Apache Trail

4.2/5 (18 reviews)
Apache Junction, Arizona (Maricopa County)
Last Updated: 02/28/2023

Trail Information


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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.2/5 (18)
Permanently Closed
Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/10/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The paved section of the road is open, but there is a metal gate in the dirt section that's padlocked shut. I think Apache Trail is closed for good.
Permanently Closed
Visited: 02/18/2022

Metal Gate, closed permanently per the local. The road completed washed or covered with large rock in several sections.
Official Crew
Temporary Closure
Visited: 06/25/2021

Tonto National Forest officials will close the state’s largest national forest due to ongoing extreme fire danger beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 25. The forest is implementing this forest closure as a precaution to protect the health and safety of the public, employees and firefighters by reducing the risk of human-caused fires. No one is allowed in the closure area, including Forest Service personnel, unless they are responding to a wildfire or other emergency or patrolling to ensure enforcement of the closure. The order shall remain in effect until July 31, 2021 or until rescinded, whichever occurs first. Residents or businesses using roads in the restricted area to the extent necessary to access their private property are exempt.
Partially Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 02/24/2021

Recent road closures have closed this road. It is open from Tortilla flats up to Fish creek Vista. It appears this road will be closed for quite some time.
Official Crew
Temporary Closure
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/03/2020

Tonto National Forest has been temporarily closed because of extreme fire conditions. This is a link to the official closure notice https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tonto/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD759503

From the Community

Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Start Free Trial