the Apache Trail (27 miles of dirt), wild flowers, and cliff-dwellings.... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Talking the Apache Trail (27 miles of dirt), wild flowers, and cliff-dwellings....

My AZ riding window is starting to come to an end for this season, so yesterday I suited-up (did NOT wear my MX boots because I was planning a bit of a walk), got on BIG RED and headed N from home to Apache Junction about 0830, where I would join onto AZ 88 - the Apache Trail.

It was made to bring building materials to the Roosevelt Dam during its construction, following old trails along the Salt River, and is now paved from the W end to about five miles past Tortilla Flats, permanent home to a few (five?) residents as well as a bar/ restaurant visited by many, then becomes a 'reasonable' dirt road for about 27 miles (a "bit" wash-boardy, tho'...)!

Where AZ 88 begins is right beside the Superstition Mountains



then it winds its way E (that's the Four Peaks in the distance)



until Canyon Lake comes into view





w/ wildflowers along both sides of the road



and then Tortilla Flats itself.



I'm NOT sure WHO they hung..., but heading further E there's more flowers



and a 'gratuitous' shot of BIG RED....:grin:


Ed
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 10-29-2015 at 01:11 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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the DIRT part...!

Shortly after the road turns into dirt, you see notices that a "one lane road" is coming up, known as the Fish Creek Hill, QUITE steep, VERY narrow. The first pic gives an idea of how it steepens



but then you get into the REALLY steep, narrow bit





but the pics do NOT do it justice - here's the road out of the bottom



then the view back UP.



Once at the bottom here's a view looking UP at the Hill (I've put the pic in twice - second one has the road high-lighted in black).





FWIW - on a motorcycle it can be a bit "hairy" meeting a pickup on that hill, in a cage - MUCH hairier! - so I always recommend people ONLY 'do' the Apache Trail going E, NOT UP the hill as you'll be on the side w/ the drop-off!!!

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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I HAVE ridden UP the Hill, but ALWAYS standing on the 'pegs, and CAREFULLY...!



From there the road follows along Apache Lake (just visible in this pic) at center-left



w/ ANOTHER gratuitous shot of the V...



then the Salt River as the road continues





tho' these pics don't capture the amount of washboard, pretty much making "on-the-pegs" mandatory for a LOT of it!

But soon the Roosevelt Dam (and paved surfaces...!) comes into view





then the "Rainbow Bridge" just above the dam allowing traffic N and S on AZ 188.


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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 10-29-2015 at 01:17 PM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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the Tonto ruins...

Where AZ 88 joins AZ 188 I turned S towards Globe anticipating the REASON I wore riding boots I could walk in.

About five miles down 188 there's a sign for a right turn into the Tonto Nat'l Forest site to view the ruins. During the 'couple-of-mile-road' in I saw a four foot long rattle-snake crossing the left-lane, but my view for pics was blocked by two pick-ups, so you just have to take my word for it. I've looked at the ruins from the parking lot MANY times



but THIS time my plan was to climb the path to them. I removed my helmet and gloves, locked them to the bike, grabbed water and a bagel, then started up in my mesh jacket and pants. Part way up a woman in a tee shirt and shorts stopped me, said..."You must be HOT in all that?" but I replied "No place to store my stuff" continuing up, figuring I was WAY cooler than she was as my sweat could cool me instead of just blowing away (it was around 90F) as it was for her. Soon I entered the cliff dwellings









After another 15 minute hike down to the parking area, I was soon back into my helmet and riding down past where I'd seen 'Mr Snake' earlier.

At the bottom of the hill I again turned S onto 188, till a mile further a sign saying "SCENIC VIEW" indicated a turn right to where you can see the OTHER Tonto ruins, the UPPER ones several miles from the site I'd just visited and only accessible from a guided tour lead by park wardens, ... OR from here!



After that I rode about 15 miles S to Globe, then turned W onto AZ 60, where I saw these flowers near Claypool



then finished off my "flower-tour" w/ this flowering tree near my home.



Got home at 1330, five hours and 160 miles from when I started.


Ed
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 10-29-2015 at 01:21 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 05:09 PM
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Sounds like a great ride! Thanks for the pics!

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 06:57 PM
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great post!

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 08:22 PM
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Absolutely great photos and words, but Tortilla Flats does lose a bit of its romance with an entire trash bin squadron lined up in front.

Arion

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 09:13 PM
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Great pics.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 10:24 PM
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Your rides kinda make me sick with jealousy, especially if those are close to you. Sweet pics!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 06:35 AM
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Stunning fotos, Arizona is a great area to get out and ride.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 08:03 AM
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It's a toss up of who I'm more envious of Mr. Fast or Mr. Rocks.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 08:42 AM
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Nice pics and write up too. I was jealous of you getting to ride this time of year. Then I remembered, you said it was 90 degrees out and it's only March. I figure I'll be riding in July while your holed up with the air conditioner. Now I don't feel so bad. Except I still won't have a riding area anywhere near as cool as your back yard.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 11:07 AM
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What a great ride day! That was awesome, thanks for sharing all the nice pics.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arion View Post
Absolutely great photos and words, but Tortilla Flats does lose a bit of its romance with an entire trash bin squadron lined up in front.
Guess that's to 'service' all the H-Ds that ride out for a beer, then turn around BEFORE the dirt starts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kawdawg View Post
Your rides kinda make me sick with jealousy, especially if those are close to you. Sweet pics!
Takes about 40 minutes riding BIG RED before I turn onto the Apache Trail...!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarleau View Post
Great ride Ed. If BC is anything like the east coast... don't come home. Stretch it out.
Hi today in Kelowna is 13C (56F), so it's RIDING weather when I return NEXT Thursday...!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACK DOG View Post
It's a toss up of who I'm more envious of Mr. Fast or Mr. Rocks.
...and I've been lucky enuff to ride w/ jdrocks, as well as chat w/ him in Dawson at D2D 2013!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stud Muffin View Post
Nice pics and write up too. I was jealous of you getting to ride this time of year. Then I remembered, you said it was 90 degrees out and it's only March. I figure I'll be riding in July while your holed up with the air conditioner. Now I don't feel so bad. Except I still won't have a riding area anywhere near as cool as your back yard.
By summer I'll EITHER be in Alaska, or returned to BC, riding in 90 to 105F...

and loving EVERY minute!

Ed
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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It's a toss up of who I'm more envious of Mr. Fast or Mr. Rocks.
Also I have to say - THANKS!

It's an honour to be mentioned in the SAME sentence w/ Dave (jdrocks)....

- -

Ed
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 02:30 PM
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Beautiful photos. Seems like an awesome ride. I wish we had more cool stuff around here like that. My city is just so...flat...
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