Taking advantage of the unusually warm weather last weekend, we decided to head to the Superstition Mountains (45 miles southeast of where we live) and hike up into the Lost Dutchman State Park. The story of the Superstition Mountains and the “Lost Dutchman” is an interesting one. Here’s a brief history that I found on the Internet…
The Superstition Mountains 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 by a number of different Native American groups, up until the 1800’s. Even the name is inspired by Pima Indian legends.
During the 1840‘s, the Peralta family of northern Mexico supposedly developed a rich gold mine in the Superstitions. According to legend, an Apache ambush ended the family’s last expedition, and the gold remained in the area. In the 1870’s, Jacob Waltz (“the Dutchman”) was said to have located the mine through the aid of the Peralta descendant. Waltz and his partner, Jacob Weiser, worked in 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.
After Waltz’s death in 1891, several people attempted to seek out the Lost Dutchman’s Mine, all without luck. Later searchers have sometimes met with foul play or even death, contributing to the superstition and legend of these mountains.
The legend of the “lost mine” has been fueled by a number of people who were supposed to have known the mine’s location or even worked it. Maps have surfaced over the years, only to become lost or misplaced.
I’ve added a few pictures we took along the way. Normally there’s a plethora of wild plants in bloom at this time – unfortunately, Phoenix is experiencing its 131st day without rain, and it shows.