5. From Phoenix: Apache Trail Tour with Canyon Lake Cruise
With daily departures and convenient pick-up points from most Phoenix metro area hotels, this is the tour to take for a journey to Apache country. You will experience the true spirit of the Sonoran Desert on a full day’s outing.
Once you’ve met your guide at your hotel, depart for a drive east in to the Superstition Mountains. You will wind through spectacular Sonoran Desert landscape on the way to Canyon Lake.
Before you get there, rest at Goldfield Ghost Town, a fun and fascinating replica of an 1890s mining town. Admission is free, but there are some extras that you might want to enjoy, such as a ride on Arizona’s only narrow gauge train as it circuits the town perimeter.
Pan for gold or watch an old West gun fight if you get the chance, or simply stroll and explore the historic buildings and stores.
Next you will travel to Tortilla Flat, an authentic remnant of an old West town that is tucked in to the heart of the Tonto National Forest. Here you can grab some lunch and check out who is hanging out at the Ice Cream Parlor. Seat yourself on a bar stool made from real saddles in the Superstition Saloon.
The tour continues to Canyon Lake for a 90-minute narrated steamboat cruise. Located at a convenient rest point on the Apache Trail, you will discover fascinating facts about the historic stagecoach route as you watch for the unique wildlife.
As you pass through canyons and marvel at rock formations, look out for bald eagles, blue herons, big horn sheep and turkey vultures. Sit back and relax on this leisurely section of the tour. You will soon be heading back through the desert for the return drive to Phoenix.