There’s no denying that Arizona’s roads were made for road trips. Our state has long stretches of highway and many of them are often quite empty at any given time of day, which makes travel and exploration both personal and fun. But you know what would make that travel even more exciting? A themed road trip. That is why I put together this:
Now, am I going to guarantee that you will have some kind of horror movie experience during this road trip? No, and I honestly hope you don't experience that. However, this is a trip through rural parts of Arizona that are abandoned, haunted and dilapidated, so at the very least you are bound to experience some eerie feelings. Plus, a significant portion of this trip is along the Apache Trail (Route 88), which is notorious for its white knuckle drive.
Pack up some water, snacks, hiking gear, and an overnight bag and check out the recommended stops along the way. You can even access the map by clicking on
this link here
. Feel free to omit a couple of stops, especially if you are unable to hike.
1. Goldfield Ghost Town
Our first stop is at a well-known tourist attraction that will hopefully get you in the right mood for the entire trip; a replica of the old ghost town, Goldfield.
Once the home of the old mining town Goldfield, very little of the original town exists. In the 1980s, a tourist attraction was built on the same site as the former town and serves as a replica for what the town may have once looked like. Plan to spend an hour or two here to check out the attraction and see some of the artifacts.
2. Lost Dutchman State Park
Our next stop is a short drive from Goldfield to the Lost Dutchman State Park, which features the rugged Superstition Mountains. At the very least, it will be a short relief from driving on Apache Trail.
Named for the tale of a German immigrant who haunts his lost gold mine in the mountains, a stop at this state park will give you a closer look at the unique landscape and nature found in this part of the state. If you are able, try out a short hike on Treasure Loop Trail (#56). It measures 2.5 miles overall and is moderately difficult. If you want to make it a shorter hike, Jacob's Crosscut Trail (#58) cuts across the loop.
3. Tortilla Flat
Stop number three is at the ever popular Tortilla Flat.
A remnant of the Old West, Tortilla Flat also happens to be about the centerpoint of Apache Trail. When you stop here, be sure to check out the old schoolhouse and grab lunch at the saloon. (It's perfect if you just completed a short hike at the state park.) You might even be able to witness a (staged) gunfight, which would have been pretty terrifying back in the day.
4. Tonto National Monument
Congratulations! You survived a drive along Apache Trail. Take a deep breath and prepare for our next stop is at Tonto National Monument, a site that features some old ruins.
Will most people consider this place "terrifying?" Probably not but I have a personal (and cultural) aversion for visiting and poking around old Indian ruins, so I consider a stop here spooky in the very least. These old Salado cliff dwellings offer a unique look at Arizona's history and are even accessible through hiking.
5. Noftsger Hill Inn
Our stop for the night is in Globe, a mining town with a lot of history, great restaurants, and some haunted places.
We recommend booking a room at the Noftsger Hill Inn, which at one time was the town's local school. This hotel is supposedly haunted, so it makes the perfect overnight stay for this road trip. If you need a dinner recommendation, get some Mexican food at Guayo's El Rey.
6. Old Gila County Jail
In the morning, check out the old county jail, which is creepy and supposedly haunted.
A nice conclusion to this spooky road trip includes a stop in Superior, a small mining town that has been the site for quite a few movies. This includes plenty of thriller and horror films including "Eight Legged Freaks," "Skinwalkers," and "The Prophecy."
8. Superstition Mountain Museum
An optional final stop is to head to the Superstition Mountain Museum, which has an exhibit about the Lost Dutchman and artifacts, in addition to detailing the history and mystery of the area.
Would you go on this road trip? What other stops around this area would you recommend? Share your thoughts here or on our Facebook fan page!