Built as a construction road for the Roosevelt Dam, the 40-mile Apache Trail is now one of Arizona’s best scenic drives, winding along spectacular ravines, groves of saguaro cacti, and four man-made reservoirs. There are plenty of hokey stops along the way—ghost towns, curio shops, Old West–style saloons—but the main draw is the landscape. At mile 8, Needle Vista provides views of Weaver’s Needle, a 4,535-foot pinnacle named after frontier scout Pauline Weaver. At mile 15, stop at Canyon Lake, where you can swim beneath towering, rugged cliffs. The Superstition Saloon (mile 17) in the six-person “town” of Tortilla Flat serves up great half-pound burgers smothered in chili. The parking lot at the top of Fish Creek Hill (mile 25) has restrooms and sweeping vistas (look for bighorn sheep). It’s also a good turnaround point: The eastern part of the route is less picturesque, and the paved section of the road ends here.
5. An Oddball Day
Published on Jun 6, 2007 as a web exclusive.