up your plans with those of someone else or did I just make the whole thing up?

    By the way, great shots. Since I did not get off of the heavily paved path much during my frequent trips in, through and all around Arizona, I did not get to see very many of the kinds of sights that you are seeing.

  7. I always loved the outdoors. Such awesome scenic places remind me of similar ones back home in the mountain ranges where "silence" is your company. The only difference is that, the mountains and lands here seem to be partly denuded, while back home, it is lush and matted with wild biota.

    I could imagine how the place used to be. What happened between the interim? It seems deserted and lonely.

    I'm not so familiar with the history that's why I'm interested to know. Thanks.

  8. Beautiful photos and what a fun trip! We keep saying we need to travel to AZ to check things out - I'll have to add that to my list of places to see.

  9. Makes me want to go on vacation, when you heading out next and to where? Looks like you travel to places I would enjoy

  10. Even though I was in Arizona some years ago I didn't get to do much sightseeing so thanks for sharing your adventure and photos and letting me see some of the beauty I missed.

  11. Thanks for sharing your unique view of this beautiful part of our country.

  12. Wow, great photos!! I'd love to go to Arizona someday, it looks so beautiful :)

  13. Hey Sandy,
    It is so good of you to include us in your travels. I know the two of you are having the time of your life. Life is too short not to take in all the sights. Be safe in your travels and I will look forward to our next trip together.

    Friends 4 Life!

  14. those are some awesome pictures!

  15. Very nice descriptions and photos.

  16. Heading out that way in July. I am looking forward to the trip. It has been over 20years since we have been there. Love your photos.

  17. hi, wonderful site and lovely contents. All the travel lovers are going to like it. i must say the work is incredible and appreciable. keep it up. looking forward for more updates

  18. Your photos are beautiful. I love the desert landscape, and that you visited a ghost town (those are always so interesting to me).

  19. Nice post!! Those are some awesome pictures. Tonto National Monument is a National Monument in central Arizona, United States. The National Monument is surrounded by the Tonto National Forest, which includes low plains, desert scrubland, and alpine pine forests.

  20. Photos are too good. Nice work Sandy....

  21. Dear Sandy

    I truly love your blog, a lot of exciting information. Straight forward and to the point, with its own touch of magic. It is truly a beautiful place, and what sights to see.
    Thank you sharing this.
    Karima L.


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