“named for the fabled lost gold mine!”
In Arizona's Lost Dutchman State Park, you'll find camping, hiking, horseback riding, and stargazing, but all of that seems a lot less exciting when you consider that one of the biggest stockpiles of treasure is hidden in the park's Superstition Mountains (seriously, what an appropriate name). The legend of the Lost Dutchman's Mine is one of the most infamous and widely disputed in America-- but the story of a gold mine, loaded with riches, hidden in the desert just won't seem to die out. There isn't even solid evidence of the mine's actual existence, but that doesn't stop thousands of tourists from flocking to the mountains in Arizona each year, hoping to find the mythical mine and strike it rich. The story varies wildly-- sometimes there's two German immigrants (hence the name "Dutchman"), sometimes one, usually named Jacob Waltz. There's even a version where US Army veterans stumble across the treasure. Sometimes the mine is found randomly, other times the location is revealed by Apaches. Sometimes the treasure is a vein of pure gold, or the abandoned mine of the Peralta family, or a cache of goods stolen from Mexican miners. The only thing that seems to remain consistent is the location-- somewhere in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona. With so many conflicting stories, the Lost Dutchman's Mine would have simply been forgotten, a legend lost to time, if it hadn't been for an expedition led by a man named Adolph Ruth, an amateur explorer and treasure hunter, in the early 1930's. He set off into the mountains in search of the mine, and half a year later, his remains were discovered, alongside a note, apparently written by him, claiming that he had found the treasure. The map he had that led him to the mine was missing, and there were two bullet holes in his skull, which looked like they were fired at point blank from a high-powered rifle, leading many to believe that he had been murdered. He's not the only one who has lost his life in search of the gold-- since then, about half a dozen or so others have died looking for the mine. -Roadtrippers 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.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. Pet and RV-friendly!
If you're an avid hiker, they have some really intense mountainous trails here. But there's easier trails as well! Just far enough away from Phoenix to really feel like you're out in nature, but it's only a 45 minutes drive away :) And be on the lookout for buried treasure!
AWESOME trails for all skill levels. Great views, too
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Lost Dutchman State Park
- Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
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