2018  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

Starr's Mill and Lake, Peachtree City, GA

 

   
 
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   INTRODUCTION TO LOST DUTCHMAN 
STATE PARK, APACHE JUNCTION, ARIZONA

MONDAY, DECEMBER 17

 
"Named after the fabled lost gold mine, Lost Dutchman State Park is located in the   
Sonoran Desert, 40 miles east of Phoenix. Several trails lead from the park into
the Superstition Wilderness and surrounding Tonto National Forest . . .
 
Enjoy a weekend of camping and experience native wildlife
including mule deer, coyote, javelina, and jackrabbit."
 
~ Lost Dutchman State Park website
 
 

This was our first visit to Lost Dutchman State Park and the Apache Junction area, including the scenic Apache Trail roadway that goes east to Roosevelt Dam and Lake Roosevelt.

We enjoyed the park and will be back!

This entry will cover our drive from South Llana River State Park in Texas to Lost Dutchman State Park in Arizona, camping at Lost Dutchman, and some general information about this beautiful park.

I'll have additional entries about the hikes we did in the park and a day drive along the Apache Trail.

FROM THERE TO HERE

Since we drove a shorter distance on Friday due to predicted high winds along I-10 in southern Texas, we had farther to go on the weekend to make our campground reservation at Lost Dutchman on Sunday.


Hills in southern Texas on I-10

We drove about nine hours on Saturday from South Llano River SP in Texas to Los Alamos, New Mexico. All but a few miles were on I-10, where the speed limit was mostly 80 MPH through western Texas. We kept our cruise control set between 62-65 MPH. Road conditions were mostly good and traffic was relatively light except through El Paso and Los Alamos.

We spent Saturday night at a Walmart on the western side of Los Alamos; we've stayed there several times before in the same quiet spot near the garden center and tire shop.

Sunday's scenic route over mesas and through the mountains from Los Alamos to Lost Dutchman was shorter and much more interesting. We got off I-10 at Lordsburg, NM and took US 70 northwest to Globe, AZ, then US 60 to Apache Junction and the park.


US 70 south of Safford; view toward snow-topped Mt. Graham


Scenic drive through rocky canyons west of Globe on US 60

Although this route is mostly two-lane and rather hilly, the roads are good and we got there in a little over five hours with the Cameo.

I remembered liking this route going the other direction a few years ago. It's shorter and more interesting than staying on I-10 through Tucson and dealing with east metro Phoenix traffic.

The views were superb of snow-topped Mt. Graham (elev. 10,720') near Safford, the Apache Mountains near Globe, and the Superstition and Gold Vein ranges near Apache Junction, although none of my pictures do the beautiful scenery justice. A dirty windshield was the culprit . . .

INTRODUCTION TO LOST DUTCHMAN STATE PARK

We first considered camping here several months ago when we were researching places to stay in Arizona this winter. I remembered reading another Cameo owner's website or blog about the park and being impressed with the views of the Superstition Mountains.


The setting sun paints the Superstition Mountains beautiful reds and pinks.
This is the view from a trail near our campsite at Lost Dutchman SP.


The setting sun does the same thing to Four Peaks, the mountain depicted on Arizona's vehicle tags.

In addition, we knew there were a fair number of trails to hike and other scenic areas to visit nearby.

We made our campground reservation six months in advance, although you can reserve sites up to a year in advance in Arizona state parks. (We didn't know a year ago that we'd be coming out here this winter.)


Sunsets can be pretty spectacular at Lost Dutchman, with mountains in every direction.

 

The best place to learn about Lost Dutchman or most any other park is on the official park website.

It's interesting to read about the history of the park and the legend of the "Lost Dutchman Mine," which has never been found.

The main things to do in the park are camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, watching birds and other wildlife, photography, and attending special events and ranger talks. Events this winter have included monthly full moon hikes, star parties, group hikes, a medicinal plant hike, and live music.

CAMPING AT LOST DUTCHMAN STATE PARK

In addition to five camping cabins,

Lost Dutchman has 138 RV sites. Sixty-eight of them have 50/30/20-amp electricity and water; none of the sites have sewers but there is a dump station at the entrance to the campground. Fifty paved sites have no hookups.

Some of the sites are back-ins and some are pull-through. Many are long enough for big rigs. Every site has a picnic table and fire ring.

When we were making our reservation we chose a pull-through site with 50-amp electricity in the first campground loop. It turned out to be a superb choice because it was spacious on both sides, with a pretty cacti garden on the off-doorside, and we had an awesome view of the Superstition Range:

 

 

 


Holly and Casey loved to watch other dogs (and people) go by our site.

Our Verizon mobile hotspot worked well with our phones and laptop computers, and we could get lots of TV stations with just our camper antenna. The cost was $30/night plus a $10 fee when we made our reservation for one week.

While we were here we walked through the campground loops every day with the dogs and noted which sites we liked the best so we can reserve one another time we return to the park.

Continued on the next two pageshiking at Lost Dutchman State Park, Superstition Wilderness, and Tonto National Forest

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, Casey, and Holly-pup

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2018 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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