The Apache Trail Historic Road, also known as State Route 88, exemplifies the duality of Arizona as both harsh and lush in more ways than one. The route is believed to have been a migration trail for the Salado Indians and was designated a scenic historic byway in 1986. The Apache Trail offers views of the Superstition Mountain range and unique roadside attractions from Apache Junction to the Roosevelt Dam. With spring arriving, this is the perfect time for any Phoenix Valley resident to take their cars’ legs on a sight seeing trip through the Superstitions.
Half of the route is paved, leisurely meandering past places such as Weavers Needle, Goldfield, a ghost town with tours and attractions, and Canyon Lake. The second half of the route, however, is a wild, steep descent along a dirt road. For those who venture forward, the rewards are views of Fish Creek Canyon’s stately sycamores, cottonwoods, swimming holes, and dramatic steep cliff walls, which can turn into waterfalls in a spring storm. Venture further and you will pass Apache and Roosevelt Lake before making your way to Globe and then eventually coming back around through surprise as you circumnavigate the mountain range.
While most vehicles can handle these roads just fine, a four wheel drive certainly doesn’t hurt for some of the more worn parts of the descent to Fish Creek Canyon. Tortilla Flat has a fine restaurant and convenience store, but be sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, and of course, gas, for rest of the trip.