Named for the junction of Old West Highway and Apache Trail, Apache Junction, Arizona, is a booming city of more than 42,000 people split into two counties, Maricopa and Pinal. As part of the only state in the country to have parts of four different deserts within its borders, it’s no surprise that the climate here is hot and sunny year-round. The westernmost peak of the Superstition Mountain Range, Superstition Mountain, is a regional landmark that stretches just over 5,000 feet towards the sky immediately east of the city. Apache Junction is ranked in the Top 5 Suburbs to Buy a House in the Phoenix region by Niche.com, one reason from a list of many why this city is so great.
The city itself is located at the intersection of an unpaved stagecoach trail and became a historical landmark and tourist site that opened in 1922. It is now a part of a 120-mile long circular trail that begins and ends at the junction. Several Native American tribes have ties to the area, the O’odham Jewed, the Hohokam, and the Akimel O’odham.
Apache Junction was once home to an 1800-acre movie set called Apacheland, originally intended to be the “Western Movie Capital of the World,” until a fire destroyed most of the movie sets in 1969. Many of the sets were rebuilt, and over the following 35 years, movies like Gambler II, Death Valley Days, Wanted: Dead or Alive, and others were filmed at the huge facility, starring such big names as Ronald Reagan, Steve McQueen, and Elvis Presley. In 2004, just two days after the 45th anniversary of the locations’ opening, another suspicious fire again destroyed most of the Apacheland property, prompting it to close a few months later.
Today, the property exists as a 13-acre plot, with the remaining buildings existing as exhibits of the Superstition Mountain Museum. This huge museum complex has indoor and outdoor sections that include galleries based on Native American history and presence in the area, the regions’ Gold Rush days, and The Legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Mine. The museum also has a small working mining rig that allows visitors to experience how prospectors did it during the mining boom, a walking labyrinth, and Boot Hill, a fictional cemetery filled with chuckle-worthy quips on the headstones of local Old West gunfighters who died “With their boots on.” This museum highlights the town, so it isn’t a place you’d want to miss.
Apache Junction, although it boasts an impressive population, isn’t only inhabited by the living. The city is home to an actual ghost town, which was once a successful gold-mining town before the local mine faulted, causing the grade of the ore to reduce and the miners to clear out. During the day, this tourist attraction has an actual gold pan-handling experience; visitors can take a ride on Arizona’s only narrow-gauge train and watch a real-life gunfight put on by the Goldfield Gunfighters. At night, however, some folks have claimed to have heard creaks and groans from some of the historic buildings. The Superstition Mountains are also said to be home to the actual Lost Dutchman’s Mine, and many hikers claim to have seen a mysterious light emanating from the range.
The gorgeous views of the mountains never get old, and the rich history of the area has evolved into a unique culture. Unfortunately, while residents of the city love it here, plenty of pest insects feel the same way. If you reside in or near Apache Junction and have termites or other pests, it’s time to bring in the professionals from 520 Termite and Pest Solutions. We have been serving Southern Arizona for over 50 years. Contact us today to for some more information and we can even give you an estimate if you like.