A VISIT TO ARIZONA IN FEBRUARY [Apache Trail]
Another complete day should be devoted to the Apache Trail, Route 88, out of Apache Flats south east of Phoenix. The Trail makes its way thru the rugged Superstition Mountains. The Trail takes you to Canyon Lake, Tortilla Flats and Apache Lake ending at Roosevelt Dam. This dam is the largest masonry dam in the world. Continuing on Route 88 you will come to the Tonto National Monument. These cliff dwellings were occupied by the Salodo people from1300 to around 1450.

You leave Apache Flats on a nicely paved road with the Superstitions looming in the distance. The adventure begins!


Photo by Jim Hoffman, ANaturalSight.com

You next arrive at Canyon Lake where if you want to take the time there is a paddle wheeler to take you on a tour of the lake.


Photo by Jim Hoffman, ANaturalSight.com

Driving on deeper into the Superstitions the road turns to dirt and for the next 29 miles the road is one lane in some places. If someone is coming from the opposite direction one of you must pull as close to the side of mountain as possible while the other inches past.


Photo by Jim Hoffman, ANaturalSight.com

At places the road is cut thru the giant boulders along the route.


Photos by Jim Hoffman, ANaturalSight.com

Here you can get the off road experience without buying a four wheeler. As a photographer you absolutely must have a driver, the road is very twisty and with many 180 degree switchbacks there are no places to pull over so you can get out to shoot. A good clean windshield is required as you will be shooting photos at every turn and twist in the trail. The scenery and mountain vistas, as well as the Trail, will take your breath away. If you are not careful the Trail could possibly send you on a real thrill ride. However with some caution you should not experience any death defying events. You next arrive at Apache Lake; here you will find a marina and place to eat.


Photo by Jim Hoffman, ANaturalSight.com

Your next point is Roosevelt Dam. Just before you approach the dam the road once again becomes paved.


Photo by Jim Hoffman, ANaturalSight.com

I shot 112 photos between Apache Flats and the dam. No matter where I looked there was a scene I wanted to capture.

I was lucky and had my Daughter to drive me thru in her Honda; we had no problems or narrow escapes. If you are traveling alone or, if I have scarred anyone from attempting to drive the Trail, there are JEEP tours that will take you. This is one area not to be left off your itinerary. For me, next to the Grand Canyon, the Apache Trail is one of the best scenic places in Arizona. Right now this Trail is little known to the majority of tourists but I feel its popularity will be increasing as more learn about it.









Copyright © 2005 - Jim Hoffman and Greg Aldrich - All Rights Reserved next page back to articles