Driving the Apache Trail
Apache Junction was our next stop for driving the Apache Trail.The Apache Trail is Arizona’s oldest highway built in 1905 and a renown scenic drive. We left Apache Junction early and went via Globe and then drove to the Tonto National Monument and Roosevelt Dam. From the dam you hit a dirt road for around 22 miles. We stopped a lot to just enjoy the views. Wonderful mountains and only wish I had a better camera to do justice to the scenery.
Globe is the site of an old Salado Indian village site. It is also near a large copper mine which is still operating. Besh-Ba-Gowah is an ancient Salado Indian ruin. Besh-Ba–Gowah means place of metal and the name was given to it by the Apache. The village was established around A.D 900 and abandoned in 1400. The departure of the Salado was probably due to lack of water. It cost $5 entry which includes a short film, museum, the site and an ethnobotanical garden with native Arizona desert plants. It takes a few hours to wander around everything.
The Tonto National Monument
The Tonto National Monument cliff dwellings are in shallow caves overlooking Roosevelt Lake. The dwellings are around 700 years old. Access is only to the lower dwellings and you need to organise prior to your visit permission to get access to the upper dwellings.
The caves are around a leisurely 20 minute walk up a paved path. There are plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the view. In rattlesnake season do look before you sit down! At the dwellings are a couple of rangers who are able to give you lots of information about the history of the site. The rooms are quite small and there are great views down to the lake.
We stopped at Tortilla Flats Superstition Saloon for a bite to eat. The town is literally around six stores. The saloon was a funky place with saddles for bar stools which was quirky. The walls are also plastered with dollar bills signed by previous patrons. Food was good. I had the super hot chilli. It was! My wife ordered the Grand nachos which were enough for four people. If you visit then check out the bathrooms and their artwork.
We then drove back to our campsite at Apache Junction after a full day of visiting sites and enjoying some great scenery.