Arizona Sightseeing…Come Visit Tortilla Flat

Anyone who comes to visit us in Arizona gets to see Tortilla Flat–it’s one of our favorite places to see!

This past spring my daughter and her boyfriend flew to Phoenix for a short visit. The boyfriend grew up in a small town in Illinois (3,000 residents) and had never been to Arizona. We took the kids on a drive through the Tonto National Forest in the Superstition Mountain Range along the historic Apache Trail to a town called Tortilla Flat.


Tortilla Flat got its start as a stagecoach stop in 1904 and is the last surviving stop along the Apache Trail. Past fires and floods destroyed the buildings but residents have rebuilt each time. Tortilla Flat is thought to be Arizona’s smallest official “community” having a U.S. Post Office and voter’s precinct. The town has a population of 6.


There was no road to Tortilla Flat before 1904. The town became a freight camp during the construction of the Roosevelt Dam. Tortilla Flat, as well as the other camps along the road to the dam, sat on U.S. Forest Service land. After construction of the dam, the people who decided to make Tortilla Flat their permanent home had to lease the land from the U.S. government and continue to do so today. Roosevelt Dam has turned Tortilla Flat into a tourist attraction.


The drive to Tortilla Flat is a winding two-lane road of breathtaking scenic views of Canyon Lake and one-car bridges. You probably don’t want to be on this road at night.


When you reach Tortilla Flat you’ll be hungry, so stop in at the Superstition Saloon for good eats and their signature House Beers: Superstition Mule Oil and Snake Venom.


The saloon’s claim-to-fame, besides good food, are the dollars bills tourists stick to walls and the fun cowboy saddle stools at the bar.








While you’re in town you can watch a gunfight or listen to a live band outside on the quaint patio with the backdrop of the mountains. And before you leave be sure to get your picture taken in a toilet seat.

If you’re ever in the Phoenix area I highly recommend taking this day trip!






I’m offering a digital copy of a reader favorite that led to one of my best-selling series, Cowboys of the Rio Grande. The three delinquent teenagers in A Rodeo Man’s Promise eventually got their own books. (A Cowboy’s Redemption, The Surgeon’s Christmas Baby and A Cowboy’s Claim)

For a chance to win tell me where you take friends or family when they come to visit you. 

I will announce the winner of this drawing on Sunday November 12th in the comment section of this post!


Until Next Time…Happy Trails!











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33 thoughts on “Arizona Sightseeing…Come Visit Tortilla Flat”

  1. If we don’t want to go too far, we go to Havre de Grace, a small town at the top of the Chesapeake Bay. Wonderful promenade, lighthouse, and great ambiance. If we have more time, Inner Harbor in Baltimore or Annapolis.

    • Denise, I’ve never been to a lighthouse-that sound like a lovely trip to take guests there. Maybe one day I’ll make it back to the east coast. We loved in New Jersey for two years decades ago but have never been back after moving for my husband’s job. A lighthouse tour would be so much fun!

  2. Well, I live in a small town but we have the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg museum, a war memorial museum (my favorite) and transportation museum (from stagecoaches to the Batmobile to the General Lee from Dukes of Hazard to race cars and Elvis Cadillacs. So for a small town, Auburn, Indiana has quite a lot to offer.

    Cindy W.

    • Cindy, I love museums! And who wouldn’t want to see a and Elvis Cadillac! I saw one of his Cadillacs at the country music hall of fame in Nashville several years ago. I remember watching Dukes of Hazard 🙂

  3. There is not in town but a lot near by. Hartford has lots of historical sites as well as a wonderful art museum.

    • Hi Debra-I enjoy arts museums, my father is an artist and it’s such a kick going through a museum with him and listening to his comments on paintings-how he views them vs. how a non-artist sees the work.

  4. If I have visitors arounf the holidays I take visitors to Land of Lights Christmas Park in Athens, Texas. It’s a drive through Christmas Lights park and is beautiful and awesome that it’s in a smaller community. If it’s summer it’s off to the Azalea trails in Palestine or Tyler, the Tyler Rose Gardens or Dogwood Trails in Palestine. The drive alone from my little community of Cayuga, taking the scenic route to Tyler is gorgeous wirh the lake and huge Pineywood trees.

    • By the way I’m always looking for a new author to read. I’m fixing to start my 89th book I’ve read since the end of October last year after not reading for decades! I love the opportunity to read your book!

    • Stephanie, you had me at historical route, lol! My sister has in-laws near Tyler Texas. She just moved to the Dallas area so I’m going to pass this info on to her–she loves Christmas lights and might be up for a short drive somewhere to see them. And 89 books is fabulous!! My mother was a life-long reader and passed her love of reading down to me…although I don’t think I ever got near 89 books in a year 🙂

  5. We live on Lake Cumberland .so of course we visit the law. But there is also Pickett State Park. Natural Arch Rock bridges, caves, walking trails And an awesome swinging rope bridge….??

  6. That looks like a fantastic place to visit. We really don’t have anything that is fairly close to us. We don’t get any visitors either, so I guess we don’t have to worry about entertaining anyone.

  7. We really don’t get many visitors but if we did we would take them to the Perryville battlefield or Old Fort Harrod in nearby towns. A lot of the Civil War was faught around here.

