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Tonto National Monument

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St. Augustine...
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Tonto National Monument

Traveling from the west, Apache Junction, is the Tonto National Monument off the paved or unpaved portion of the Apache Trail?

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Mesa, Arizona
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1. Re: Tonto National Monument

To get to Tonto National Monument from Apache Junction via the Apache Trail you will have to drive over all of the unpaved section of the trail.

St. Augustine...
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2. Re: Tonto National Monument

Hmm. Back to the drawing board. Thanks so much.

Mesa, Arizona
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3. Re: Tonto National Monument

You can get to Tonto National Monument from Apache Junction via paved roads/state routes. You would take 60 thru Superior to Miami (very nice drive IMO), to rt 188. Google maps says it's about a 90 minute drive.

You could return the same way or continue on 188 to rt 88 (the Beeline Highway) to the Bush highway, which would be about two hours.

tucson az
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4. Re: Tonto National Monument

Tonto NM is at Roosevelt Lake. The directions from Marian take you on a somewhat scenic drive. It would be about 1.5 hours from Apache Junction, which would be about the time necessary to drive the Apache Trail. There is also an interesting native ruin at Globe called Besh-Bah-Gowah.

Tonto NM is interesting. It has granaries which still held viable grain after 700 years. There were other ruins in the same area but they are now under water in the lake.

Sedona, AZ
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5. Re: Tonto National Monument

I think Marian meant for the return trip, take 188 to 87 (Beeline Hwy), not 88 which is the Apache Trail....then continue onto Bush Hwy. I like this return route very much. I recommend it!

St. Augustine...
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6. Re: Tonto National Monument

Thanks for the clarification. I figured that was what Marian meant. We'll give this some more thought. I'd really like to get over there, but time is limited.

Mesa, Arizona
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7. Re: Tonto National Monument

If you haven't been to Casa Grande National Monument, it would be a bit closer. Or you could go to the Pueblo Grande museum in Phoenix, or Mesa Grande Park in Mesa.

St. Augustine...
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8. Re: Tonto National Monument

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm tweaking this part of our trip right now. I certainly appreciate all your help.TA is the best!

St. Augustine...
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9. Re: Tonto National Monument

Okay, how bad is the unpaved portion of the Trail? We'll have an intermediate SUV. I know that the rental contract would be voided if we drove it on the unpaved road. Here's what we're doing. Traveling from Grand Canyon Village to Payson arriving mid-day on the 23rd. Want to visit Lost Dutchman (and would love to see the Tonto Monument) before having to return rental car by 6 PM in Phoenix on the 24th. If we can't get to TM, we plan to go as far as Tortilla Flat on the 24th and then back to Lost Dutchman in the afternoon for the best photography light. Then on back to Phoenix. Any other suggestions?

What should we not miss between GCV and Payson, for short stops? Oddly, we'll be in the SW for almost four weeks, and this is the only day I can't figure out!

tucson az
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10. Re: Tonto National Monument

The Apache Trail is an official AZ highway, and as such is regularly maintained. In order to get an official answer you would need to ask a rental car company, however travel on such a road may be permitted. The unpaved portion is about 20 miles. It has some switchbacks and blind curves in one area. You can't drive fast. The payback is that there are very scenic areas looking down into the Salt River Canyon and the lakes. At the end, just when the pavement resumes, there is an overlook of the dam which is impressive and the suspension bridge which was built just beyond the dam across the "neck" of the lake. All that is if you are coming from Apache Junction, which may not be necessary.

Your last note is confusing. So you will be coming from Payson? You can get to Tonto NM without driving the Apache Trail. South of Payson, Hwy 188 goes directly to Roosevelt Lake. Tonto NM is a few miles beyond the bridge at the dam. You could return via the route Marian outlined to Hwy 60, and then drive on the paved part of the Apache Trail to Lost Dutchman SP.

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