Camping at Lost Dutchman State Park in Arizona

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    See Full Blog Post –

    In this video, I show you around the Lost Dutchman State Park near Phoenix Arizona. We camped there for a week in late January 2018. The weather was great, mostly sunny with highs in the 60s and 70’s.

    The highlights of the park are the fantastic views of the Superstition Mountains and the labyrinth of desert hiking trails beneath them to explore. We spent several peaceful evenings out hiking and photographing until sunset. You’ll see a bit of footage from one in the video. Anne spent some time shooting with a fellow photographer who camped near us for a few days.

    Also in the video, I take a walk with Angie, the beagle around the campground showing you many of the campsites and sections. In the upper left corner at the same time is some dashcam footage driving around the campground. The park is home to wildlife with a pack of quail and a cottontail bunny finding themselves in my camcorder lens.

    The video finishes up with a slideshow of my best photos from the week. Hope you enjoy this look at Lost Dutchman. It’s one of the most beautiful and well-kept state parks we’ve visited. Thumbs up. Cheers! Ray

    For more from this season’s Snowbird adventure check out the 2017/2018 Snowbird Travels video playlist –

    Stephen C Keller

    Seen it last night Ray. Another great video. Made the wife watch it today and teased her that we could stay there and still see her aunt and uncle. LOL

    Doug Elam

    I was born and raised in Arizona, but have lived in Idaho for 20 years. As a young man, I used to hike all through the Superstitions. If you look at the north end of that mountain, (Left) you will see a pointed rock sticking up, near some other rocks. That is the pointed Pope’s hat. At a slightly different angle, you will still see two little points of rock. That denotes the two trails that the Spanish used to get into the mountains, and to the Peralta mines. One is higher, one is lower. This odd rock formation was carved by the Spanish probably back in the mid to late 1600’s There were Spanish Rock Monuments leading all the way back into the mountains that they would follow. Many of them have since been destroyed by treasure hunters that were in the know. The trail winds through the massacre grounds, where many skeletons, mostly bones, were found back in the 1800’s by the calvary. At first they though it was the bones of warring indians, until an examiner found dental work not used by Apaches. They were Spanish bones. The Apaches chased them out of the higher Salt River Mountains, where a very rich gold mine is located even today, but is nearly death defying to reach. They picked them off in small groups, and killed their mules, then they scattered the gold on the desert floor. I have seen some of that gold, back in the 60’s, but it has all been recovered by several people, Jacob Waltz being one of the first, and most successful at finding it. Back in his day, the mule bones and rotted leather packs could still be located. Then, it was just a matter of scooping up and panning it out at the many nearby water holes. The Spanish miners split up once past the Salt River, and half of them went south east, down Labarge Canyon, and near the Dons Camp area. They fought the Apaches all the way, and a few made it down near Queen Creek, where the Peralta Stones were found. The stone maps were the maps made to find the main mine, for the king of Spain. They had the maps with them because they had just finished carving them on this particular trip. They were pinned down and had to hide them there. One stone map shows the Pope’s hat monument, that can still be seen today. Jacob Waltz was seen many times passing the old ranch there, and he even stopped in for coffee and dinner a few times. There were 3 Indians that were also seen in that area, scooping up gold from the desert floor, about the same time. Jacob  was finding the lions share up in La Barge, and he would pan it out at Whiskey Spring. It is nearly impossible to find any today, because the old cowboys caught on to what was going on and they to found much of it. Today there is no sign of the mules or any other trace of where it happened. Ole Tex, that owned the Quarter Circle  ranch knew the secret. He also knew that there was still an unbelievably rich mine high in the mountains.

    We have gone in by helicopter back when it was still legal to do so. I have traversed the high peaks, through brush so thick that you couldn’t get through it, and it  ripped your clothes to shreds, leaving you a bloody mess. It is so steep that you fear falling, and the ground sluffs away from beneath your feet. We had to use rope to get out of there one time. We were actually ledge locked, with no escape other than repelling down. We always had rope, it would be suicide not to. We had to find our way down through a steep canyon with a cougar stalking us that night, until we finally spotted him and fired a few rounds to scare him away. He would be out of sight and let out a blood curdling screetch that really made your blood curdle! All night he was just a few hundred feet away. Don’t even get me started on the rattle snakes! At first light we made it down to Apache lake where we hitched a ride on a boat full of Boy Scouts. They thought we were CRAZY! My partner and I got old looking for it. The trip before our last trip, we nearly didn’t make it out. A fall day turned very hot, and we busted a trail though an area not travelled by man in 200 years, and ran out of water, with no springs anywhere. We found where the Spaniards built up the trail to keep their mules from falling down into the gorge below. It was pure hell to get out of there. One more trip and we realized that it is just too big and bad to find anything but by accident. We realized we were just to old to survive it if a bad turn came about. I am partly relieved, but mostly sad. To be at the whim and mercy of the really, wild wilderness, is the most freedom you will ever experience. The mine is still there, My Grandfather nearly died looking. It is the Church Of Santa Fe Treasure where many church artifacts were stored before the Pueblo revolt of 1680. Victorio Peak is another cache where the Spaniards hid the treasures from Santa Fe at the same time. The government cleaned out Victorio Peak, LBJ in particular. We know there are a few more hidden in the mountains between the Rio Grande in New Mexico, and the Gila River of Arizona. If you think you want to go look, don’t get hooked. The forces are against you.


    Doug Elam

    Oh, by the way, if you do go packing in back country that rough, make sure you wear the best hiking boots that many can buy. Make sure they fit “PERFECTLY!” I was just sitting here looking at all of the toenails I’ve lost.

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