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.
Get the February Event Calendar here. ( 960 KB PDF)
Get the March Event Calendar here. ( 151 KB PDF)
April 18 & 19, 2015
The Spring & Summer 2015 Family Campout Program is designed for families that have little or no experience camping. We will introduce you to the great experiences you can share with your family outdoors! You will learn how to set up a tent and an introduction to cooking outside, plus you will get to try some fun activities you can do while camping! Take a one weekend introductory adventure at one of 8 Arizona State Parks. Learn more about the program and see a list of other participating parks. Registration will open in January 2015
Wednesday, February 25: Karaoke for the Campers, 4-6 pm.
Bringing her karaoke sound system with her on her travels, host “Miss America Linda” will give our campers the opportunity to sing some of their favorite tunes while at the base of the Superstition Mountains! Join the group for some fun at the campground amphitheatre; bring your list of songs and your singing voice.
Saturday, February 28: Edible Desert Plants, 1 p.m.
Naturalist and home economist Jean Groen of Apache Junction is the author of many food books, including “Foods of the Superstitions.” Have you ever sampled the sweet jelly made from prickly pear cactus fruit? How about crackers or cookies baked with mesquite meal? These and other recipes can be found in the more recent and expanded companion volume “Plants of the Sonoran Desert and Their Many Uses.” She has researched Indian recipes for desert plants and “modernized” and developed recipes for today. Jean will discuss desert plants, seeds and fruit and share tasty recipes at the Palo Verde Ramada.
March 2 & 3: A Hike for First Timers to the Sonoran Desert
9 am. This hike is an introduction to hiking in the Sonoran Desert. The hike starts on Treasure Loop Trail, and converges to Jacob Crosscut Trail. The trail includes a steeper small and rockier section followed by a smooth, well maintained section giving hikers experience in both hiking terrains. The hike is 2.5 mi., with a 50 ft elevation change. Plan for a 2 hour easy hike. Meet at Cholla Day Use Parking. Led by volunteer hiking leader Barbara.
March 2 & 3: Full Moon Hikes
7-9 pm. 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.
March 7: Old Time Music
6 pm. Featuring musical group Close Enough String Band from Tempe performing their style of old-time porch music à la Carter Family. The band plays 3-and 4-part harmonies featuring fiddle, banjo, bass, mandolin, guitar, autoharp and musical saw. Learn how they found their name as they tune and play their favorite melodies. Please dress warmly, and bring a chair as we sit around a campfire. Palo Verde Ramada area.
March 11: Getting to Know the Birds Around You
8:30 am.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.
March 11: Star Talk
7:30 pm. Learn about the night sky, constellations and planets with local astronomer Bill Dellinges. Parking and seating at campground amphitheater.
Check out all the March events Here.
SPECIAL EVENT: APRIL
April 11 - Lost Dutchman State Park
Third Annual Picture Perfect Park Wine and Food Tasting/Star Talk
5:00pm. - 9:00pm. This event is hosted by the Friends of Lost Dutchman State Park to raise funds for the park and its great out-of-doors programs. Event begins at 5:00PM with wine and food service until 7:30.
Chef, Dennis Bagnasco from the Mining Camp Restaurant grills up sumptuous and elegant bites paired with just the right crisp white or bold red wine provided by Action Wine and Spirits.
While you taste enjoy the musical entertainment and jump in on the raffle for great wines, wine baskets, gift certificates, and more.
At 7:30 we turn down the lights and Steve Kates/Dr. Sky takes you on an amazing "Walk Through the Skies" above the Superstition Mountains.
Couple: $75, Single: $40, Minor (must be accompanied by an adult): $15 (processing fees not included).
Purchase tickets and get more information at: www.pictureperfectpark3.eventbrite.com
NOTE: camping sites are still available for this date if you'd like to stay after the event, separate overnight fee payment and reservation must be made: azstateparks.com/Parks/LODU/attractions.html
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.
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