Apache Junction Things to Do

  • Hwy 88 road around the mountains
    Hwy 88 road around the mountains
    by BruceDunning
  • Two lakes around the Apache trail
    Two lakes around the Apache trail
    by BruceDunning
  • Two of the main lakes
    Two of the main lakes
    by BruceDunning

Most Recent Things to Do in Apache Junction

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    Tortilla Flat, enjoy cold beer/sarsaparilla

    by jumpingnorman Updated Mar 11, 2013

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    Tortilla Flat along Apache Trail, Arizona
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    Tortilla Flat is one of the attractions on the Apache Trail which actually started as a stage stop in 1904 and now known serving cold beer/sarsapilla with eeal saddles serve as bar stools with the unique backdrop of wallpaper made of dollar bills from visitors worldwide.

    When we visited there was outside music being enjoyed by the people. And at the end of the complex is a little museum where my daughter met a lady dressed in Indian garb and who showed her mink furs. The lady said that they also staged some shows on the premises.

    There are also gift shops with interesting items, but my wife was more interested in the ice cream which was so yummy.

    UPDATE

    VT member Bahador Alast visited Arizona this March 2013, and we went on the 10th on the Apache Trail. I made a great video of our day on this amazingly scenic location. It had rained the day before & the place was so nice and cool, with a nice patch of clouds over Superstition Mountains. Hope you like this video:

    APACHE TRAIL VIDEO 2013

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    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
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    Goldfield Ghost Town from the the 1890's

    by jumpingnorman Updated Mar 11, 2013

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    Goldfield Ghost Town, along Apache Trail, Arizona
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    After you pass the Susperstition Museum on Apache Trail, you will see this amazing rustic town from afar and you will wonder what it is. Yes, it is a ghost town!

    The twins loved this place and it truly is an amazing place to bring the children too. It is of course with some commercialization, but that's okay because it is what brings the ghost town to life. You will see staged gunfights for free (just outside the jail) and then at the end of the main road, you will see the Church on the Mount where regular services and weddings are held on Sundays.

    There is also a train ride that you can enjoy with the kids - it is only about 20 minutes on one and a half mile of tracks (with narration of history of the goldmines). The goldfield mine originally started in the 1890's, then revived a few years later but because of the decrease in the the gold vein/ore, the town eventually died. But due to its proximity to the Apache Trail, it continues to be a favorite ghost town.

    UPDATE

    VT member Bahador Alast visited Arizona this March 2013, and we went on the 10th on the Apache Trail. I made a great video of our day on this amazingly scenic location. It had rained the day before & the place was so nice and cool, with a nice patch of clouds over Superstition Mountains. Hope you like this video:

    APACHE TRAIL VIDEO 2013

    Goldfield Ghost Town
    Goldfield, Arizona 85219
    480-983-0333

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    Boat Rides on the Lakes

    by BruceDunning Updated Jan 2, 2011

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    Dixie Belle at the dock
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    Both Canyon Lake and Sagurao Lake has paddle boats for rides. The rides last about 90 minutes, and run every two hours, or so, when season demand and weather permits it. Cost is $20 for adults, and $12 for children. The boats are located at the main docks in the primary harbors.

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    • Photography
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Tortilla Flat

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 29, 2010

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    View of the town in the flat
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    This rebuilt strip of buildings looks like the original. The draw now is to drive out here for a meal at the restaurant, featuring chili and burgers. The burgers were mediocre at best. The inside is going back in time with little changed since the owner take over in 1998. The buildings are replicas of the ones that stood here when it supposedly was a Post Office and way station for riders, with a population of 6. Established about 1825, it has had a lot of "history". Today the restaurant, gift shop, and ice cream parlor are the features.

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    Lakes of Superstition

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 29, 2010

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    View of lake locations off Hwy 88
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    There are four lakes which all serve as dams for water retention for the city. Saguaro, and Canyon Lakes are the more popular for recreation boating and fishing. The others are harder to get to form the Phoenix side. Both lakes are 10 mile long, and 20 miles of shoreline.

