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East of Phoenix, Arizona, is the historic Apache Trail which travels through the Superstition Mountains region. The mountains are rugged and unforgiving, but they have a strong and mysterious draw on the adventurous type. While traveling along the Apache Trail, you will be able to access different regions that offer various desert experiences. Canyon, Apache, and Roosevelt lakes offer a wonderful reprieve from the desert heat during the summer months. President Theodore Roosevelt, once said "the Apache Trail combines the grandeur of the Alps, the glory of the Rockies, the magnificence of the Grand Canyon, and then adds an indefinable something none of the others have. To me, it is the most awe-inspiring and most sublimely beautiful." President Roosevelt visited the region to view the large dam named after him, which is found at the end of the route at Roosevelt Lake. As it was once called, the Mesa-Roosevelt road was built from 1903-1905 by contractors vying for the bids on the dams planned for the region. When the Roosevelt Dam was completed in 1911, the tourists began to flock to the area via wagons and stagecoaches from Globe. To help boost local business, it was eventually decided to rename the road Apache Trail. Although sections follow ancient Native American routes, the name was strictly for the tourists. It's now a popular route for a scenic drive or enjoying one of the many recreation areas that line the route. The Tonto National Forest has numerous recreation areas that can be visited while making your way on the trail. Please keep in mind some recreation areas require a Tonto National Park day-use pass or an Annual National Parks Pass. It is recommended that you obtain a pass in town before beginning the route because the recreation sites do not always have passes.
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