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Q&AZ: How did Apache Junction's Silly Mountain get its name?

Arizona is home to many peaks and scenic hiking trails, and the name of one popular point in Apache Junction has sparked some curiosity.

Through KJZZ’s Q&AZ project, a listener asked: How did Silly Mountain get its name?

Like any landmark, the origin of Silly Mountain’s name has many different stories.

Liz Langenbach is Apache Junction’s director of Parks and Recreation. She says the most widely accepted story begins with a Pinal County public works employee who lived on a road leading to the mountain in the 1970s. 

“When the county carved out that road, and paved it, and put it in. He asked if he could name it, and so, so when he retired, they let him name the road, and he wanted it to be called Silly Mountain Road,” said Langenbach.

Langenbach says it’s unknown whether he thought the road itself was silly, or the mountain looked silly from his house, but the name stuck.

She says it was previously named King Mountain, after a rancher who established businesses in Apache Junction.

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.