En route back to Phoenix from the Dolly Steamboat tour (see previous blog), we made two stops. The first was Tortilla Flat.
This little roadside tourist town started life as a stagecoach stop in 1904. It’s reportedly the last surviving stagecoach stop along the Apache Trail. It’s population has never been more than 100 and currently is 6. A farmer from Indiana purchased the town in 1998 and revived some buildings lost to flood (1942) and fire (late 1980’s).
If you’re taking a drive out of Phoenix to visit Tortilla Flat, it can be accessed by following State Rte 8 via Apache Junction. It’s situated in the Tonto National Forest in the Superstition Mountains, so there is beautiful scenery along your drive.
When we visited, there was an outdoor stage with live entertainment adjacent to the parking lot. From there, we did a walk-about to explore the artifacts which lay along the pathways, the few historical buildings and the 2 shops along the plank sidewalk.
The highlight, (and primary destination for most travelers), was the Superstition Restaurant and Saloon. Here, we bellied up to the bar on the saddle bar stools for cold sarsaparilla and had fun with the “sheriff” (aka the lady bartender complete with her badge and water pistol to tame down any rowdy customers). We stayed for lunch where I enjoyed possibly one of the best taco salads I’ve ever tasted. The walls of the restaurant and saloon are decorated with dollar bills signed by tourists from around the world. The ladies’ restroom is a fun photo op, and … It’s always 5 o’clock in Tortilla Flat.
If you’re in the Phoenix area and looking for a scenic drive to a destination that provides a couple hours of fun and good food, I’d highly recommend checking out Tortilla Flat.
“Travelling the road will tell you more about the road than the google will tell you about the road.”
― Amit Kalantri