LOST DUTCHMAN STATE PARK
Named after the fabled lost gold mine, Lost Dutchman State Park is located in the Sonoran Desert, 40 miles east of Phoenix. Several trails lead from the park into the Superstition Wilderness and surrounding Tonto National Forest. Take a stroll along the Native Plant Trail or hike the challenging Siphon Draw Trail to the top of the Flatiron. Depending on the year?s rainfall, you might be treated to a carpet of desert wildflowers in the spring. Enjoy a weekend of camping and experience native wildlife including coyote, javelina and jackrabbit.
The park offers a variety of hiking trails, nature trails, picnic facilities, 70 campsites, a dump station, restrooms, showers, and group use areas. The visitor center sells maps and other publications.
Ranger CamBefore you hike, be prepared with enough water and proper footwear as the trails are steep and challenging.
A variety of desert wildlife inhabit the park. Mammals of interest include deer, coyote, javelina, bobcat, and jackrabbit. Most desert animals are nocturnal, so early morning and late evening viewing are best. Any of the park trails offer good opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife viewing.
The Superstition Mountains have been a source of mystery and legend since early times. The area is dotted with ancient cliff dwellings and caves, many showing signs of former habitation by a number of different Native American groups, up until the 1800's. Even the name is inspired by Pima Indian legends.
During the 1840's, the Peralta family of northern Mexico supposedly developed a rich gold mine in the Superstitions. According to legend, an Apache ambush ended the family's last expedition, and the gold remained in the area. In the 1870's, Jacob Waltz ("the Dutchman") was said to have located the mine through the aid of the Peralta descendant. Waltz and his partner, Jacob Weiser, worked in the mine and allegedly hid one or more caches of gold in the Superstitions. Most stories place the gold in the vicinity of Weaver's Needle.
After Waltz's death in 1891, several people attempted to seek out the Lost Dutchman's Mine, all without luck. Later searchers have sometimes met with foul play or even death, contributing to the superstition and legend of these mountains.
The legend of the "lost mine" has been fueled by a number of people who were supposed to have known the mine's location or even worked it. Maps have surfaced over the years, only to become lost or misplaced.
The Lost Dutchman Visitor Center includes a gift shop and is open daily 8 am ? 4 pm. Summer hours vary. Restrooms are located inside. The park is open 365 days a year.
The campground currently has 70 non-hookup campsites on paved roads for tents or RVs. Each site has a picnic table and barbeque grill, but no fire pits. Sites are selected on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no size restrictions on RVs. Pets on leashes are welcome. Cigarette butts and animals waste must be picked up; no animals left unattended.Group: Camping Sites
A group camping area is available by reservation for RV or tent groups. A non-refundable fee is required to serve this area. Groups are encouraged to look area over for suitability prior to making a reservation.
To host your wedding at the park, both a non-refundable reservation fee and a wedding guest fee is required. First select a Group: Day Use Area to reserve, contact the park for availability and pay the reservation fee (cash or credit card).
Wedding guest fees must be paid in advance at least one week before the wedding. The cost is per adult (age 14 and older), children under 14 are free.
Special arrangements for live music, overnight use, etc., must be approved in advance. Alcohol is permitted without a special permit.
It's helpful to include a map to the park in your wedding invitations. Use cardboard signs or balloons along the roads to direct guests to your area, but remember you are responsible for picking everything up after the event. Decorations, shade canopies, folding chairs, and flowers may also be put up before the ceremony, and must be taken down before leaving the park.
13 single shaded ramadas with tables, grills are available for picnics. Restrooms and drinking fountains are located nearby.
Please use caution when hiking at the park. Those planning to use the longer trails should carry a topographic map. Each person should carry at least one gallon of drinking water per day. Remember summer temperatures often exceed 100?F. A trail map is provided with entrance fee.
Native Plant Trail: Located near Visitor Center, this 1/4 mile trail features desert plants along an accessible paved trail..
Treasure Loop Trail: Length 2.4 miles round trip, rated moderate, elevation change of 500 feet. It terminates at either picnic area.
Prospector's View Trail: Length 0.7 miles, rated moderate. It connects Siphon Draw Trail with Treasure Loop Trail also connects with Jacob's Crosscut Trail.
Jacob's Crosscut Trail: Trail runs 0.8 miles along the base of the mountain, rated easy. It connects Treasure Loop Trail with Prospector's View Trail, and continues 4.5 miles past the park area along the base of the Superstitions.
Siphon Draw Trail: 4 miles round trip, a very scenic hike, this trail winds up into a canyon known as Siphon Draw. It is possible to hike up the Flatiron (5.8 miles roundtrip), although it is not a designated, maintained trail all the way. It's advised that only experienced hikers in good shape attempt to hike to the top, as the climb is steep and difficult to follow. Allow at least five hours to the Flatiron and back.
Discovery Trail: Connects the campground and day use areas. Features information signs, a wildlife pond, bird feeder and viewing bench.
This park has dirt biking trails. Bikes can use the lower trails (#58) shared with hikers. Bikes are not allowed above Jacobs Crosscut Trail.
Superstition Mountain Lost Dutchman Museum
Located on 12 acres near the park, this non-profit museum helps to preserve and protect the history and legends of Arizona's Susperstition Mountains. Features a variety of exhibits. Open Daily from 9 am to 4 pm.
Goldfield Ghost Town Scenic railroad and mine tour located down the street from the park. This 1890s period town features a saloon, rock shop, an ice cream parlor, Native American art and crafts, the Goldfield Museum, live "gunfights" on weekends, and more.
Arizona Steamboat Cruises Cruise the secluded inner waterways of nearby Canyon Lake on an old-fashioned steamboat.
Tortilla Flat The last remaining stage coach stop along the Apache Trail, two miles past Canyon Lake, 18 miles north-east of Apache Juntion. Population: 6.
The park is located 5 mi. north of Apache Junction, off of AZ 88 (the old Apache Trail), at the base of the Superstition Mountains.