End of the Trail
Apache Junction was named for being the end of a 50 mile trail called the Apache Trail. This trail was named for its history of raiding Apache Indians on small settlements along the trail.
Steeped in western history many people have avoided living in Apache Junction. First, because it was considered dangerous "cuz a them Apache injuns". Secondly, it was considered a sleepy town and slow to catch up to the current standards of living. This sentiment plagued the town for decades. Builders made attempts to have projects and subdivisions work but it couldn't get past the stigma for marketing. That along with downturns in the market place many builders said they would not try to build in A.J. again because "we already lost a shirt there once..."
Most people were just passing through to Phoenix. It was a retirement community in the 50's through the early 90's way before Del Webb invented the Sun City concept.
Prior to that it was an out of the way town for early pioneers, gold hunters, and trading posts.
It began to have a culture of its own. Many people, presidents, Hollywood actors, and foreigners would come for the mud springs type baths and spa treatments. This gave the town a cult like following of tourists. The sleepy town stayed that way for decades.
Apache Jucntion is at the foot of the Superstition Mountains. Two county's claim this city, Maricopa County and Pinal County.
There is a peculiar sign written on a foothill in Apache Jucntion which displays an arrow pointing west, to the left stating in the arm of the arrow <=Phoenix=}. It points the way for pilots of all aircraft to Sky Harbor. It could help a lost hiker or two as well.
The city has come a long way in the last twelve years.
There is a seasonal restaurant called the Mining Camp just North of the city. If you are hungry and you feel like experiencing the old west, this will satisfy that appetite... hearty roast beef or chicken, smashed potatoes, home made biscuits (little loaves of bread)and fresh corn and green beans. Its an incredible eating experience.
Most can only endure it once a year like Thanksgiving. A feast in the ole timer mining camp of yesterday. Its not meant to be an all you can eat type restaurant yet this is what happens because of the generous portions.
Of course, A. J. claims the right to our famous
. With the Superstition Mountains as a backdrop; Hollywood has used its dramatic setting for movies like, "Point Last Seen" starring Linda Hamilton and Holly Belnap.
In the past 10 years developers have taken a stronger interest in A. J. because land has been fairly cheap compared to other metropolitain areas. There are now beautiful homes,million puls dollar homes available with parks and very nice schools.
Mesa has finally grown out to Apache Junction. It's about time!
Their is a lake named after Theodore Roosevelt about 50 miles from the City, along with Canyon lake and of course, what else?, Apache lake. These lakes are part of the Salt River Project.
President Roosevelt himself stated that the Apache Trail with all the sights and lakes and rock formations was "one of the most spectacular, best worth seeing-sights in the world." Its true there are whole industries now built around these sights.
The wonderful jeep tours are popular with all winter visitors. This city is more popular than ever. Come and see the mix. There is a mix. Affordable, folksie yet progressive.
Apache Junctions <====
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