Picturesque Lost Dutchman State Park lies along the Apache Trail and at the base of the Superstition Mountains in Central Arizona. This 320 acre idyllic public recreation area is in Apache Junction, less than an hour’s drive from the bustling life of downtown Phoenix.
Many travel here to experience these legendary mountains and the peacefulness of the Sonoran Desert while camping, hiking, biking and wildlife viewing. The park was named for the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine and to preserve this mysterious and scenic area known as the Superstition Wilderness.
Activities at Lost Dutchman State Park
Experience the rustic elegance of this serene area during your visit to Lost Dutchman State Park. Explore the trails by foot or mountain bike, discover a few geocache/earthcache sites, climb high into the Superstition Mountains and listen to interesting tales from the local Rangers.
This Arizona state park’s visitor center is open daily all year round and features a park store, gift shop and exhibits. Stop in and pick up souvenirs, maps, guides and snacks. Picnic areas with shaded ramadas, tables, grills and nearby restrooms are available for your comfort.
Here are a few of the many activities that you can do during your visit to Lost Dutchman State Park:
Hiking at Lost Dutchman State Park
While pedestrians are allowed on all 10 of the Lost Dutchman State Park’s trails, 4 of these are exclusively for hikers. The remaining trails also allow for mountain bikes and 3 of these allow for equestrian riders.
These trails wind throughout the park and into the Sonoran Desert and the Superstition Mountains. Most trails may be accessed from campsites or day use areas. If you’ll be visiting during the summer make sure to dress appropriately, wear sunscreen, carry enough water and plan to get an early start on the trails (it gets very hot!).
Here are a couple of popular hiking trails at Lost Dutchman State Park:
- Discovery Trail – Easy .4 mile trail between the campground and day use area. This peaceful path features informational signs, bird feeder, wildlife pond and a viewing bench.
- Jacob’s Crosscut Trail – Easy .8 mile trail that starts from the Treasure Loop Trail and passes along the base of the Superstition Mountains to connect with Prospector’s View Trail.
- Siphon Draw Trail – Moderate to difficult 4 mile trail that leads up into the canyon known as Siphon Draw. This scenic hike offers beautiful views of the desert, mountains, flowers, plants and other wildlife.
More experienced hikers can continue onto the Flatiron Trail to add another 5.8 miles and a climb to the top of the mountain and back down. This climb is very steep and difficult in places and may take at least 5 hours to complete.
While hiking among the Superstition Mountains you may hear rumbling that sounds like thunder. This, according to Geologists, is the result of seismic activity inside the canyon walls. The Apaches believed that thunder gods lived in these mountains.
Mountain Biking at Lost Dutchman State Park
There are 4 miles of singletrack trails ideal for mountain biking at Lost Dutchman State Park. These trails, rated beginner to intermediate, wind past the base of the Superstition Mountains and across the rocky terrain and sandy washes of the Sonoran Desert.
Riders are also able to access the multi-use trails of the Tonto National Forest from inside the park.
Here are a couple of popular biking trails at Lost Dutchman State Park:
- Treasure Loop Trail – Moderate 2.4 mile loop with elevation changes that leads out to the picnic areas.
- Mountain Bike Loop – Moderate 2.5 mile loop.
- Prospector’s View Trail – Moderate .7 mile trail that connects the Siphon Draw Trail to Treasure Loop and also connects to Jacob’s Crosscut Trail.
Wildlife Viewing at Lost Dutchman State Park
You’ll be sure to see many species of wildlife during your visit to Lost Dutchman State Park. However, since most desert animals are nocturnal, you may have to get up early or stay up late to see some of the interesting ones: desert cottontail, desert mule deer, roadrunner, coyote and javelina.
Many native and migrating birds pass through the park and into the surrounding desert and mountains. Some you may see while exploring the trails are cardinals, sparrows, quail, woodpeckers, blackbirds and hawks.
Camping at Lost Dutchman State Park
Experience the crisp clean mountain air and peacefulness of the Sonoran Desert when you spend the night at the park. Lost Dutchman State Park has spacious campsites and comfy cabins for guests to reserve.
The park has 135 individual campsites and 3 group camping areas. Each campsite can accommodate tents or RVs (68 sites have water and electric hookups) and has a picnic table and a fire pit.
The 5 camping cabins have spectacular views of the mountains from their front porches.
Each cabin has a queen sized bed, 2 sets of bunk beds, counter and chairs, heat/AC and electricity. All cabins have a picnic table and fire ring; and are ADA accessible.
Bathhouses are a short walk from the cabins.
Pets at Lost Dutchman State Park
Pets are allowed at Lost Dutchman State Park but must be attended to at all times and kept on a leash no longer than six-feet. Please clean up after your pet.
Become a Junior Ranger at Lost Dutchman State Park
Junior Ranger Pledge: ‘As an Arizona State Parks Junior Ranger, I pledge to help the park rangers protect and preserve habitat, wildlife, and help keep the park clean and safe for visitors and wildlife.’
Encourage younger generations to do their part and help preserve the beauty of the parks for future visitors. If your child is between the ages of 6-12 they can become a Junior Ranger at Lost Dutchman State Park.
All they need to do is download and complete the Junior Ranger Activity Sheet and then request a Junior Ranger booklet at the park’s visitor center once you’ve arrived at the park. Complete each of the activities during your stay.
When all of the activities have been completed report back to a Park Ranger who will swear your Junior Ranger in and award them with a Junior Ranger Button. Kids can become a Junior Ranger at most Arizona State Parks and earn each park’s unique Junior Ranger Button. Check out the For Kids section on each park’s website.
Attractions Near Lost Dutchman State Park
- Superstition Mountain Lost Dutchman Museum – Learn more Superstition Mountain and the Lost Dutchman at this nearby museum.
- Visit Apache Junction
- Goldfield Ghost Town – An 1890s period town that features a saloon, rock shop, ice cream parlor, railroad and mine tour, live ‘gunfights’, Native American made crafts and more.
Open Year Round
Day Use Hours: 6:00am – 8:00pm Daily
Visitor Center/Park Store Hours: 7:00am – 3:00pm Daily
Park Entrance Fees:
Per vehicle (1-4 Adults): $7.00
*Oct–May: $10.00 (Fri–Sun and Holidays)*
You must obtain a photo permit before taking photos inside the park. Permits for personal use may be filled out at the park.
Lost Dutchman State Park
6109 N Apache Trail
Apache Junction, AZ 85119
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Lost Dutchman State Park: