Oh, the mystique of the Superstition Mountains. Located just east of Apache Junction, the Superstitions precipitously rise 3000 feet above the desert floor to form some spectacular cliffs, cliffs born from volcanic eruptions of long ago. This is where we traveled to hike the Black Mesa Loop, a 10-mile loop that offers something for everyone, open desert, great views of Weaver’s Needle, rough, craggy cliffs, as well as forests of jumping cholla cacti, ocotillo and saguaro.
Once on the desert floor, a 360° view helps one to understand why so many have become lost for days out here and some have never returned from this wilderness area that comprises 160,000+ acres. Just this past November tragedy struck when a plane crash into the face of the mountain claimed 5 lives.
There is much mystery surrounding the Superstition Mountains and the most renown folklore is that of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. Legend has it that during the 1800’s the Peralta family of Mexico operated an incredibly rich gold mine within this wilderness area. A mining party returning gold ore to Mexico City was attacked by Apaches, with only one surviving the brutal attack. Many decades later this miner revealed the location of the Peralta family mine to Jacob Waltz, who came to be known as the Dutchman.
There is some truth to the tale, as Jacob Waltz was born in the 1800’s in Germany and immigrated to the United States, working as a miner in the Arizona Territory. Allegedly, on his deathbed Waltz told his caretakers about the mine and where it could be found. The mine, he said, had enough gold to make millionaires out of 20 men.
For the past 120 years many have searched for this mine in some of the most rugged wilderness area of the U.S. Forest Service and some have lost their lives trying to find it.
The Superstition Mountains offers some spectacular vistas and a multitude of hikes to choose from and respecting this rugged wilderness is key to staying safe.
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8 thoughts on “Superstition Mountains”
Another great hike to put on the list for our trip to the Phoenix area. You guys should be in great shape from all that hiking.
We are working on it. It just isn’t as easy as it used to be!
Just discovered you blog via your comments posted on the “Wheeling It” blog . . . another great source for adventure. I’m going to bookmark yours, as well!
What time of the year did you visit the Lost Dutchman State Park? We have reservations for the last week in March and am looking forward to the hikes. My wife and I travel with our Siberian Husky named Boo. We’re always on the lookout for great hiking trails that the three of us can enjoy together.
Hello Lew, Thanks for visiting our blog. We have been enjoying the southwest again after having lived here several years ago. We just left Usery Mountain Regional Park last week, where we spent time hiking in the Superstition Mountains, where the Lost Dutchman State Park is. It is a great place to hike and I would definitely recommend picking up a trails map should you get out there, as the Superstitions cover a lot of territory.
hi lu and terry–
always happy to see pictures of your travels, and read some of the history. les and i are looking forward to getting back to the states and visiting some of the places you visit.
my brother used to take me out driving on the colorado plateau. what a great place, what great parks and sightseeing. keep it up!
Hi David, We have enjoyed being back in AZ, where we had previously spent so many years. Although I love the mountains, I must admit to being a desert rat as well. By the way, are you trying to go incognito or what? I have seen some name changes for you lately. Terry wanted me to ask “would the real David Lawrence please stand up?”.
i’m still the same ole david, and i ain’t in dallas, as you know.
i’m trying to build some back links to my old photography website i have leased out to a friend in dallas. the more i use those words, not just in your blog but everyplace i can, the higher the page rises in google, and the more jobs for him and commissions for me. hope you dont mind. if so, i’ll quit.
have you gotten tired of living out of your home yet?
see you when you drive it down here
Glad to hear you are the same ole David, as we seem to like that guy a heck of a lot. We have no problem with what you call yourself either. We haven’t gotten tired of living in our RV yet but suspect there will come a day when we find a place we may want to settle down. Maybe we will wait to see where you land first and I don’t think you will be seeing us anytime soon in our RV SOB (south of the border for those who think I’m calling you names!).