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 from Tortilla Flat Restaruant and general store, which is just a short walk away.
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 and a vista point perfect for photography and wildlife viewing. The campground is just down the road from Canyon Lake which provides a number of recreational opportunites such as kayaking, fishing, and boating. 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. Use caution as trail conditions can be fair or poor, and several are unsuitable for horses. Also make sure to check out many of the developed recreation sites along Canyon lake for shoreline and fishing dock access, but keep in mind these sites require a day pass not included in the camping fees.
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 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 vibrant wildflowers. This area is a photographers dream with plenty of opportunities to capture Bighorn Sheep, Deer, and other desert widlife. 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.
Fish Creek Vista Point is approx. 7 miles east on AZ-88, this area provides great views of the desert and an accessible interpretive trail great for learning about the history of the area.
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.