4-26-09 Sunday (Dam It!)

Ann, Jim, Dasher and I took a beautiful scenic drive today. It's called the Apache Trail Scenic Byway. It was a 5 hour drive. We stopped off at a Subway, and packed our cooler with sandwiches and beverages for the trip. Most was paved road, some dirt. Here's the trail's description:

This historic road covers some of the most rugged terrain in Arizona. The land surrounding the road rises steeply to the north to form the Four Peaks Wilderness Area and to the south to form the Superstition Wilderness Area.The Superstitions have drawn people for thousands of years, and its innermost canyons harbor springs and thousand-year-old Indian ruins. Steep-sided canyons, rock outcroppings and magnificent geologic formations are all along the road. Fish Creek Canyon is perhaps the most awe-inspiring section. The road hangs on the side of this high-walled canyon and winds its way along tremendous precipices that sink sheer for hundreds of feet below.

The first part of the Apache Trail climbs a hairpin road through the desert, revealing how the Sonoran Desert survived for a millennia by traversing along the path to the Salt River, and then along to Theodore Roosevelt Lake. The paved portion of this road goes past a ghost town, and Canyon Lake, which offers first-rate fishing, mostly for bass and catfish. The upper stretches offer a scatter of camping spots and lovely cliff-side inlets. The upper lake also hides Skeleton Cave, the site of a grim battle in 1872. There, a cavalry patrol trapped a band of Yavapai Indians during the infamous Tonto Basin War.

Take advantage of the several opportunities to camp along this road, and five miles north of Apache Junction is the Lost Dutchman State Park, where not only can you camp and picnic, but you'll also find trails leading into the Superstition Wilderness. The western slopes of the Superstitions have some of the most spectacular wildflower blooms in western Arizona, with Mexican gold poppies, blue lupine, and purple owl clover. Although not as frequently visited, Apache Lake offers excellent fishing and some of the best camping in central Arizona. When the lake is full, it stretches for 17 miles and measures 266 feet deep. The water supports the area's wildlife, including deer, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, ringtails, mountain lions and bighorn sheep.

After the trail, we freshened up and attempted to find a Friday's for dinner. 3 locations the GPS found we closed down. One was closed back in 2007. I'm sure they exsit somewhere in the area but we gave up and went to Olive Garden. Yum.

Here's today's photos:

Above: Roosevelt Dam

Above: Overlook to Roosevelt Dam.

Above: Picnic area with a boardwalk.

Above: Picnic area.

Above: Our picnic area. Enjoying our Subway.

Above: View from the picnic area.

Above: Dasher snuggles in the Jeep.

Above: View from a 1 lane bridge.

Above: Going through the one lane bridge.

Above: You'd have to look close but this tree has about 4 ornaments hanging in it. Done for fun?

Who knew the desert could be so pretty, eh?


  1. Such pretty sunny photos Gar. You really outdid yourself today (yesterday, whatev).

    I really like the sound of the Superstition Wilderness area. Kind of spooky and Indian burial groundy sounding.

    What did you have at OG? I will close my eyes and try to taste it vicariously through you.

    PS: My sister Lisa thinks I may have permanently harmed you with the description of myself in today's post. But I will assure her you've seen far far worse. LOL!

  2. Oh yeah... Roosevelt Dam is gorgeous. And more photos of Dasher please.

  3. Wow...you're getting some awesome photos! Wish i was there!

    I love the picture of the dangly yellow bloom, are you using a macro lens?

  4. Thanks Walk On. Yeah, my little Cannon digital camera has a macro setting.


  5. I love that pic of Dasher all snuggled up in the blankie!!


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