Create your own Arizona day trip experience!
Whether you wish to plan a trip to see nature and wildlife, learn about the history of the southwest or just want to get away from it all Arizona has a variety of places to see and things to do that will interest any recreational adventurer.
Day trips make a refreshing break from the chaos of the daily routine. They can also be cheap, since many of the areas are distant from the city.
Arizona features a surprising range of terrain that includes desert, grassy lowlands and vegetated mountain regions. The climate found across the state also shows much variety.
And you don’t have to travel far to appreciate this assortment of scenery. In the summer you can take a break in the cool, nearby hills, while the lower lying areas are more popular in the winter months.
Apache Junction received its name due to its location. The town is at the junction of U.S. Highway 60 and State Highway 88. The Apache Trail was created in 1905 as a route from Phoenix to the construction site of the Roosevelt Dam.
This route, which traced the old Apache ways across the desert and through the cavernous canyons, was used to transport men and needed supplies. Today the Apache Trail is one of the most scenic drives in Arizona.
The area experiences very little rainfall, humidity or wind. This is offset by generous amounts of clear days and sunshine that average near the top of the national list in these categories.
In 1922 George Cleveland Curtis decided to choose this location to sell food and drink to those traveling outside of Phoenix. One year later Curtis built the Apache Junction Inn.
By the 1950’s others arrived in town and began living in RV parks and small houses. There were enough residents at this time to form a town. Residents wanted to call the town Superstition City. However, the name could not be changed because the town was already recorded as a historical site.
Since incorporation in 1978 the town has encouraged growth and businesses. Homebuilding has flourished and Apache Junction has long been a popular destination of winter visitors because of its mild winter climate. The town has attracted as many as 300,000 winter visitors a year.
Although distant from Phoenix and not a part of Maricopa County, Apache Junction is still considered by many to be a part of the Valley of the Sun.
Today, Apache Junction caters to young dual income families with children, recreation seekers and retirees. There are a wide range of properties available in Apache Junction to suit any dwelling need or desire for visiting or residence.
Apache Junction is a gateway to the Tonto National Forest, the Superstition Wilderness, the famous Apache Trail, the historic Old West Highway, and the Salt River Chain of Lakes.
Superstition Peak within the Superstition Mountains offers hiking, horseback riding trails, and picnic areas.
Canyon Lake, Apache Lake and Roosevelt Lake are all conveniently located within the Salt River Canyon making waterskiing, boating, fishing, hiking and mountain biking conveniently close to Apache Junction.
The southwest contains lots of history and Apache Junction is no exception. There are museums, territorial structures (preserved and not preserved) and sagebrush strewn plains chock-full of myth and legend.
The Goldfield Ghost Town was a gold mine boomtown in the 1890’s. Today the Mammoth Mine has been reconstructed, so that visitors can see what life was like back then. Visitors will see mining pieces, antique shops, an underground mine and railroad equipment. The town has exhibits you can tour, along with carriage rides, a railroad train tour and gold panning. The Apache Greyhound Park ‘N Swap is great place to shop for bargains in the morning and enjoy dog races in the afternoon. It is a day of fun.
The Superstition Mountain Museum collects and displays the artifacts, history and folklore of Apache Junction and the surrounding area. In fact, some of the most popular legend comes from this area.
Most everyone has heard the legend of The Lost Dutchman Mine. Seems there was an old prospector, Jacob Waltz, who suddenly began to appear regularly bringing with him hefty helpings of rich gold ore. Questioned about it, he remained silent to the day of his death in 1891. Since that time many have searched in frustration and futility to find Jacob Waltz’s secret.
Do you think that you and your friends can solve the puzzle of Mr. Waltz’s secret cache? Or does the specter of The Crazy Dutchman continue to giggle from behind his confounded riddle?
What we do know is that Jacob Waltz did exist. There are many government documents that support the fact Waltz lived in Arizona Territory from 1863-1891. But whether or not he has a rich gold mine in the Superstition Mountains remains unanswered; so if you’re up to the challenge then come on out and try your luck!
For those who want to learn more of the legend but aren’t up to tussling with the ghost of Jacob Waltz there’s the Superstition Mountain Lost Dutchman Museum. The exhibits highlight the facts and the myths that surround the man and his exploits.
Visitors in search of treasure and outdoor recreation share the sights with campers, hikers, horseback riders and conservationists. Several movies and television programs have also been filmed in and around this scenic location.
So join the happy travelers of this wonderful wilderness area and discover your world.
See which features of this community appeal to you the most.
History, nature, and memorable experiences are all a part of what Arizona offers those who live, work, and visit. So consider the things this area has to offer the next time you take off to discover Arizona