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    • Beaches
    • Fishing
    • Skiing and Boarding

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    Goldfield Ghost Town

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 29, 2010

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    View of the town coming in view
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    A place to see some sites of the old days. They built this "town" back in 1988, and it sits on the actual area where gold was mined/processed. I was amazed at all the buildings, and it even has a restaurant steakhouse. There are about 20 shops and tour sites, including a train ride, gold mining in the tunnel, etc, etc. I went into the museum, and they had some very interesting information in the small but good history. Cost is $3 to enter. WAlking around is free, but the gold mining venture and train rides do cost.
    This is a very authentic type old town during gold hunting days.

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    Supersition Museum

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 29, 2010

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    View of the museum and gift shop
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    This is a fairly nice museum. It seems like it would be small inside, especially since the gift shop takes u 1/2 the space, but it is power packed inside. They have some great exhibits/displays and a great deal of reading the the times and events during the heh days of 1850's-90's in this area. Gold did not pan out after a while and things declined.
    There used to be a movie set out in the Wilderness, and they replicated some items, and carried back the church and some buildings. Now they have been working on a gold grinder in the back, that is rather to be close up to see the size, and note how it works.

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    Superstition Mountain Views

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 29, 2010

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    Hwy 88 long range view-north side
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    These are very beautiful mountains, and I feel do not get the recognition they should for the wonder to these jutting out of the landscape. They are rugged and colorful, but not too high in elevation; maybe 1500 feet maximum. Each side of the mountains has a different color aspect and rock formations.

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    Superstitions-Maps

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 29, 2010

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    Map of the topo terrain of peaks
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    The road along the Superstition Mountains was not completed until around the 1950's, and even then some is still dirt and not drivable all the time. From mile 222 to 226 while we were there, it was closed. The loop around the whole mountain range is about 130 miles. Take Hwy 88 over to Roosevelt Lake-can't do that now though-and then on to Globe and Hwy 60 for 40 miles.
    Apache Indians used to live and hide in these mountains during attacks (not just us easterners). The mountains became famous when Jacob Waltz found a pure gold nugget, and people came to dig/mine the area. Not much was found and the Waltz Lost Dutchman Mine is still lost.

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    Get your maps/brochures at Chamber of Commerce

    by jumpingnorman Updated Jan 10, 2010

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    Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce, Arizona
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    Before you go on the Apache Trail, it might be to your best interest to drop by the the Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce. The one-level small building is conveniently located at 567 W Apache Trail (phone 480-982-3141), and it is just outside a little commercial strip mall complex. Easy to find.

    The lady at the desk was very welcoming and very accomodating and they have an amazing collection of brochures of interesting things to do in the area. I really suggest going here first for an overview for what to expect before you go on the 55 mile Apache Trail.

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    Canyon Lake Dolly Steamboat Cruise - 90 minutes!

    by jumpingnorman Written Jan 10, 2010

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    JumpingNorman and wife, Canyon Lake cruise, AZ
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    Canyon Lake is located just about ten miles from the start of the Apache Trail, and there is a steamboat called Dolly that offers 90 minute cruises on this magnificent lake with amazing views of lime-green moss/grass covered desert mountains dotted with Saguaro cacti.

    I just bought tickets on-line and this is advisable to make sure you have seats for the 12 or 2 PM cruises (actually when we went in January 2010, there seemed to be a 4PM cruise but it might be the dinner cruise that they also offer). BE SURE YOU PRINT YOUR E-TICKET! The ticket was only $20 for adults/$12 for kids over 4 yo --- as of January 2010... It was a Saturday when we went and the boat was full and it was nice to have reserved tickets that I just printed at home.

    The main wildlife we saw was the ram-looking desert bighorn sheep that looked majestically immobile on the highest rock of a mountain with the clear blue sky as a great background – thought it was a statue until it moved!

    And then, they do have popcorn, chips and chocolate on the boat but no hotdogs or food. My wife asked why and apparently they prefer that you eat at the restaurant beside the ticketing office. We did not do that and just ate at a Mesa restaurant instead, but we would surely come back someday probably for the dinner cruise.