  8. Most visitors have wanted to see something Colonial, so it’s usually Valley Forge Park, Washington Crossing Park where Washington crossed the Delaware River for the attack on the Hessians in Trenton, Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed, the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin Museum, Betsy Ross’s house, and Christ Church Burial Grounds where Ben Franklin is buried along with four other signers of the Declaration of Independence. Some other visitors have wanted to see Princeton, the Philadelphia Art Museum, and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. I’ve always felt lucky to live in the middle of such a history-rich area, and I completed my historical education by going to college in Boston, along with many other trips to Washington, D.C., Virginia sites and so on. Can you tell I love history?

    • I forgot to say to not enter me in the contest since I don’t have an e-reader. I’d rather visit an old printing press than something technologically oriented. Maybe I truly do live in the past?

    • Eliza, I need to spend a week visiting the east coast and seeing all those historic sites. Not only the sites but the beauty of the area. There’s so much history there and I’ve hardly seen any of it. 🙁

      • Plan for two weeks so you can spend a week in Boston and surrounding areas if you haven’t already been there. The Freedom Trail has the site of the Boston Massacre, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere’s house (in amazing condition), the Old North Church and the USS Constitution, Bunker Hill, the Old State House, Boston Common, and Granary Burying Ground (three signers of the Declaration–Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Robert Treat Paine, as well as Paul Revere, James Otis and Ben Franklin’s parents). Of course there’s Harvard Yard, Lexington and Concord, Plymouth and Plimoth Plantation, Salem (Hawthorne’s House of Seven Gables is there), as well as the homes (in various places) of Emerson, Hawthorne, Alcott, Thoreau, Wharton and so on.

    • Kim, I love Jerome, too–especially the drive on 89A out of Prescott which takes you into the town from above which is pretty neat to come into the town that way.

  9. One of my favorite places is Cumberland Falls, near Corbin, KY. It is a state park so there is a wonderful lodge to stay and their meals are delicious but the selling point for me is the Falls. They are beautiful to see in the daytime but if you choose to be there at night during a full moon you very likely will be able to view The Moonbow. A rainbow at night and the only other places that this occurs are at Yosemite and in Africa! Cumberland Falls had also been referred to as the “Little Niagara of the South”.
    Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  10. Marin, I love this. But you know, I think you could make a blog about cow manure appear the most interesting thing. Not that, this compares to that. No way! I’m dying to come visit Tortilla Flat. It’s my kind of town. Arizona is the most interesting place. So many historical places to visit and my list is getting longer and longer. When people come visit me, I take them to Palo Duro Canyon and then to the Big Texan Restaurant.

    • Linda, since you mentioned cow manure, lol! I can’t remember where I saw the story, maybe TV, but there’s a couple of women who collect cow patties, dry them out using a special process which takes the stink out then they sell them– people who burn them and the smoke repells Mosquitoes 🙂 Could be an interesting side business

  11. What a wonderful drive and place to visit. We have been to Arizona a few times, but not made it to Tortilla Flats. We will definitely visit there the next time. We had just started exploring Arizona two years ago when a family emergency brought us back home.
    When friends visit us, we go in several direction depending on their likes. For history buffs, we have Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park, Sycamore Shoals State Park, The Andrew Johnson National Park, the Biltmore House (about 65 miles away in Asheville, NC), and more. For music lovers there is the Bristol Birthplace Of Country Music Museum, Carter Fold, and any number of live music venues. Our town, and several others, close off Main St. Friday nights from May to September for concerts and again Saturday nights for family movies. Our town has the International Storytelling Festival the first full weekend of October. The Storytelling center is in town and has tellers year round. Jonesborough is the oldest city in the state and has a lot to offer, in a quiet way. Depending on when they come, we have a wide variety of local festivals. For the outdoors person, we have canning and kayaking and a couple of river rafting outfits.. There are many hiking trails, and the Appalachian Trail runs through the area. We are also about an hour from Smokey Mountain National Park with all it has to offer. In the same area, we have Dollywood, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for the shopper. There are many tourist attractions in both towns. If nothing else, they can sit on the porch sipping iced tea and just enjoy the view and relative quiet of the country outside Jonesborough, Tennessee.

    • Patricia, the storyteller center sounds fabulous-would love to see something like that in the future. The Smokey Mountain National Park I’d love to take my time exploring. I did 3 book series set in a fictional town in the Appalachia Mountains and loved researching the area for the book!

      • You really should try coming during Story Telling Festival. The tickets for the performances are a bit expensive, but there are tellers all over town and a venue set up for them to use and the public to watch. There are people from all over the world. It is a fascinating weekend and a perfect people watching opportunity. One of the neighboring towns has their Apple Festival the same weekend so you could attend both.

      • Patricia, even though the tickets might be expensive, it sounds like a fabulous experience and I love people watching, lol! I’ve invented a character of two in my past books from people I’ve seen at the airport while waiting for a flight 🙂

  12. Congratulations to Eliza–the winner of my “Tortilla Flat” blog giveaway! Eliza, you’ve won a paperback copy of A Rodeo Man’s Promise! I know you said not to enter your name because I was giving away a digital copy but I have a few extra paperbacks left and since the machine selected your name I want to offer the paperback.
    Thank you all for the great recommendations on places to visit in your “neck of the woods”!

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