Tortilla Campground is a winter campground just outside of the Phoenix metropolitan area. From October through April each year, urban dwellers take advantage of cooler temperatures and enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, rock climbing and scenic driving throughout the surrounding Tonto National Forest. Campers awake to a scenic backdrop of rugged bluffs, saguaro cactus and desert skies. The campground is located directly across the historic Apache Trail from Tortilla Flat, Arizona, which has a general store and restaurant.
The Superstition Wilderness Area is starkly beautiful and untamed. A series of dams has created numerous lakes along the Salt River. Blossoming plants bring the desert to life each spring with colorful flowers. The area can be harsh for travelers not equipped to meet nature on her own terms. Soaring temperatures and little water are typical conditions in the summer. In winter, temperatures are typically pleasant during the day but drop significantly at night. Visitors should come prepared for anything, even the occasional rain or snow.
The area is rich with human history, scenery and outdoor recreation. The campground lies along the Canyon Lake Apache Trail Scenic Byway, a former Apache Tribal route turned stagecoach road. Visitors may hear stories of lost cowboys and gold mining. The drive to the campground provides ample scenery, though taking a day trip to Lake Roosevelt allows for even more breathtaking views. The 21,500-acre Roosevelt Lake is 25 miles away, and the 990-acre Canyon Lake is just down the road. Both provide fishing and boating options. The Superstition Wilderness has a well-developed trail system, and the western end of the wilderness receives heavy use during the cooler times of the year. Trail conditions can be fair or poor, and several are unsuitable for horses.
The campground is large yet compact, with campsites in close proximity of one another. Every campsite has a view of the surrounding desert, some with views of mountain peaks and cliffs. The facility accommodates RVs and has sewage hookups. Each campsite comes with a picnic table and a campfire ring with a cooking grate. Services at the end of Tortilla Flat include a post office, restaurant, gift shop and public cellular credit card phone (emergency 911). Canyon Lake and Marina is located two miles west and includes public boat launches and picnic/fishing sites, a restaurant, excursion boats and boat rentals.
The 327-ft. Theodore Roosevelt Dam and lake are 25 miles beyond Tortilla Flat along the scenic byway. Tonto National Monument, which has well-preserved Puebloan cliff dwellings from the 13th to 15th centuries, is about 8 miles south of the dam. Theodore Roosevelt Dam Tonto National Monument
From Mesa, Arizona, take U.S. Highway 60 to the Idaho Road exit. Go north to State Route 88 (Apache Trail) and turn right. Continue for 18 miles on Route 88 to Tortilla Flat (the campground is two miles past Canyon Lake). Tortilla Campground is directly across from Tortilla Flat, on the left side of the road. The entire route is paved, narrow and has sharp curves; traffic can be heavy.
A Tonto National Forest Daily Pass ($6 per night) is required for campground entry and may be purchased at Tortilla Flat or at the District office during business hours Maximum of two vehicles per site There is no telephone or cell phone reception at this facility, but there is a public cellular credit card phone (emergency 911) at Tortilla Flat located outside the entrance road; the closest alternate public telephone is 18 miles away in Apache Junction No off-road vehicles in the campground No livestock in campground Campground permit does not apply at Canyon Lake day-use sites Click here for more information on Tonto National Forest