The junction of US Route 60, and State Route 88.  January, 2001.

The junction is the intersection of US Route 60 which runs between Phoenix and Globe, and Highway 88 which heads north to Roosevelt Lake before turning south to Globe.  US 60 is known as Apache Boulevard in Tempe, Main Street in Mesa, and then Apache Trail as it follows Highway 88 on to Globe.

The trail was one of many created by the Salado Indians that inhabited area surrounding the Superstition Mountains around 900 AD.  The trails were later used by the Apache Indians to raid other Indian villages along the Salt River.2

Until 1903 when overland access was required to transport materials and supplies to the Roosevelt Dam construction site, the trail had been known as the Tonto Trail since it lead from the Salt River to Tonto Basin.  Around 1919, it was given the name Apache Trail by officials of the Southern Pacific Railroad.3

As late as 1944, the sum total of Apache Junction enterprise was one gas station. It was, however, a remarkable station.  On Sundays, a 3 piece hillbilly band played music in the lobby. Behind the station rattlesnakes were featured in a crude zoo.4

City of Apache Junction web site.

A welcome to travelers entering Apache Junction from the east on US Route 60.  January, 2001.


To the east of Apache Junction on the north side of US 60, a dirt and rock road winds steeply up the side of prominent little hill. A sign on US 60 appears to proclaim the road to be "Silly Mountain Rd."

Silly Mountain Road actually runs north from US 60 immediately to the west of the mountain. and not up the mountain.  It was named by Harry Cadwalader, a road grader who worked for Pinal County. His family was the second to have a home on the road, where they lived for 13 years until his death in 1985. One day he told his supervisor he would like to name the street, to which he attached the name "Silly Mountain Road."a

It is unclear whether Mr. Cadwalader intended to describe the mountain or the road as silly.  The road up the hill has now been cordoned off from vehicle access, but having made the attempt, it is your author's opinion that silly should apply to those that drive up the steep, rocky incline.

A common housing structure with the Superstition Mountains in the background.  November, 2000.

1. "Table DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000--Arizona," American FactFinder, U.S. Census Bureau. Back to text

2. Lynn M. Bremner, "Flash Flood on the Apache Trail", Desert USA, Digital West Media, 1996-2001. Back to text

3. Will C. Barnes, Arizona Place Names, The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1997, p.23] Back to text

4. Marshall Trimble, Roadside History of Arizona, Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula 1986, p. 195. Back to text

a. Clay Thompson, "Mountain road not so Silly," The Arizona Republic, Sunday, December 17, 2000, p. B18. Back to text

This page was last revised on 07/13/04.