Apache Trail is located in central Arizona, east of Phoenix. The byway begins in Apache Junction off US 60 and follows AZ 88 northeast to the community of Roosevelt on Theodore Roosevelt Lake. Apache Trail is 46 miles long and is usually open year-round. Portions are subject to closure due to heavy rain. The byway travels over dirt and paved roads with many sharp curves and an occasional narrow stretch. Vehicles pulling trailers are discouraged from traveling the section from Tortilla Flat to Roosevelt, especially over Fish Creek Hill.
The Apache Trail winds through some of the most awe-inspiring country in Arizona as it crosses Tonto National Forest. The scenic drive is bordered on the north by Canyon, Apache, and Roosevelt Lakes, and on the south by the rugged Superstition Mountains. At Fish Creek Hill, perhaps the most impressive part of Apache Trail, the road is primarily one-way and drops 1,000 feet in elevation over a 15 to 17 percent grade. Views of the Walls of Fish Creek Gorge are simply fantastic from this area.
Tonto National Forest covers nearly three million acres of rugged, scenic landscape ranging from cactus-studded desert to pine-covered mountains. Seven wilderness areas encompassing 589,000 acres are found within the national forest. Two wilderness areas are located next to the byway: Four Peaks Wilderness and Superstition Wilderness. Hiking trails can be accessed along the drive that lure you into the Superstition Wilderness.
There are several Forest Service recreation areas along or near the byway. Acacia and Boulder offer picnic facilities; a swimming beach is in Acacia. Tortilla Flat Campground has 77 RV and tent sites; all have water and sewage hookups but no electricity. Near the byway’s eastern end is the Burnt Corral Campground. It has 79 RV and tent campsites and is open all year. There is a 22-foot RV length limit at both campgrounds.
Lost Dutchman State Park is five miles northeast of Apache Junction. The nearly 300-acre park offers a 35-site campground with restrooms, showers, and sanitary disposal station. There are many desert interpretive trails here. It is also a good place to access the Superstition Wilderness.