Road construction will restrict traffic on SR 88 between mileposts 197 and 203 Sept. 11-21. Please proceed with caution.
The Superstition Mountains are the product of many natural forces.
The Superstition Mountains are the result of intensive volcanic activity. They are composed of welded tuff (volcanic ash cemented under extreme heat), breccia (rock fragments cemented together with lava or welded turf), granite, dacite, basalt, and some conglomerate. A few gold deposits pocket the surrounding areas. Some 25 million years ago, during the mid-tertiary period, volcanoes in this region emitted about 2,500 cubic miles of ash and lava, the ash spreading as far south and northeast as present day Florence and Roosevelt Lake. The volcanoes collapsed into their partly emptied magma chambers, producing depressions or calderas. A subsequent up-thrust of thick lava within the largest of these calderas and the forces of erosion have created the Superstition formations that we see at the park today. Thick, alluvial fans spread outward from this eroding resurgent dome. The alluvial material is primarily tuff, dacite, and decomposed granite.
While hiking in the Superstitions, one can sometimes hear rumblings similar to rolling thunder. Geologists say this results from seismic activity resonated by the canyon walls. This could explain the origin of the Apache legend that these mountains are the home of the thunder gods.
Keep an eye out for commonly appearing flowering plants, cactus, and trees:
Chuparosa; Hummingbird bush
Goldeneye; California poppy
Phacelia, wild heliotrope
Wolfberry - lycium
Chain fruit cholla
Mammillaria - pincusion
Teddy bear cholla
Catclaw - acacia