Friday, April 8, 2011

Arizona's Apache Trail

We decided to take the scenic highway called Apache Trail today, a 41.5 mile scenic byway near Phoenix and Mesa, AZ....WOW! To the south are the Superstition Mountains. This highway traverses part of the Tonto National Forest....Steep sided canyons, rock outcroppings, terrific geologic formations alongside the road...There's an awesome section called Fish Creek Canyon, which is particularly beautiful and the road just barely hugs the side of it. I could have reached out and touched canyon walls EASILY many times today. Lots of places to pull over and take photos--every one of them picture postcard perfect. There are restroom stops along the way, too. The first part of the trail is paved highway, and then the road turns to dirt....if you stop and turn around at this point, you've missed the most spectacular scenery of all! The drive is not for the nervous or faint of heart as there are LOTS of hairpin curves, switchbacks, and several one lane bridges. Taking an RV is NOT an option, at least not past Canyon Lake.

The travel link in the blog to the trail is very descriptive, organized, and gives excellent and detailed information all about the highway, so I'll just mention a few things that impressed us....we enjoyed seeing Canyon Lake and Apache Lake very much...Those are two out of three manmade reservoirs in the Apache Trail loop and to see that much water and recreational area in the middle of the desert was cool! There is a really nice campground at Canyon Lake and we did see some class A motorhomes staying there...There is also a marina.

You know, when you are in the midst of spectacular scenery, and you just have a little camera, shooting photo after photo, you wonder why, later, when you look at the photos, why don't they capture the magnificence of what you just saw?  Or the depth of the rocks and colors? I'm thinking this little camera of mine just isn't up to the capabilities of capturing gorgeous scenery...but, I don't want take the plunge right now and buy a big SLR and lug it around. And, I'd have to take classes on how to use the darn thing. So, for now, I will use these small photos as a trigger to my memory of standing in a place that is so much more than my little world, and appreciate the beauty before me in all its grandeur. I will leave the spectacular photos to the professionals and more experienced photographers, buy postcards to support the local economy, lol,  and take joy in capturing just a little slice of nature's beauty to keep with me in my mind always....

We passed through Tortilla Flat, a town of few inhabitants--(6?) I read somewhere that in 2003, the inhabitants tried to sell the town on Ebay, for 5.5 million but no deals. There is a nice restaurant and ice cream parlor there. The restaurant is one of those places where people started covering the walls, ceilings and everywhere with dollar bills. We didn't eat there, but the place was very very busy. The restrooms were interesting...lots of memorable photos being taken in the restroom, of all places...Can't imagine why! (The door heights were just low enough so your head shows at the top of the dress).

What a day!  What views! And this is just a warmup for the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Bryce, the northwest and many other natural wonders of our country.....


  1. I just found your blog this morning, and really enjoyed your view of the Apache Trail and Goldfields. We were just there, doing the same thing during the last week of March, with much the same thoughts as you had for each place. Looking forward to following your blog.