Lost Dutchman State Park
Lost Dutchman Now Offers 24/7 Online Campground Reservations or Call Reservation Center!
Reserve your spot (campground RV or tent site) from the comfort of your home, anytime of day. Make online reservations Site reservations for this park are also available by calling the Reservation Center at (520) 586-2283. You can call 7 days a week, from 8 am to 5 pm MST. There is a $5 non-refundable reservation fee per site.
Download the park Calendar of Events and plan your next family outing today.
7 - 9 pm. see planets, stars, comets, galaxies, and more through Astronomers telescopes! Bring a folding chair, red light, sweater or jacket, enthusiasm to enjoy and conserve our beautiful night skies! Event supported by the Superstition Mountain Astronomical League! Camping is available at the park (additional fee). Reserve campsites online. Or Learn about Star Parties, watch video, and see other park event dates
November 26: Exploring Siphon Draw Trail
9 a.m. Join us at Siphon Draw Trailhead for a 4.2 mile round trip hike to the basin (slick rock waterfall area). Along the way we will pass some remnants of an unsuccessful mining attempt, identify strangely named rock formations, and look at layers of rock from the volcanic explosion that make up this portion of the Superstition Mountain. All of this while hiking the steady uphill grade on a less than smooth trail. Elevation change: 1030 ft. Wear sturdy trail or hiking shoes, carry at least 2 bottles of water and bring a snack for a 3 hour moderately strenuous hike. Led by volunteer hiker Barb.
November 29: Amazing Night Under the Skies
7-9 p.m. Join Dr. Sky, a radio/TV journalist based in Phoenix, for An Amazing Night Under the Skies. What planets will we see in the dark desert sky? Dress warmly and be prepared to be amazed at the sightings. Palo Verde Day Use area (weather permitting).
Please join us for exciting interpretive ranger and volunteer naturalist guided hikes and family-oriented programs, weather permitting, at Lost Dutchman State Park. Fees for guided hikes and programs are included in the park entry fee of $7 per vehicle or with your annual pass. Reservations are not required unless specified in the program description. 6109 N Apache Trail, Apache Junction, AZ (480) 982-4485.
Wednesday, December 3: First Time Hikers in Sonoran Desert
9 a.m. This hike is an introduction to hiking in the Sonoran Desert. The hike starts on Treasure Loop Trail, converges to Jacob’s Crosscut Trail, down Siphon Draw Trail to Discovery back to parking lot. The trail includes small steeper and rockier sections followed by a smooth, well maintained section giving hikers experience in both hiking terrains. The hike is 2.4 miles with a 120 ft elevation change. Plan for a 2 hour easy hike. Meet at Cholla Day Use area. Led by hiker Barb.
Friday, December 5: Full Moon Hike
7-9 p.m. There is a limit of 100 hikers, so please call in advance to reserve your space: 480 982-4485. Join us for a guided 2.5 mile hike on Jacob’s Crosscut Trail at the base of the mysterious Superstition Mountains. Hikers should dress appropriately and wear trail shoes or boots. Please bring a flashlight in case of cloudy conditions. Some parts of the trail are rocky and uneven with occasional steep grades (elevation gain: 120’). Participants should be in good health with no walking or night vision difficulties. Trail is NOT suitable for strollers or walkers. After the hike gather round the campfire for a marshmallow roast (marshmallows and sticks provided). All ages welcome. No pets, please. Parking in Cholla Day Use Area.
Saturday, December 6: Bird Walk
8:30 a.m. Join volunteer birder Vera for a morning of discovering the birds of the desert. Learn how to identify the birds in your back yard, the proper use of binoculars, where to find birds in our area, and then take a guided walk through the desert to practice new skills. Bring binoculars if you have them, appropriate clothing, water and enthusiasm, but no dogs or small children, please. Expect to have some surprises and fun! Meet at the Native Plant Trail parking area on the right before reaching the ranger station for orientation. Participants will then relocate to Cholla Day Use area.
Saturday, December 6: Ted Newman
6 p.m. Local musical artist Ted Newman will entertain with his music and humor that reflects a broad appreciation of Arizona’s history, geography and culture. Ted is a prolific singer-songwriter with copyrights on over 400 songs, both vocal and instrumental, which includes the Shadow of the Dutchman and Cowboy Songs and Poems. Join us around the campfire under the full moon for an entertaining evening. Bring your chairs and coats to Palo Verde Ramada.
Sunday, December 7: Beginner Mountain Bike Skills Clinic
9:00am-12:00pm Mark Funicello of Global Bikes will be hosting a Mountain Bike Skills Clinic.
Spend the morning with Mark learning the basics of Mountain Bike preparation, safety, maintenance, and riding techniques. Spend the afternoon practicing what you’ve learned navigating 4 miles of singletrack, negotiating tight turns, getting over obstacles, carving corners and building endurance.
Enhance your experience, arrive early and plan to camp at LDSP on Saturday night. Camping reservations may be made on-line or through our reservation hot-line (520) 586-2283. You can ride the trail or really challenge yourself with a hike to the top of the FlatIron. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to sharpen your cycling skills and renew your Spirit in the shadow of Superstition Mountain.
Bring your Mountain Bike, water bottle and helmet. (And hiking boots if you want to explore some of the other trails in the park!) Check out Global Bikes at: globalbikes.info
Global Bikes’ Meetup event link:
Wednesday Dec. 10: Sunset Hike
4 p.m. Following the Treasure Loop trail to Jacobs Cross Cut and intersecting with Siphon Draw Trail will find hikers marveling at the mountain and the sky full of color, especially when there a few clouds. Elevation change is 120 ft. on very well maintained trails. Easy, 2 hour hike. Bring a flashlight for return to parking lot. Meet at Saguaro Day Use area. Led by volunteer hiking leader Nancy.
