Arizona's oldest highway
Apache Lake has remained a relatively untouched gem due to the nature of its location. Apache Lake Marina and Resort is only accessible via the Apache Trail, also known as State Route 88. The Apache Trail is a historical route completed in 1905, and is known as one of the most scenic drives in Arizona. The trail winds through the Superstition Mountains, passing Goldfield, Canyon Lake, and Tortilla Flat, eventually arriving at Apache Lake.
The Apache Trail provides drivers with the opportunity to experience the untainted, absolute beauty of Arizona’s wilderness. View thousands of saguaro and other species of cacti, marvel at fiery igneous rock, catch a rare gila monster or coatimundi crossing the road, and share the same views as westerners in the early 1900s.
“The Apache Trail combines the grandeur of the Alps, the glory of the Rockies, the magnificence of the Grand Canyon, and then adds an indefinable something that none others have, to me, it is the most awe-inspiring and most sublimely beautiful”
-Theodore Roosevelt, 1911
The Apache Trail is paved for the first 25 miles, and turns to dirt for the remaining seven miles when driving from Apache Junction. The trail was declared Arizona’s first historic highway, and a portion remains unpaved in order to preserve its historic integrity. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is in charge of keeping the road graded and maintained, but the dirt road is exposed to the elements, which means it is prone to potholes and washboards on occasion.
Directions to Apache Lake
The drive to Apache Lake is approximately 2 hours from the Phoenix Metropolitan area.
How to Get to Apache Lake?
The most common route is from Phoenix, Arizona.
- Take the I-10 to the US-60 East
- Exit Idaho Road, and drive north on Idaho Road
- Turn right on Route 88 (also known as the Apache Trail)
- Continue on Route 88 for approximately 25 miles of paved road
- The paved road turns to a dirt road- continue on the dirt road for another 7 miles
- After 7 miles of dirt road, there will be a sign for Apache Lake Marina & Resort. Turn left down the paved road for 1 mile
- At the bottom of the hill in a tan building with a green roof. This is our main building. Turn in here.