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Apache and Roosevelt Lakes...

Desert_Captain
Explorer III
Explorer III
Just returned from a quick 2 day/night trip to Roosevelt Lake to celebrate my 71st birthday. The windy Hill CG is just 50 miles from home so accessing its beauty is all too easy. For this trip we towed our 10' cargo trailer hauling our Polaris Rzr SXS. I had long wanted to explore the Apache trail {AZ 88 west} fromRoosevelt Dam down to Apache lake.

The dirt road is heavily wash boarded with lots of steep climbs and drops but the scenery is awesome making the effort involved worth it. The 12 mile ride down to Apache Lake took nearly an hour and consider we were driving a UTV. Lots of folks drive full size RV's and or tow trailers and boats but doing so is not for the faint of heart.

There are a number of places where the road is one lane with no room to pull over. if you are going downhill you must be prepared to stop and back uphill until you reach a wide enough spot for both vehicles to pass {uphill vehicles have the right of way}.

The road is currently closed to through traffic due to serious fire and monsoon damage over the last 3 years. While the turnoff for Apache Lake is 12 miles south of the dam the road continues another 14 miles coming out at Tortilla Flat east of Apache junction. Sadly this section of road remains closed pending the needed repairs. That section is almost all one lane and squeezing by oncoming traffic gets down right spooky though the views are amazing.

Just 4 miles south of the dam is the Burnt Corral campground with most of its sites right on the river/lake. I will probably attempt it next fall in our 24' Class C {but not towing} when the water is still warm and the weather mild. The wash boards will require going very slowly but those 4 miles seem doable. The CG is gorgeous and has flush toilets but no electricity.

Here are a few pics from our ride:




expect one lane bridges:



Burnt Corral CG:







:B
7 REPLIES 7

Cummins12V98
Explorer III
Explorer III
Try riding the Apache Trail on a full dress MotorCycle!!! NOT fun but we were low on fuel and committed. Tortilla Flats never looked so good and an adult beverage or two.

2015 RAM LongHorn 3500 Dually CrewCab 4X4 CUMMINS/AISIN RearAir 385HP/865TQ 4:10's
37,800# GCVWR "Towing Beast"

"HeavyWeight" B&W RVK3600

2016 MobileSuites 39TKSB3 highly "Elited" In the stable

2007.5 Mobile Suites 36 SB3 29,000# Combined SOLD

RKW
Explorer
Explorer
Thanks for posting that. Brought back a lot of good memories.
Ryan

  • 2015 Ford F250


  • 2015 Rockwood Signature Ultralite 8280 WS


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    The wages of sin are death; but after they're done taking out taxes, it's just a tired feeling.

Desert_Captain
Explorer III
Explorer III
I think the biggest challenge on the Trail are the numerous narrow, often steep sections and no there are no guardrails a nd zero room to pass any other vehicle. Driving a 4wd truck or even SUV doesn't pose that much of an issue but God help you if you are towing a boat, TT or even a fiver... and lots folks do. Meet one of them at a tight narrow spot and it is game on! :S

Drop offs along much of the trail can be hundreds of feet straight down and while my bride took lots of pictures I stayed focused on the task at hand... driving. Not to say I did not have a blast but then driving a RZR SXS is always a hoot and probably the ideal vehicle for this particular ride.

As always... Opinions and YMMV.

:C

rk911
Explorer
Explorer
joebedford wrote:
Loved your photos - brings back memories. Tortilla Flat has good ice cream.

Always did the trail on my Harleys. My VRod was my favourite because I could shift without clutch. That way I could hold my camera in my left hand and record the whole trail. Got some funny looks from white-knucklers in Jeeps 🙂

The road on the other side of Roosevelt Lake is really good too.


i guess we're all differnt. i would not classify the Apache Trail as a 'white knuckle drive'. maybe in a 2-wheel drive car but certainly not in a 4WD.
Rich
Ham Radio, Sport Pilot, Retired 9-1-1 Call Center Administrator
_________________________________
2016 Itasca Suncruiser 38Q
'46 Willys CJ2A
'23 Jeep Wrangler JL
'10 Jeep Liberty KK

& MaggieThe Wonder Beagle

joebedford
Nomad II
Nomad II
Loved your photos - brings back memories. Tortilla Flat has good ice cream.

Always did the trail on my Harleys. My VRod was my favourite because I could shift without clutch. That way I could hold my camera in my left hand and record the whole trail. Got some funny looks from white-knucklers in Jeeps 🙂

The road on the other side of Roosevelt Lake is really good too.

rk911
Explorer
Explorer
thanks for the memories. we drove the Apache Trail from AJ (Apache Junction) to Roosevelt, twice. Once, just us, in our Jeep Wranger. we stopped at the Flying Dutchman, Tortilla Flats as well as the dam. The second trip we took our friends in our Jeep Liberty. i remember hearing the horror stories of the EB descent from Tortilla Flats (where the paved section ended) to the dirt road and so we were a bit tense on that first trip. but that descent proved no big deal...we put the Wrangler into low and it crawled down he hill all by itself. a delivery truck on the way up passed us with room to spare. Same with the Liberty a few years later. we were "camped" in Mesa so we took US60 home. wonderful memories.

if you would like to experience a really good 4-wheel road you need to drive Schnebly Hill from Sedona to I-17. starts out in Red Rocks on a gravel road and morphs into a dirt road through a forest. another wonderful drive.
Rich
Ham Radio, Sport Pilot, Retired 9-1-1 Call Center Administrator
_________________________________
2016 Itasca Suncruiser 38Q
'46 Willys CJ2A
'23 Jeep Wrangler JL
'10 Jeep Liberty KK

& MaggieThe Wonder Beagle

midnightsadie
Explorer II
Explorer II
been there really loved the pics. burnt corral is a great place. pics brought back a lot of smiles.over on roose lake we stayed at the camp ground for a month. fished for those huge crappie every day. was stopped on the roose bridge one time, they were filming harly motor cycle movies.