    The views are amazing and unfortunately, we did not see bald eagles – maybe those were herons and turkey vultures. But the Dolly Steamboat website said there may be bald eagles - http://www.dollysteamboat.com/index.html

    Blue herons, bald eagles, turkey vultures and desert bighorn sheep are some of the wildlife you will see around the lake...we just borrowed the binoculars from the attendants but it would be nice to bring your own.

    To purchase tickets by phone, call Zerve at 800.979.3370 or 212.209.3370. To request additional cruises and our summer schedule, please call 480-827-9144

    1-1/2 hours • Prices include tax
    Adults: $20 • Children 5 to 12: $12 • age 4 and under free

    Do not go to the Moon Vista St office - the boat is not there! You have to go to the marina (beside the restaurant) itself, and the closest address for GPS users is 16802 Hwy 88, Apache Junction, AZ 85219

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    • Cruise
    • Family Travel

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    Visit the Superstition Mountain Museum

    by Basaic Written Sep 9, 2008

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    Superstition Mountain Museum
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    The Superstition Mountain Lost Dutchman Museum is located 3 1/2 miles northeast of Apache Junction on Arizona Highway 88, and consists of 3 main parts. The main part is the museum itself. It contains a Natural History Section; a Military History Exhibit; and a Jacob Waltz "Lost Dutchman" Exhibit. The story or the "Lost Dutchman Mine" is well known Jacob Waltz claimed to have found the richest vein of gold anywhere and had a few pieces to prove it. However, he took his secret to his grave when he died in 1891. Treasure hunters have been searching for the vein every since. The museum also has an amphitheater built from blocks from the Roosevelt Dam. They are in the process of recreating an old-style stamp mill to show how gold was extracted from quartz. The second part of the complex is the Elvis Presley Memorial Chapel The chapel was used in the movie "Charro" and contains Elvis memorabilia and other movie items. The last part of the complex is the Apacheland Movie Ranch Barn. The barn was used in several movies and TV serials shot at Apacheland. It was taken apart piece by piece and reassembled here. It is full of a collection of western equipment and memorabilia. There is also a gift shop where you can but books about the area, postcards and other souvenirs. Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day from 9AM to 4PM.

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    • National/State Park
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Goldfield Ghost Town

    by AVG2319 Written Jun 24, 2008

    An authentic 1890's ghost town is a fun place to visit to experience the Old West. There are "mock shootouts" on the weekends, streets have people in period costumes. There are numerous buildings to explore, horseback riding, panning for gold slivers, and the kids favorite a train ride. All set with a beautiful backdrop of the Superstition and Goldfield mountains.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel

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    Apache Trail

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 13, 2006

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    Canyon Carved by the Salt River

    Rather than continue on highway 188 toward the south, we turned west at the Roosevelt Dam onto a twisting and unpaved road known as the Apache Trail. This scenic route, hugging the mountain sides for the 41-mile drive from Roosevelt to Apache Junction is known as the Apache Trail. Along the way you will look down onto the twisting Salt River and pass through amazing canyon scenes of eroded igneous rocks. The road is very narrow in places and it is not recommended for large RVs. We were unfortunate in that it was an overcast day so we did not get to enjoy the full colour of the rocks along the trail. Also, the power line carrying the 36 MW output of the dam snakes its way along beside the road, often interfering with the visual beauty. One further word of warning, it is best to take this drive BEFORE you see the Grand Canyon!

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    • Business Travel

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    Weavers' Needle - "home" of a huge gold deposit ?

    by Trekki Written Sep 13, 2004

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    Weavers' Needle

    The area east of Apache Junction is called Superstition Mountains.
    If we believe the legends of late 19th century, a huge gold mine is there, somewhere deeply hidden in the wilderness.

    There are different hiking trails in the area, one leading to Weavers' needle.
    (approx. 1,5 hrs roundtrip from entrance).

    Park entrance fee (please contact park for further information);
    open from sunrise to 10 p.m.

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    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking

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Apache Junction Things to Do

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