AUGUST - Families, come out and see the stars!
August 12: Join Dr. Sky (Steve Kates), a leading authority on the skies, at the BEST meteor shower of the year, the Perseids. What makes it so special is that we get to experience the Perseids, with NO MOON... creating the best dark sky conditions for viewing and the best place for viewing is in the lost Dutchman State Park at the foot of the beautiful Superstition Mountains.
• 8:00 - 9:30pm. - Food and beverage service, musical entertainment, prizes, free beer grotto for adult guests
• 9:30 - 10:30pm. - Star Talk with Dr. Sky, he'll be showing you how to best view the meteors
• 10:30 - 11:00pm. - Intermission (grab your lawn chair)
• 11:00pm. - dawn - Sit back and enjoy the show (this part is open to the public, see rules below)
$15 per adult. Prime campsites reserved for limited number of event guests. See website for details and to purchase tickets www.meteormadness.eventbrite.com. Dr. Sky is a registered trademark. This event is hosted by the Friends of Lost Dutchman State Park www.friendsoflostdutchman.org
OCTOBER - Hey Kids! Learn how to live, eat and play in the outdoors with the...
Get ready for family fun with the return of the AZ Family Campout to Arizona State Parks across the state.
Click HERE to learn more about these exciting, family and youth oriented programs, or to register for our October 3-4, 2015 or March 19-20, 2016 programs.
Start a family tradition of enjoying our beautiful state with the AZ Family Campout Progam today!
Kids ages 6–12 can follow Rocky Ringtail and become a Junior Ranger at most Arizona State Parks! Kids can pledge to do their part to help preserve the beauty of the parks for everyone to enjoy!
At the park, ask for a full Junior Ranger booklet at the Visitor Center, Ranger Station or office. Complete the activities during your visit and then bring it to a Park Ranger for review. When a Park Ranger approves, kids can then take the Junior Ranger Pledge and get sworn in as our newest Junior Ranger. They'll also receive a Junior Ranger Button.
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.
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, 134 campsites, a dump station, restrooms, showers, and group use areas. The visitor center sells maps, souvenirs, water & snacks.
Before you hike, be prepared with enough water and proper footwear as the trails are steep and challenging.
July-2015: Our Cholla & Saguaro Day Use restroom facilities are currently being demolished to make way for brand new, expanded facilities. Additional restrooms are available at the nearby Palo Verde, Siphon Draw Parking lot or the Ranger Station as you enter the park. Don't forget to stop into the Ranger Station/Gift Shop to pick up a lasting memory of your visit.
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.
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.
Star Party Events
Watch for our next event in the Fall. Get information on all future Star Party events HERE.
Future Star Party's are scheduled for November 14th & December 5th at Lost Dutchman State Park.
More information will be available here and on the Star Party website as we get closer to the event.
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