Arizona is home to the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon, crazy desert wildlife, and very hot summers.
#1 Check out this beautiful cliff side in Superior, Arizona.
This particular drop lies at the foot of the Pinal Mountains, and it has a name — Apache Leap. Though a casual traveler passing through might see this breathtaking edge and admire it’s beauty only to continue along their journey, there’s a whole story behind this landmark. Unfortunately, it’s a tragic one.
#2 Apache Leap was named clear back in the 1800’s.
At this time, the United States was still in turmoil. The United States was fighting for territorial control, but the Native Americans were fighting their own, separate battle. Unfortunately, this put them at odds often. By the 1870’s, the United States’ relationship with some Native American tribes, specifically the Apaches, was on thin ice.
#3 The military tried their best to control the Apache Indians.
Seeking the upper hand, they set up a number of military outposts. Camp Pinal was one of these outposts, and it was located in what is modern day Superior. Legend has it that the soldiers of this camp chose to offensively attack a nearby band of seventy-five Apache warriors. As the military troops gained on the Apache Indians, they retreated to the west, until they found themselves with the military behind them and this well-known cliff in front of them.
#4 The Apache Indians were a very proud people.
With no escape in sight, the only options available to these seventy-five warriors were to accept defeat and surrender, which would likely lead to their murder, or to jump. As you might be able to guess, these men had too much pride to surrender. Each of the men jumped off the edge of the cliff — an eight hundred foot fall that none of them would survive. From this time forward, the cliff edge jutting up against the sky came to be known as Apache Leap.
#5 Today, this beautiful vista means a little more who know the history of its name.
As the story goes, when the rest of the tribe heard of the terrible tragedy, they rushed to the cliff. Many wives and mothers were overcome with grief over the needless loss of life. In the area today it is possible to find dark, semi-translucent obsidian pebbles which are said to be the tears that these women cried. They soaked into the earth, hardened, and are now referred to as Apache Tears. They’re a continual reminder that this beautiful place has a tragic history behind it.