6 Ways to Explore Apache Junction

AZ Lifestyle Guide

6 Ways to Explore Apache Junction

Apache Junction, the city straddling Pinal and Maricopa counties, sits at the crossroads of Old West Highway and the Apache Trail. The semi-rural area is home to spectacular vistas just east of Phoenix.

There’s immense history tucked into Apache Junction and great wonders, too. Whether making a short visit or considering Apache Junction properties for your next real estate adventure, read on for more on the area’s many attractions.

1. Thrill to the living history of Goldfield Ghost Town

Anyone who's ever dreamed of living in the Old West will love touring Goldfield Ghost Town. A reconstructed 1890s town, Goldfield is a living museum dedicated to some of Arizona’s most interesting history. Walk down the street and feast your eyes on the selection of merchants and attractions mingling together in the hot desert sun. Grab a snack at the Coffee Cantina and Bakery, have your photo taken at Time after Time Antique Photography, or browse the fossils and turquoise jewelry on display at the Blue Nugget.

There are various entertaining things to do in town that will spark your imagination. Tour the Mammoth Gold Mine, also known as the Mormon Stope, the founding of which gave the town its start, and learn about the little-known history of Arizona’s gold rush. You can also ride Arizona’s only narrow-gauge train, pan for gold and gems at the Prospector’s Palace, and test your skills at the shooting gallery. An old-west gunfight is also staged on the street. If you’re game for a spookier experience, take the walking ghost tour through the town at night and hear about the ghosts who are said to reside there still.

2. Take in the awesome views from the Superstition Zipline

The Superstition Mountains form the eastern border of Apache Junction and are only a few minutes away from the center of Goldfield Ghost Town. The Superstition Zipline offers spectacular views of the area on a four-minute ride that covers 1,200 feet. As long as riders meet the height and weight requirements, the ride invites all ages to enjoy the zipline safely. Rides are offered daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but the real magic lies in the sunset and night rides on Fridays and Saturdays. View the desert like you’ve never seen it before at Golden Hour. The zipline was created by designer Stan Checketts, the mastermind behind some of the biggest amusement park attractions in the country, including features at properties like MGM, Six Flags, and Disney.

3. Hit the links at the Apache Creek Golf Club

Playing golf in the desert isn’t for the faint of heart, with high-quality courses designed to test every skill. The Apache Creek Golf Course is such a course. Located on South Ironwood Drive, the course is a turf-style desert course with hearty grass to hold up against the elements. This championship course is an 18-hole masterpiece featuring panoramic views of the desert alongside small- and medium-sized greens and a handful of water hazards.

The par-71 course debuted in 1994 and boasts a plethora of extra amenities. A snack bar and grill are present to keep you satiated before and after the round. If you need a club fitting or new accessories, look no further than the full-service pro shop, which is open from sunrise until 5 p.m. Test out your new gear at any available practice facilities. A driving range, two practice greens, and a chipping green with an attached bunker allow you to warm up and perfect your shots before you take to the course.

4. Cover some ground at Silly Mountain Park

Spend the day hiking through the trails in Silly Mountain Park, just off Route 60. Choose your degree of difficulty, and you’ll quickly find a trail that matches. Trails such as Brittle Bush, Palo Verde, and Superstition View are more accessible hikes for less experienced individuals that still offer excellent views of the desert scenery and the Superstition Mountain range. Those ready for a more strenuous trek will be rewarded with some of the most stunning vistas Silly Mountain offers. From the Old Mine trail to the Huff and Puff trail, hikers will find a great deal to see and explore. The Silly Mountain Park botanical walk is the newest addition to the park and is laid out in a figure eight, with more than 280 indigenous plants and 35 species available for viewing.

5. Set sail on Dolly Steamboat tours 

Sightseeing on Canyon Lake, just 30 minutes from Apache Junction, has been a local pastime since the 1920s. The Superstition Mountains have been the birthplace of many legends, many of which you can still hear today when you take a tour on the Dolly Steamboat. The Dolly Steamboat welcomes visitors and guests of all ages and carries 142 passengers for various excursions. Most guests love the six-mile nature cruise, and many others thrill to night cruises. You can enjoy the twilight dinner cruise just as the sun sets or climb on board for the astronomy dinner cruise and take in a presentation on the solar system as you witness the stars and the moonlight reflecting on the water. Bighorn sheep, various birds and waterfowl, and bald eagles roam freely in the area and can often be seen. Relax in the air-conditioned upper or lower cabins and see if you can spot any indigenous Arizona wildlife while you cruise.

6. Take a hike in a state park

Hiking in Apache Junction is a great way to explore the desert landscape firsthand. Surrounded by stunning state parks and natural beauty, there’s never a wrong time to pack a camera, stock up on water and sunscreen, and hit the trails. The Lost Dutchman State Park is open to visitors year-round, offering up campsites, trails, and access to the Tonto National Forest on the north and east sections of the park. The park got its name from a legend about a Dutchman’s hidden gold mine in the area. Though the tale has long drawn visitors searching for gold, what they find is the magnificence of the Superstition Mountains, the state park, and the Sonoran Desert lying beyond. There are trails suitable for beginner and experienced hikers.

Considering a home purchase in Apache Junction?

Once you’ve fallen in love with everything the area offers, it may not be long before you make an offer on a piece of Apache Junction real estate. With the breathtaking desert stretching around you and the bustle of Phoenix not too far away, Apache Junction has a great deal to recommend it. When you’re ready to find your new home here, don’t go it alone. Stephanie Mitchell and John Gordon are highly qualified real estate agents you can trust to find your next property. They have assisted in many hundreds of home sales in Apache Junction, Chandler, and Gilbert. Reach out today to find out how she can help you find your next property.

*Header photo courtesy of Trip Advisor

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