If you’re like many people, your favorite weekend getaways are on the back burner for now – but there’s great news: you can plan a one-day getaway and explore Lost Dutchman State Park, a gorgeous outdoor escape.
Where is Lost Dutchman State Park?
Located on the edge of the Tonto National Forest, Lost Dutchman State Park is just northeast of Apache Junction near Highway 60. (You can map it here.) The park is just south of the Salt River, where you’ll see the Salt River Wild Horses, and it’s packed with wild and wonderful outdoor adventures.
Hiking in Lost Dutchman State Park
The hiking trails in Lost Dutchman State Park are open. The trails run through the breathtakingly beautiful Superstition Mountains, and it’s always an adventure – just make sure you have enough water and shoes that’ll get you through the rocky terrain. Park officials recommend you carry at least a gallon of drinking water with you, and remember that the temperatures can easily soar over 100 degrees F during the day.
The most popular hikes in Lost Dutchman State Park include:
- The Native Plant Trail. This 0.25-mile trail is paved and is an easy walk.
- Treasure Loop Trail. The Treasure Loop Trail has an elevation change of 500 feet over 2.4 miles, and it’s considered a hike for those with moderate skill and experience.
- Prospector’s View Trail. This 0.7-mile moderate trail connects the Siphon Draw Trail with Treasure Loop Trail. It also connects with Jacob’s Crosscut Trail, and it offers great views whether or not you’re picking up another route.
- Jacob’s Crosscut Trail. Jacob’s Crosscut Trail is an easy walk that runs 0.8 miles along the base of the mountain. It’s the connector for Treasure Loop Trail and Prospector’s View Trail, and if you’d like, you can use it to continue 4.5 miles along the base of the mountains.
- Siphon Draw Trail. This 4-mile, moderate hike takes you up into Siphon Draw and connects you to the Flatiron.
- The Flatiron. The Flatiron is 5.8 miles roundtrip, and it’s for experienced hikers in good physical condition only. The trail isn’t designated or maintained, and it’s very steep. Most people take about 5 hours for the Flatiron hike, so be prepared.
- Discovery Trail. This short trail connects the park’s campground and day use areas. You’ll see the wildlife pond and be able to rest on the viewing bench. There are interpretive signs along the short route.
Wildlife Viewing at Lost Dutchman State Park
Bring your binoculars – Lost Dutchman is packed with thriving desert wildlife. You’ll have the opportunity to see:
- Desert mule deer
- Desert cottontail
- Greater roadrunner
- Gila monster
- Gray fox
You’ll also see a wide variety of birds on your visit to the park, particularly when you’re near the wildlife pond.
Biking at the Park
You’ll find 4 miles of mountain bike singletrack at the base of the Superstition Mountains, within Lost Dutchman State Park. You can take the winding loop trail, which is rated beginner to intermediate, where you’ll ride between giant cactuses, over rocky terrain and through sandy washes. You can use the multi-use trails in the Tonto National Forest, too, which you can access from the park – you just can’t go beyond the Wilderness Boundary on the Siphon Draw Trail. When you visit the park and pay to get in, you’ll get a trail map (that’s good for hiking, too).
Park Hours and Costs
Lost Dutchman State Park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. all year. If you’re going to hike, start early – that way, you’ll be back before it really gets hot.
It costs $7 per vehicle to enter the park. (October through May, you’ll pay $10 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as on holidays). If you’re an individual or on a bicycle, it’s $3.
Are You Buying a Home in DC Ranch?
If you’re thinking about buying a DC Ranch home for sale, you’ll be glad to know that it’s only about an hour’s drive from Lost Dutchman State Park… and we can help you find a home that’s just perfect for your needs. Check out our:
- Country Club Village homes for sale
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