In Family Time, Travel/Arizona

Looking for a fun day trip that is fun for the entire family? Look no further than Tortilla Flat, Arizona.

I am Arizona born and raised and all my life I’ve heard about this little place called Tortilla Flat but had never visited and never quite knew exactly what it was. That changed last weekend when my family and I made the hour and a half drive to learn and explore. Tortilla Flat is a small unincorporated community in eastern Maricopa County, northeast of Apache Junction. It boasts a population of six residents and is the last surviving stagecoach stop along the Apache Trail.

A visit will afford you a lesson in Arizona history and absolutely breathtaking views of the rugged desert landscape.

The drive from our home in the northwest part of town took just under 90 minutes, the last half hour or so were on a winding road that curved through desert cliffs past Canyon Lake. It was a white knuckle drive but the scenery was absolutely stunning.

The town has a restaurant and saloon and upon our arrival we were ready for lunch. They require masks and limit capacity to allow for social distancing. The service was attentive and the food was great, exactly what you would expect to find in a western town – burgers, chili, sandwiches and such.

We started our meal with nachos and they were generously portioned and hit the spot. My husband had a burger and I opted for a chicken sandwich both were delicious and came served with piping hot, extra crispy fries. It was a great lunch that gave us energy to explore the cute little western town.

After lunch we met up with Tortilla Flat expert/owner, Chris for tour. He was a gracious host and a wealth of knowledge. Tortilla Flat is a self-sustained community perched within the mountains. It was an instrumental part in the construction of the Roosevelt Dam, serving as a stagecoach stop for freight haulers on their way to the construction site of the dam.

In addition to the restaurant there is a mercantile selling gifts and art from local artisans, a candy store that sells sundries, sodas, ice cream and fudge, a tiny school house museum and a barbecue patio with live band. We took advantage of the sunshine and cool breeze and enjoyed some ice cream soaking up the scenery and climate.

We spent a hours enjoying all that Tortilla Flat has to offer before heading out. We stopped at one of the recreational areas at Canyon Lake and enjoyed the serene setting before heading home. It was a great day and my family loved our visit.

There are numerous hiking trails, plus Canyon Lake is close by so you could easily make a full day out of a visit to the area. It’s definitely worth a visit, kids and adults are sure to enjoy it and it’s the perfect place to take out of town guests for a slice of Arizona history!

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