Looking for the Lost Dutchman’s Gold

The title, Looking for the Lost Dutchman’s Gold, is an unfair tease….We didn’t even look for the lost gold mine.  The Lost Dutchman, thought to be in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix,  is one of the most famous lost mines in America. Attempting to decipher a set of clues found after Jacob Waltz’ death (1810- 1892), thousands of people have looked for his hidden gold mine ever since.   Unfortunately, some die while searching each year.

fullsizeoutput_37ffYet even without the quest of gold, we enjoyed our stay at Lost Dutchman State Park, nestled at the base of the Superstition Mountains.   This is truly one of the nicest state parks we’ve been to anywhere (sorry Oregon…). As you can see our view was amazing!



Sunrise was beautiful day after day!


This was one of the fullest saguaros we have ever seen – lots of arms!


The blooming ocotillo was lovely as well!

There are lots of hiking trails within the park and signs with desert information. An Eagle Scout made a Sundial from a coyote silhouette.

Of course there were real coyotes too – a neighbor saw one in our campsite, and Randy heard them howling a couple times.

The above mentioned camper was slightly annoying in that he would turn on his outside TV and then go off on a walk or whatever…..AARGH!  At least the volume wasn’t very loud and they were only there for the weekend.


See any people out there watching that TV?

We had to protect our vehicles from those pesky packrats, surrounding our trailer and lighting up the engine compartment of the truck with rope lights.


So, since we didn’t search for gold – we did other things in Apache Junction!


We went to the Mining Camp Restaurant – recommended by my cousin Lisa from her visits there years ago when she was driving trucks cross country.


We went to the Superstition Mountain Museum which highlighted Apacheland, at one time a location for filming western movies.



This is the Elvis Presley Chapel which figured prominently in the 1969 movie Charro! – Elvis’ only dramatic, non-singing movie role.

fullsizeoutput_3802It was at another chapel that we had our big negative experience of the week!  The Goldfield Ghost Town website indicated worship services on Sunday morning so we went to the touristy venue with the idea of having breakfast, going to service and then exploring the ghost town.

The Sunday before Christmas, at a tourist venue, we expected a nice version of Cowboy Church. Instead, we and other tourists joined an established congregation using that chapel.  The “service” was the most hateful, judgmental, politically charged event we’ve ever had the misfortune to attend. If we could have exited with any kind of grace, we would have. The best I can say is that we survived it and my Trip Advisor review will allow other visitors to be more aware than we were.

Otherwise, our trip to Goldfield Ghost Town was enjoyable.

fullsizeoutput_3801There was a shoot-out on Main Street and a nice little train ride around the town and lots of shopping opportunities!   Too bad I don’t have room to collect “stuff.”

On our last day at the park, Randy was touristed out and stayed home with Elko.  They did “boy things” to the trailer. I went on a Salt River Canyon cruise on the Dolly Steamboat.


People from Phoenix thought it was cold so I had the upstairs, outside seating all to myself for awhile!


The views and rock formation were terrific. This one below looks like a young girl looking up towards the left AND looks like Bach playing a piano to the right. The sound system played a Bach composition as we traveled through this area.



We enjoyed the Bald Eagle up atop the cliff and LOVED the Big Horned Sheep along the journey.

The captain spotted this sheep first – and suggested he was “mooning” the boat. In fact, it is often the lighter hind end that allows them to be spotted.


After having a boat for so many years, I love any opportunity to get out on the water – and what an unexpected pleasure to do so in the Arizona desert!

About Serene

Former full time RVers, transitioned to homeowners and travelers. We've still got a map to finish! Home is the Phoenix area desert and a small cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona.
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5 Responses to Looking for the Lost Dutchman’s Gold

  1. Mark McClelland says:

    That boat ride looks wonderful. And so nice to have the upper deck to yourself, for a while anyways! Don’t get me started on the topic of outdoor televisions!! I don’t get the concept at all, and especially don’t appreciate hearing someone else’s music or programs!

    • Serene says:

      If we hadn’t been able to tell they were weekend warriors from the check out date on the campsite post, it would have been worse….and he really was a nice guy. The sound wasn’t loud, just enough to be heard and thus be annoying in the stillness of the desert.

  2. Elizabeth and Les Wiebe says:

    How was the wind and rain storm today at Lost Dutchman State Park? We are in Gold Canyon RV Resort just a few miles east of you. Enjoying your blog. Merry Christmas!

    • Serene says:

      We’ve actually moved on to Valle de Oro in Mesa (and getting ready to move again on Wednesday). We drove to family’s house yesterday afternoon and could just see the water pools in the desert. Interesting that it doesn’t just soak in…. Merry Christmas!

  3. Rosa says:

    I just love it.
    Serene & Randy Merry Christmas.
    I lost all my contacts # will you please text me so I can get the #
    I am so happy for you guys you doing what you love to do.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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