Central Arizona RV Adventure
By Doreen E. Fiorillo
We began our RV road trip from Apache Junction, Arizona, where we settled in for the winter at Superstition Sunrise RV park, a luxury 5 star RV resort www.superstitionsunrise.com, which lies just about 30 miles east of Phoenix. It is surrounded by the Superstition Mountains where summer days reach three-digit temperatures, and winter nights rarely drop below the mid-40s. “AJ,” as the locals have fondly named the town, is much smaller by comparison to Phoenix and Mesa, its neighboring cities on the west side.
The population in AJ swells by the thousands in the wintertime when northern snowbirds (the human variety) flock to the city that seems to be identified by its many RV resorts and 55-plus communities. If you’re an active senior, you simply can’t beat the more peaceful, less congested environs of Apache Junction.
The desert landscape of AJ is arid, so it took us by surprise to see flowering bushes, bougainvilleas, and towering palm trees, all growing in harmony with the many varieties of cacti. What was more astonishing was learning that, there are many beautiful lakes nearby for boating, fishing, and water sport activities, and camping.
In Search of Water
The Apache Trail (Route 88) provides a scenic drive up into the Superstition Mountains, amid curves that prompt us to fasten our seat belts. There are few guardrails. The drive is a short one from Apache Junction, about 30 minutes, and with each ascending level up the mountainside, our perspective changes.
Soon, the depth and breadth of the canyon come into full view, and the scope of the mountain layers is far-reaching, Level upon level, curve after curve, the Superstition Mountains unfold their majestic view of towering spires and deep, rugged canyons. Then, out of nowhere, the final curve opens up to a panoramic view of a magnificent body of water.
The crystal-blue waters of the lake, nestled amidst the rocky backdrop of the sloping mountains, immediately capture our attention until we notice the peripheral landscape, dotted with cacti, that cradles the water’s edge. A peaceful and serene feeling washes over the traveler who has come across this threshold. Mother Nature’s artwork is awe-inspiring. We couldn’t help but take it all in.
Watching the sunlight dance on the mountainside, we gazed into the coves and watched the watercraft maneuver a waterway that seemed to lead nowhere and everywhere.
As the trance receded, we took a closer look around, noticing the entire vista with the marina, picnic areas, and campsites along the beach. We drove through the campground on this beautiful October morning, and it was peaceful there — a genuine hideaway from city life.
RV’s Are Welcome
Campers were tenting close to the water’s edge, and RV’s were parked in designated spaces, all having a water and mountain view. We inquired about rates that range from $20 for day camping during the week to $38 per night on the weekends. Sites have water and electricity with 30 or 50 amps, fire rings, and picnic tables.
At the marina, pontoon, runabouts, kayaks, and canoes are available to rent on an hourly, half-day, or full-day basis and the Dolly Steamboat is a fun and educational narrated cruise adventure. Being guided through the secluded inner waterways, we learned about the legends and lore of the mountains and had ample opportunity to take outstanding photos.
Fishing at Canyon Lake is enhanced by the varieties of fish stocked in the lake, such as large and smallmouth bass, crappie, rainbow trout, walleye, bluegill, channel catfish, and yellow bass.
For the hikers, there are foot trails that lead to remote springs and more canyons with ravines that twist and turn through this rugged mountain range.
There is the Lakeside Restaurant where you can sit on the deck and have a meal and a cocktail while you enjoy the breathtaking scenery that is Canyon Lake.
Finally, if you run out of supplies while camping, there is a camp store for your convenience.
Doreen Fiorillo is a freelance writer who has traveled extensively in her RV. She enjoys writing about her many RV adventures throughout 42 states.