The historic stagecoach route known as the Apache Trail, one of the most scenic drives in America, passes through the Superstition Mountain range connecting the Tonto National Forest, Theodore Roosevelt Lake, and the town of Apache Junction together on the edge of the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area before continuing over rough desert regions, steep cliff drops, and around deep reservoirs such as Apache Lake and Canyon Lake, to Mesa, Tempe, Globe, and Tortilla Flats.
Located in the Superstition Wilderness Area the popular recreational area commonly referred to by local residents as the “Supes” contain several prominent landmarks including the one thousand foot tall Weaver’s Needle rock formation, surrounded by mesquite bushes and large saguaro tree-sized cactuses, that has been linked to the tales of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, the most famous lost mine in the history of the United States, and to the Lost Dutchman State Park.
Tonto National Forest:
Designated March 4, 1907, and possessing more than 2,873,200 acres, Arizona’s largest National Forest stretches from the Sonoran Desert, one of North America’s hottest deserts, to the Mongollon Rim on the Colorado Plateau’s southwestern edge, and is full of tall sandstone and limestone cliffs, the Coconino Sandstone Formation, the Kaibab Limestone Formation, Pine Canyon, Fossil Creek Canyon, the San Carlos Indian Reservation, and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.
Theodore Roosevelt Lake:
Popular for game fishing, one of the largest concentrations of Southwestern Willow Flycatchers in the state, and several trailheads of the Arizona Trail, Theodore Roosevelt Lake, found in the Salt River Valley that covers much of the Tonto Basin between the Mazatzal Mountains, the Sierra Ancha Mountains, the Superstition Mountains, and the Four Peaks region of Phoenix, is Arizona’s largest lake located entirely in the state.
Formed by the 1927-built Horse Mesa Dam, and converging on more than 2,568 acres, Apache Lake, a well known recreational area in the Tonto National Forest, is popular for sport fishing, trail hiking, scenic mountain views, and a variety of wildlife including javelina, big horn sheep, coyotes, eagles, deer, and more.
Found in the Superstition Wilderness, and created by the building of the Mormon Flat Dam on its reservoir, Canyon Lake provides popular boating, camping, and hiking facilities, red rock canyon walls, Dolly Steamboat cruise tours, the Boulder Creek Recreation Site, the Palo Verde Recreation Site, the Tortilla Flat Campgrounds, and begins the Apache Trail.
Located in the Tonto National Forest, and regarded as “The Friendliest Little Town In Arizona,” Tortilla Flat, a 1904 stagecoach stop along the Apache Trail, with a year around population of six residents, features group tours, the Salt River Rangers, performances of the Tortilla Flat Gunfights, the Yavapai Trail, Fish Creek Canyon, the Tortilla Flat Museum, and the Superstition Saloon where horse saddles serve as barstools and real dollar bills left by tourists from around the world decorate its walls.
This Article was compiled from several websites that provide much more information about the Apache Trail including: