06 March 2014

What a Ride!!!

6 Mar 2014--It took us 2 full days, and it was well worth it!  The Apache Trail is a 120 mile loop around the Superstition Mountains, is rated the best scenic drive in Arizona, and is the 2nd-most photographed area of the state, after only the Grand Canyon.

We started on Friday at what they called a museum, but was really a gift shop with a couple historical buildings.  Check out the picture of the cactus surrounded by all those flowers...hope to see something like that on our way back from California in May.  And Chris and I always joke about the "dry heat", laughing about 110 degrees as it sucks the air right out of you!  haha

Several old-time westerns were filmed with some of these buildings in them,  the most important of which was "The Elvis Chapel" where the movie called "Charro" was made.  Looks like a postcard, doesn't it?

Further along the trail was a much bigger town, called Goldfield Ghost Town, that was another tourist trap, but you just have to stop anyway, I guess.  haha  They even included the bordello and staged gunfight.


Now we are getting to the good stuff.  On the northern part of the drive are 3 lakes, with this one called Canyon Lake being the first.  They have riverboat rides here, so Cathy and I thought we would come back another day an  do that.  We had spent so much time just getting here, probably 20 miles into the 120 mile long trek, we decided to call it quits and get an earlier start one day the following week.

Here are a couple videos and stitch pics to give you a better idea of what everything looks like.  I am amazed at all the colors and beauty.

So on Wednesday we headed out to the trail again, intending our first activity to be the boat ride.  Unfortunately, it never occurred to us that we would need reservation in the beginning of March and in the middle of the week, but we were dead wrong.  There were a ton of people when we got there, almost all of which had reservations, and even though we were 7th in line for the people who didn't have reservations, there were only 6 tickets left!!!  So Cathy and I were the 1st people to be left stranded!  haha

Despite our disappointment, we pressed on, figuring we would get the jump on the rest of the trail.  Just a little background; The Apache Trail was built originally to make it possible to get goods and services to the people building the Roosevelt Dam, named after Teddy Roosevelt, that you will see later.   Our next stop after the non-boat ride stop was in this little town, Tortilla Flat, established in 1904 to help with supplying the dam folks and then in 1905 becoming a stagecoach stop for the US Mail.  It's now another tourist trap.  haha

I love the "hanging man" touch.

And that was the end of the tourist traps.  The next 30 miles or so were just one beautiful scene after another.  As we drove to the bottom of the canyon on a dirt road, all 30 miles, we had to go maybe 10-15 mph most of the way, so it was slow going.  But notice how different some of the rock formations are.  You would think they would all be pretty much the same in the same mountains, but they are markedly different.  By the way, I am talking on the videos most of the time, so you can hear me if you turn up your volume.  

This is Apache Lake, the middle lake on the map.

And finally the Roosevelt dam.  When it was built it was the world's largest stone dam.

And looking from the dam out onto the Roosevelt Lake.  This bridge had to be built to make modifications to the dam.

Our 2nd day on the trail took us 9 1/2 hours, so it might have been a Godsend that we couldn't go on the boat ride, and it was absolutely beautiful out there , so it was definitely worth the drive. Off into the sunset we go!!!


  1. Great pictures. I loved the tourists traps, I'm a sucker for that stuff. The man hanging was a nice touch. You two must be exhausted at the end of the day. Glad you're back of there. Again doing a great job with pictures.

  2. love the lakes and mountains. So beautiful!! I love the bridge also. Really cool looking. Glad to see a break from mountain climbing. Love the western towns or as you call them the "tourist trap.

  3. The best thing about the "tourist traps" is that they almost always have a little ice cream shop...haha. If the servers know who the manufacturer of the ice cream is, sometimes I can get it, and you know how much I like ice cream!!! And to have an ice cream while being surrounded by all those mountains, lakes, etc., is pure nirvana! haha

  4. The pictures with the lakes, including the bridge one are beautiful!
    Besides the hanging man, I like the sign right beside Cathy's head the says, Just another pretty face.