Driving The Apache Trail: Everything You Need to Know

Directly east about an hour outside of Phoenix is a beautiful scenic drive called the Apache Trail.

Driving the Apache Trail: Everything you need to knowThe Apache Trail is a 40 mile scenic drive through the Superstitious Mountains. Not only will you get to see beautiful mountain views, but there’s also 3 lakes throughout the entire drive.Driving the Apache Trail: Everything you need to knowThere is camping and boat docking available at each lake. However, during certain seasons or times of the year camping areas can be closed. During our drive 2 of the camping areas were closed. Why? I really don’t know, but they were closed. Always check online ahead of time to see what camping is open.

Driving the Apache Trail: Everything you need to knowI also just want to mention that I’ve developed an obsession with cacti. As in the plural of cactus. mostly the tall ones with the arms that come out from them but these short circular ones are pretty fascinating to me too. Anyway, moving on….

Driving the Apache Trail: Everything you need to know

Things to know if you go

The entire trail takes about 2 hours to drive through

That’s without stopping for photos along the way. If you’re stopping for photos it’ll take you longer. NOTE: once you drive through the entire trail, you will be kind of in the middle of nowhere. You’ll be on a highway but still it took us another 1.5 hours to get back home once we had driven through the entire trail. Basically I’m saying, this is a several hour excursion. Budget at least 5 hours if you plan to drive through the entire trail.

Driving the Apache Trail: Everything you need to know

Drive carefully

Apache Trail is known as one of the best scenic drives in all of Arizona, but it is also extremely dangerous. One of the first places we pulled over to take pictures was off of an extremely steep mountain side. It didn’t take us long to notice that there was car wreckage at the bottom of the mountain, clearly the rubble from a car accident.

Driving the Apache Trail: Everything you need to know

About 20 miles into your drive there will be a small “town” called Tortilla Flat

This isn’t a real town. It’s a make shift old-western town, complete with a restaurant and a mercantile store, and an ice-cream shop.

Shortly after Tortilla Flat, the paved road will turn into this dirt road

It will be very bumpy and curvy at times, and as you can see there’s no railing to keep you from tumbling down the mountain 100’s of feet to your death…just saying.

Driving the Apache Trail: Everything you need to knowThe dirt road views are by far the best views

If you have the time and are not freaked about by completing the entire drive, it’s worth it.

Watch for animals

Rattle snakes, mountain lions and stray cattle are very common in this area. Always be on the look out and aware that an animal could jump out at anytime.

Driving the Apache Trail: Everything you need to knowFill up with gas and bring water

There are most definitly not gas stations every 5 miles on this drive, and trust me as beautiful as the scenery is this is not a place you want to be stranded.

Driving the Apache Trail: Everything you need to know

Now get out there and enjoy nature!

Just outside of Phoenix, Arizona lies the scenic and beautiful Apache Trail!

Have you ever done a scenic drive? where was it? 


Have done Apache Trail several times and both directions. It’s a great ride but you can’t be a nervous Nelly. If you clamp your eyes shut you will surely go off the road!

Absolutely gorgeous photos. I’ve driven through Arizona a couple times, but have never been able to stop and enjoy it! Next time I’ll have to though! Cute leggings by the way.

Love these pictures! Makes me want to get out and explore!!

and the pics don’t even do it justice. i was absolutely stunning.

Okay you have me convinced I need to go to Arizona. Also I want your leggings.

i get an unreal amount of compliments on those leggings! casey got them for me for my birthday, and no joke at all, he picked them out without any help at all. i was so impressed with him! haha.

Add Your Comment

Fine Print participates in select affiliate programs. This means that if you make a purchase through certain links on the site or any related social media platforms, may make a commission at no extra charge to you from that purchase. You can view our privacy policy here.