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Author Topic: AZ 88; the Apache Trail  (Read 2208 times)

Max Rockatansky

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AZ 88; the Apache Trail
« on: April 19, 2020, 02:44:04 PM »

Back in the early 2000s I used to frequently drive the entirety of AZ 88 on the Apache Trail from US 60 in Apache Junction east to AZ 188 at Roosevelt Dam.  The Apache Trail was built as a stage route to haul materials for the Roosevelt Dam project which took place from 1903 to 1911.  The Apache Trail was one of Arizona's first Auto Trails and for a good portion of the early 20th Century was the main highway from the Phoenix area east to Globe.  The Apache Trail appears on the 1925 Rand McNally Arizona/New Mexico Highway Map co-signed in sections with; the Lee Highway, the Bankhead Highway, the Southern National Highway, the Atlantic Pacific Highway, and the Old Spanish Trail.  When the Arizona Sign State Routes were commissioned the Apache Trail was intended to be designated AZ 66 but US Route 60 changing to US Route 66 forced the designation to be changed to AZ 88.  AZ 88 today has a large unpaved portion east of Tortilla Flat which remains unpaved and is a good reminder of how major highways used to be in the early 20th Century.



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Re: AZ 88; the Apache Trail
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2020, 06:29:40 PM »

On one of my previously frequent trips to the Valley of the Sun, I did the Apache Trail from AJ (Apache Junction) to Roosevelt Dam, then back to US 60 and through the Queen Creek Tunnel back down to the east Valley. The one-lane portion of the unpaved road hanging from the side of Fish Creek Canyon was most likely the scariest piece of road I've even been on in my 64 years! But the experience & the scenery were well worth it.


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Re: AZ 88; the Apache Trail
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2020, 08:48:27 PM »

Unfortunately, AZ 88 is closed west of Tortilla Flat.  Between the wildfire and flooding of late last year, and the rock slide just west of AZ 188 3 weeks ago, it is completely closed over most of its length.  I haven't seen any indications of when it will reopen at either end.
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