Route 88, better known as Apache Trail, is a 39-mile winding stretch that runs through the canyons and mountains from Apache Junction to Theodore Roosevelt Lake.
If you journey down its scenic (but treacherous!) route, you will get the chance to travel around the otherworldly twists and turns of the Superstition Mountains, and throughout the beautiful Tonto Forest.
Once used as a migration and military route for the Salado and Apache tribes, the area was eventually developed for use as a construction supply route. Approximately 400 weary and mistreated laborers (many of whom were in fact Apache) paved the trail starting around 1903, in order to have quick and safe access to the construction site of Roosevelt Dam.
Later, the Apache Trail would be used as a route for stagecoaches.
Famous for its surrounding natural beauty, the Apache Trail is used today to ferry tourists to its adjoining lakes. Much of the Apache Trail route was closed in 2019 due to the Woodbury Fire and the landslides and fires that followed, but repairs are ongoing and many areas have opened back up! Always check ADOT or local sources for current road status before you travel, but the trail remains ready to guide visitors through Arizona’s natural history.
Drive up to Canyon Lake where you can take a cruise on The Dolly Steamboat.
The Dolly Steamboat first began operating in 1983, operated (and named!) by owners Dolly and Paul Kennedy.
Ownership has since changed, but The Dolly Steamboat still offers breathtaking views and life-long lasting memories.
The Steamboat Dolly’s cruises take place in Canyon Lake, traveling along the Apache Trail and treating guests to beautiful Sonoran Desert views.
Though the route is similar each time, you can choose from four different cruise themes to get the most out of your experience:
The Scenic Nature cruise allows you to enjoy wildlife like big horn sheep, bald eagles, coyotes, white-tailed dears, and more.
Twilight Dinner cruise allows you to view the majestic Arizona sunset while enjoying your dinner.
The Astronomy dinner cruise offers a presentation of the solar system hosted by Dr. Sky.
A three-hour Game and Fish cruise provides opportunity to discover with and learn from members of the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society about the ecological significance of the area.