The Valley of the Sun is incredible. From the nearby mountains to the boutique-lined streets of Scottsdale, the hole in the wall taco stands to the Southwestern culture that’s preserved in the Heard Museum, Phoenix has enough natural beauty and local attractions to keep even the most motivated of honeymooners busy. However, if your find yourselves sitting in the sunshine with nothing to do, we have the remedy: a drive down the Apache Trail.
A legendary route that traverses 22 miles of dirt road and several more of pavement, this drive was originally a Native American trail and is now a full day tour of the Sonoran desert with stops at Tonto National Monument and incredible views of the desert wilderness. President Theodore Roosevelt said that the trail combined the grandeur of the Alps, the glory of the Rockies, and the magnificence of the Grand Canyon with a certain something else that none of the other places contained – he called it nature’s most beautiful panorama. We completely agree.
Whether you load up your own vehicle or hop on a local tour (the Grand Canyon Tour Company leads both half and full day jaunts), there are a couple things any duo adventuring down the Apache Trail should know. First, pack your water bottles, your sunscreen, and your honeymoon companion. Second, remember that this day trip is fully customizable if you’re striking out on your own. You and your love can stop as many – or as few – times as you want, making the drive in several hours or a full day.
Canyon Lake is a favorite scenic viewpoint along the trail, and one of the few pull offs with attractions of its own. A restaurant, store, and marina can all be found here, as well as a narrated, 90-minute boat ride on the Dolly Steamboat. Fish Creek Hill boasts unmatched views of the Superstition Mountain Wilderness, but for a tourist-friendly taste of Arizona’s history, stop by the shops and buildings of Goldfield, the only ghost town in the state.