Arizona’s Stunning Apache Trail Scenic Drive

The Apache Trail is one of the most breathtaking scenic drives in central Arizona, and we recently had a chance to trace its path once again. It runs along Route 88 between Apache Junction and Roosevelt Lake, just east and south of Phoenix. Following the Salt River past Canyon Lake and Apache Lake, it twists through some truly stunning Sonoran Desert landscapes of rugged rocks and sassy saguaros. Here are a few highlights from that gorgeous daytrip:

5 406 Apache Trail on the Salt RIver in Arizona

Cactus grow amid red rocks down to the water’s edge.

Apache Lake on the Apache Trail in Arizona

Apache Lake is a rich blue in the growing afternoon light.

Scenic drive from Apache Junction to Roosevelt Lake Arizona

There is a dramatic overlook at Canyon Lake

Apache Trail in Arizona

Rugged rock cliffs fill the views along the way

Saguaro cactus along the Apache Trail in Arizona

Saguaro cactus stand watch over both sides of the trail.

Salt River views along the Apache Trail from Apache Junction to Roosevelt Lake Arizona

The Apache Trail winds along the Salt River through red rock studded Sonoran Desert

If you are in the Phoenix area in Arizona, this is a “must see” daytrip, especially as the wildflowers begin to bloom in late February and March!!

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4 thoughts on “Arizona’s Stunning Apache Trail Scenic Drive

    • Yes, this is very drivable in any kind of car. The first half is paved. The second half is dirt but is a very good road. There are sheer drop-offs that can be intimidating, but it is a good road and it makes a wonderful day trip!

  1. Yeah, about those drop offs…seems nobody likes to talk about Fish Creek Hill…might scare away the visitors. Well, that and the fact that the gravel part is 25 miles of wash board road. Been there, done that…don’t need to do that again! But I would drive out to the little “ghost town” at the end of the paved section and get some more prickly pear cactus ice cream. That was really good!

    • As mentioned, half the drive is paved, and you can always turn around at that point. We used to race our bicycles on the paved half every week in the summer and turn around when the road changed to dirt. When we did the drive a few weeks ago (Feb 2015), the dirt part was good. The drop-offs can be fatal, and I wrote about that last year in my longer post about the Apache Trail: However, we have driven this in two wheel drive cars as well as trucks many times, and have always enjoyed the trip immensely.


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