Lost Dutchman State Park is nestled into the southwest side of the Superstition Mountains. Located just 5 miles from Apache Junction in the Tonto National Forest, this park has become a local favorite for a weekend getaway. Whether you're looking for a day of hiking or mountain biking or a nearby campground with a beautiful mountainous backdrop, Lost Dutchman State Park is the perfect place.
The campground is very popular, and reservations are recommended. With over 134 campsites (68 with electric and water hookups), reservations are still recommended! There are two shower buildings in the campground reserved for campers. Depending on the fire danger level, fires are usually allowed in the metal grills provided. However, wood collecting in the park is prohibited, and so is damage or removal of natural rocks and vegetation. Pets are allowed, but they must remain on a leash. All sites have a picnic table, grill, and fire pit. There is also no size restriction for RVs, another reason why this place is more popular.
Cholla Group and Saguaro Group ramadas can be reserved by groups of 12 or more. Each has four tables under a large shelter with lights, electricity, nearby potable water, grills, and a fire pit. Requiring a $5 non-refundable reservation fee and a $25 facility-use fee, each is a cheap spot to have a large family picnic. The Palo Verde Group ramada has the same amenities, but it requires groups of at least 20 people to reserve.
Due to extreme summer heat, it is highly recommend that you carry a gallon of water or more per hiker when on longer trails. The elevation change is extreme here, and you can end up spending a lot longer than you planned on some of the trails. Flatiron, for example, is absolutely worth the view, but it is not an appropriate summer hike.
A trail map of the following hikes will be provided as you enter the park:
Mountain biking is also a favored activity in the park. With over 4 miles of singletrack, beginner to intermediate riders can enjoy a morning or evening ride at the foot of the Superstitions.
Don't forget to check out the Goldfield Ghost Town on your way out! Goldfield is an old mining town featuring the Mammoth Gold Mine and the Goldfield Museum. The town was first settled in 1892 after a very rich, high-grade gold ore was found. By 1893 the town had grown much larger, and in no time there were three saloons, a boarding house, general store, brewery, school, and more. Eventually population quickly grew to 1,500 people, but it quickly became a ghost town when the gold ore veined out.
In a short five years, the town of Goldfield went from booming to a no man's land. The only thing that held the town together after 1898 was the Lost Dutchman's Mine. In the early 1900s, the town closed down again and nearly turned to dust. In 1984 a treasure-hunting enthusiast purchased the Goldfield Mill and rebuilt some of the buildings to recreate the scene. Today there are numerous shops, a brothel, bakery, jail, and people in period costume walking the streets. Stick around long enough and you'll play witness to an authentic gunfighter show!