The Apache Trail

Yes, this is another winter ride report…what can I say?  Sunday I was looking for about 5 hours of saddle time.  A road ride was tentatively planned, but the Dos has been pulling me tighter into its web the past few days, and she wouldn’t be denied. 

The Apache Trail is a popular scenic byway NE of Apache Junction roughly paralleling the now damned Salt river.  Wilderness areas lie to the south and north; the views are nonstop.  The first bit is paved, then there is a 22 mile section of dirt road with varying levels of quality.  Some of it is pretty harsh washboard – the Dos and big wheels were good to have.

Apparently not all of the land to the north is wilderness.  If you like this mountain:

It can be yours!

The initial paved section of road is a semi-popular out and back road ride.  Lots of short climbs and finishes with a longer (for the lowlands) climb.  My recollection was that it leveled out some after the infamous Fish Creek hill…man was I wrong!  As it turned out, the road is either up or down with few level sections.  Grades are pretty steep too.  Many climbs in the 4-10 minute range and one a touch longer.  Great stuff!

The downside:  traffic.  Doing this on a Sunday is a duh move…ate pounds of dust.  Probably a lot less traffic on weekdays…

The midpoint (end of the Apache Trail) is Roosevelt dam.

At one time this was the largest masonry dam in the world, and IIRC it was built circa 1906.  I was surprised to see it isn’t a masonry dam anymore, at least on the surface.  I’m sure all the intricate brick work is under that ugly concrete…I think a few years back (maybe in the 90’s?) they did a rework and height extension to take advantage of big melt years.  Lakeshore property owners must have been up in arms about that project!  “sorry landowners, build your house on stilts or get a big snorkel.”

About a mile south of the dam is the Roosevelt marina, supposedly with a store but I never did find it.  Ended up finding water and Pepsi (!) at a national forest welcome center.  This is a good restock option…nice foks there – one of the rangers saved my day when I jammed the Pepsi machine by sticking a sweaty dollar bill in…

Time to turn this horse around, 40 something miles later I’m back at the truck, grinning the post ride grin. 

The tunes werre great today, BTW…the power file of the ride is here.