State Route 88 (Apache Trail)

project map

Due to the potential for severe flooding from areas burned in the Woodbury Fire in June 2019, a 7-mile, unpaved section of State Route 88 (Apache Trail) from the Fish Creek Hill Overlook/Rest Area (milepost 222) to Apache Lake Marina (Milepost 229) remains closed for public safety reasons, due to extensive roadway damage and rock debris.

The Woodbury Fire consumed almost 124,000 acres of the Tonto National Forest. In September 2019 a storm dumped approximately six inches of rain onto the fire scar and the runoff severely damaged large portions of the road, with the most damage being in the area between Fish Creek Hill Overlook and Apache Lake Marina. The damage included a large rockslide that left that section of the road unpassable. The runoff from the Woodbury fire burn scar is considered an ongoing risk with future storms.

While ADOT has a highway easement for SR 88, the underlying landowner is the US Forest Service. ADOT, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and Arizona Game and Fish, is currently allowing UTVs, equestrians, hikers, and bicyclists to access public lands via SR 88 on the Apache Lake closure side to access the Reavis Ranch Trailhead. ADOT, in conjunction with the US Forest Service, namely the Tonto National Forest, will continue to put public safety first in consideration of allowable uses on the closed portion of SR 88.

ADOT crews have worked to restore access to key destinations along the trail, including Tortilla Flat and Canyon Lake. Motorists can also reach Apache Lake by taking SR 188 either from US 60 or SR 87 and taking SR 88 west from Roosevelt.

As conditions and roadway restrictions/closures change along SR 88, ADOT will continue to inform the public.

Current status

  • Apache Junction (milepost 194) to Tortilla Flat (milepost 212) - Open to traffic
  • Just east of Tortilla Flat (milepost 213) to Fish Creek Hill Overlook/Rest Area (milepost 220) - Open to traffic
  • Fish Creek Hill Overlook/Rest Area (milepost 222) to Apache Lake Marina (milepost 229) - Closed to traffic; UTVs, equestrians, hikers and bicyclists allowed
  • Apache Lake Marina (milepost 229) to Roosevelt (milepost 242) - Open to traffic
 

Next Steps

The state legislature has appropriated funding for an SR 88 study to evaluate revegetation in the Woodbury burn scar area and what options are feasible from a long-term construction and maintenance cost perspective on restoring access to Apache Trail and the Tonto National Forest area. Based on the study findings, ADOT can determine how best to proceed.

ADOT is finalizing the procurement process for the study, and plans to start it early 2022.

Background

State Route 88/Apache Trail was constructed in 1904 to provide construction access for the Roosevelt Dam, which was completed in 1911. Much of the route, particularly east of Tortilla Flat, retains its original historic character.

SR 88 Apache Trail
SR 88 Apache Trail
Several areas along SR 88 required work due to water damage.
 

First two photos show the rock fall damage to SR 88 caused by the Woodbury Fire. The third photo shows repair work completed by ADOT