Friday, December 12: Star Talk
7:30 p.m. Learn about the night sky, constellations and planets with local astronomer Bill Dellinges. Parking and seating at campground amphitheater.
Wednesday, December 17: Getting to Know the Birds Around You
9 a.m. Meeting in the Saguaro Day Use area, there will be a brief discussion about how to tell one bird from another; then we’ll be looking for resident birds (from hawks to hummingbirds) and for any late migrants stopping by on their way south. After birding the Saguaro Day use area, we’ll look for birds as we walk up toward Jacob’s Crosscut Trail. We’ll make the short loop around and back to Saguaro Day Use lot, birding as we go. This is more of an “amble” than a hike as we let the birds come to us. Bring binoculars, water and wear sturdy trail shoes. No dogs, please. Led by volunteer Birder Babs.
Thursday, January 1: First Day Hike
The First Day Hikes program! Meet at Saguaro day-use area. Join us for a ranger and volunteer led hike on Treasure Loop Trail. Learn about desert flora and fauna, the history of Superstition Mountains and the Lost Dutchman Mine. This is a moderate hike with an elevation gain of 500 feet, 2.5 miles round trip, 2 hours. Carry water, dress in warm layers and wear sturdy trail shoes or hiking boots. In case of rain, hike will be cancelled. No pets, please. Please call in advance to reserve your space: 480 982-4485
Introductory Park Video
About the Park
Named after the fabled lost gold mine, Lost Dutchman is located in the Sonoran Desert at an elevation of 2000 feet. The park is a short drive east of Phoenix. Photo taken March 3, 2010.
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 mule deer, coyote, javelina and jackrabbit. New for 2014! A four mile Mountain Bike Loop Trail has opened at the park -- this is a great way to enjoy the park's beauty!
The park offers a variety of hiking trails, nature trails, picnic facilities, 72 campsites, a dump station, restrooms, showers, and group use areas. The visitor center sells maps and other publications.
Before you hike, be prepared with enough water and proper footwear as the trails are steep and challenging.
Please join us for exciting interpretive ranger and volunteer naturalist guided hikes and family-oriented programs, weather permitting, at Lost Dutchman State Park. Fees for guided hikes and programs are included in the park entry fee of $7 per vehicle or with your annual pass. Reservations are not required unless specified in the program description. 6109 N Apache Trail, Apache Junction, AZ. Park Phone 480-982-4485.
Wednesday, October 30: Treasure the Hike! 9 amThis hike along the Treasure Loop Trail offers the hiker opportunities to stretch the legs as the elevation changes approximately 500’ within the first mile, with views of the Four Peaks and downtown Phoenix (on a clear day), rock formations, and a gentle decline on the return of the loop trail. Considered a moderate hike due to elevation change and length of hike (2.5 mi.), the average hiker will find it a most enjoyable hike. Meet at Cholla Day Use area. Led by volunteer hiking leader Barb.
Friends of Lost Dutchman SP Volunteer Patricia Carter shares her story and explains about the New Adopt a Cactus program, which allows individuals and groups to adopt a Saguaro cactus to help to raise funds for the Friends Group's continuing efforts. Learn More.
Learn More About Apache Junction
After you start the video, change resolution to 720 for HD Quality.
Lost Dutchman Legend
The Superstition Mountains (their name inspired by Pima Indian legends) 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. It is not certain who these people were; some believe they were Salado or Hohokam Indians who populated this part of Arizona several centuries ago. Later, Pimas and "Apaches" (some of whom may have been Yavapais) occupied parts of the region. However, the name "Apache" came to be closely associated with the Superstitions, and the mountains became an Apache stronghold in the 1800s.
During the 1840s the Peralta family of northern Mexico supposedly developed rich gold mine(s) in the Superstitions. Their last expedition to carry gold back to Mexico occured in 1848. According to legend, the large party was ambushed by Apaches, and all were killed except for one or two Peralta family members who escaped into Mexico. This area is known today as the Massacre Grounds.
A number of other people were supposed to have known the mine's location or even to have worked it. Numerous maps have surfaced over the years, only to become lost or misplaced when interested parties pressed for facts. Men who claimed to have found the Peralta mine were unable to return to it or some disaster occured before they could file a claim, all adding to the lore of a "lost mine."
In the 1870s Jacob Waltz, "the Dutchman" (actually a native of Germany) was said to have located the mine through the aid of a Peralta descendant. Waltz and his partner, Jacob Weiser worked 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, a well known landmark. Weiser was killed by Apaches, or according to some, by Waltz himself.
In failing health, Jacob Waltz moved to Phoenix and died some twenty years later in 1891. He supposedly described the mine's location to Julia Thomas, a neighbor who took care of him prior to his death. Neither she nor dozens of other seekers in the years that followed were able to find the "Lost Dutchman's Mine." Subsequent searchers have sometimes met with foul play or even death, contributing to the superstition and legend that surround these mountains.
Many versions of the "Lost Dutchman Mine" story exist, and several books and films have been done on the subject.
- Alamo Lake
- Buckskin Mountain
- Cattail Cove
- Lake Havasu
- River Island
- Yuma Quartermaster Depot
- Yuma Territorial Prison
- Dead Horse Ranch
- Fort Verde
- Red Rock
- Riordan Mansion
- Slide Rock
- Verde River Greenway
- Boyce Thompson Arboretum
- Fool Hollow Lake
- Lost Dutchman
- Lyman Lake
- Tonto Natural Bridge