The Apache Trail
One Day; 192 Miles
Date: 22 December 2003

Starting location is Tempe, Arizona. Enter the Apache Trail where Mill Avenue curves into Apache Boulevard and head east. It is 9:45am and already a sunny day. Apache Boulevard has a negative reputation in Tempe and political sign litter doesn't help improve stuff. The Apache Trail in Tempe will be part of the path for the future light rail transportation system imaginatively named Metro.

Apache Boulevard east through Tempe takes us into the city of Mesa and the road name changes to Main Street. The drive east on Main Street takes us through downtown Mesa. [Note: Downtown Mesa is full of sculptures and other art forms; downtown Mesa warrants another visit.]

Upon entering the city of Apache Junction [ another picture] the name of the road switches to Apache Trail. Switch directions to northeast and drive AZ Hwy-88. [missing picture]

Visit Goldfield ghost town. {Goldfield, 1893} {downtown Goldfield}

Continue AZ Hwy-88 to Lost Dutchman State Park located next to the majestic Superstition Mountains. The State Park is not free, but I am okay with the entrance fee. I will re-visit Lost Dutchman SP sooner rather than later because I had problems with the lighting while taking pictures. The views are excellent views, but this batch of pictures don't do those views justice. {view} {view} {view} {view} {view}

Continue driving the Apache Trail northeast and enter into the Tonto National Forest. [Note: There are signs that say Tonto National Forest along with Apache Trail.] The scenic views are plentiful. {view} {view} {view} {view}

Note: Taking pictures on this road trip was complicated by wires in the sky. {AZ Hwy-88} {scenic view}

Canyon Lake is the first of three lakes encountered on the Apache Trail. {approaching the lake} {near the lake}

The trip along the Apache Trail requires travel over numerous one lane bridges.

The next stop is at Tortilla Flat, which is currently for sale with an asking price of $5.5 million. {mailbox} {sign} {hanging man}
Note: camera photographing camera.

About ten miles east of Tortilla Flat, the Apache Trail turns into a gravel road. A viewpoint is provided that offers scenic views of Horse Mesa. {view} {view} {view} {view}

The travel on this part of the Apache Trail is slow going. It is a thin road with curves.

Fish Creek offers scenic views that include a one lane bridge. {view} {view} {view}

The scenic views don't end at Fish Creek. The Apache Trail continues to offer one scenic view after another all the way to Apache Lake.

The Apache Trail flattens out and runs along the banks of the Salt River until eventually hitting Roosevelt Dam. {view} {dam sign} {view} {view} {view}

Turn south on AZ Hwy-188 and visit Tonto National Monument.
{view} {view} {view} {bird's nest}
{ruins} {ruins} {ruins} {ruins} {ruins} {ruins} {me}

Continue south on AZ Hwy-188 to US Hwy-60 [missing picture] and drive west back to Tempe. We were going to do some stuff on US Hwy-60, but time only allowed us to make one stop and that was to get a Superior Funeral Home sign picture. [Note: We did visit Queen Valley, but did not stop. I have been told that Diego's is a good place to eat.] I returned home at 6:00pm and it was dark.

Author: Gerald D. Thurman []
Created: 23 December 2003