Arizona State Route 88 highway marker



Arizona State Route 88 is the modern designation for the Apache Trail, a historic stagecoach trail connecting what is now the Phoenix metro area to Tonto National Forest Theodore Roosevelt Lake. The route begins in Apache Junction, on the easternmost edges of the Phoenix metro. From there, it heads in a general northeast direction, up into the Superstition Mountains above the city. The road is quite rugged; a portion of it is even unpaved, and there are steep dropoffs with no guardrails. The Apache Trail is so treacherous some rental companies’ contracts specifically forbid motorists from bringing their vehicles on the road. Nonetheless, it offers outstanding views—it has been designated as a National Forest scenic byway.

The original route markers installed when it was first numbered as a state route in 1927 were signs in the shape of Arizona, with the text “STATE ROUTE” above the route number. It also featured a Navajo good luck symbol in an arrowhead at the bottom of the sign. Unfortunately, this symbol was the swastika, which the Nazi Party adopted not too long after these signs were installed on Arizona highways. Around 1935, the state of Arizona hastily removed the symbol from the state route marker. It is said they even sent highway crews out with a bucket of black paint to cover up the swastikas on the signs where they stood!

We’ve recreated the original Arizona State Route 88 signs from the early days of the Apache Trail’s status as a state route. Our route marker has been accurately reproduced by consulting historic 1920s and 1930s photos of signage in the field. Original signs of this style are difficult to find. When they do turn up, they often go for quite a handsome sum on the collector’s market. Get the sign you want without the hassle, and for a fraction of the price, with our replicas.

Our Arizona State Route 88 markers are flat-printed right here in the USA on heavy 14-gauge steel. The glossy, non-reflective finish is nearly indistinguishable from that of the original. It’s durable enough to withstand the Arizona desert heat, while still looking great indoors as well. We offer these signs in both the modified 1935 design, and, in the interest of historical accuracy, the original 1927 design with the swastika. We make these signs in their original size of 15¼ in. × 18¼ in. You can also choose a scaled-down 10¼ in. × 12¼ in. version, as well as larger 20½ in. × 24½ in. and 30¾ in. × 36¾ in. sizes, to meet your display needs. All versions come with two pre-drilled mounting holes for easy installation.

(We can make these signs with any route number of your choice! We can also make other styles of state route marker, both from Arizona and elsewhere. Just contact Jake to place your custom order!)

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