Captain Rick: Tortilla Flat, Arizona is a cool little old historic town nestled in a secluded desert mountain valley a few miles east of Canyon Lake, along the Apache Trail (Hwy 88), about 50 miles east of Phoenix.
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Tortilla Flat is an authentic remnant of an old west town, nestled in the midst of the Tonto National Forest, in the Superstition Mountain Range. Tortilla Flat started out as a stagecoach stop in 1904 and neither fire nor flood has been able to take away this historic stop along the Historic Apache Trail.
Mosey on down the boardwalk and visit the Superstition Saloon and Restaurant. Real saddles serve as bar stools where you can enjoy a cold brew or sarsaparilla. The unique wallpaper is made from real dollar bills from visitors all around the world. The Restaurant serves the biggest burgers, hottest chili and the coldest drinks everyday. After you have had time to walk off the great food, stop in the Country Store and enjoy a scoop of their World Famous Prickly Pear Gelato. Visit the Mercantile/Gift Shop full of amazing treasures including Indian Pottery, Jewelry, Unique Tortilla Flat Apparel and many more unique items.
You will notice that "Population 6" is posted on signs around town. It is not a joke. People really do live there and they thank you for visiting their town.
History … Tortilla Flat got its start because of the road construction to Roosevelt Dam in 1904. There was a need for a stagecoach stop for freight haulers on their way to the construction site at Roosevelt Dam and Tortilla Flat served that purpose. Shortly following the construction of the road, Roosevelt Dam became a big tourist attraction. At that point Tortilla Flat was a stage stop for tourists and mail carriers through the 1930s.
Tortilla Flat took its name from a nearby butte shaped like a tortilla.
Forest Service records show Tonto National Forest being established in 1905 as kind of a "package deal" with the Salt River Reclamation Project. The Forest Service was needed to manage the land and protect watershed for the dams because cattle grazing had denuded the land. The freight camp at Tortilla Flat, as well as the other camps along the road to the dam, were, therefore, on U.S. Forest Service land. Folks who decided to make Tortilla Flat their permanent residence kept up the lease on the land in later years whenever it came due.
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