Welcome to my article on the Superstition Mountains! My name is Kevin Antol. I’m 32 years old and I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was originally born in Indiana but my family moved us down here for a better life.
My passion for travel and photography started eight years ago when I was in the US Navy. Visiting different countries was an awesome experience that I wanted to document through photography. Today, I love nothing more than exploring and capturing all the beautiful places in Arizona.
One of my favorite spots in Arizona is the Superstition Mountains. As soon as you enter the mountains from any point – whether it’s via Lost Dutchman State Park, Canyon Lake or the Gold Canyon area – you will truly feel like you are in another world! Towering cliffs and giant hoodoos on the ridge line almost look like landscapes from the Lord of the Rings movies.
I have been adventuring in the Superstition Mountains for about five years now after I moved to Mesa, Arizona. I love them so much that I bought the annual state parks pass to access them from Lost Dutchman State Park at any time. This state park is my favorite vantage point of the range.
Hiking Trails in the Superstition Mountains
For those interested in experiencing the Superstition Mountains for the first time I would recommend visiting Lost Dutchman State Park. Great views and several trails within the park lead to a very good day. Lost Dutchman State Park is home to Siphon Draw Trail which is a difficult hike (my favorite) that takes you to the top of what is known as Flatiron Peak.
One of my best memories from the mountains has to be the first time I made it to the very top of Flatiron Peak, with over 2600 feet of elevation gain and about five miles round trip. It was such a great feeling standing at the top above the world and looking down on the valley during sunset!
Other hikes such as the Wave Cave Trail accessed on the Gold Canyon side offers a nice walk to a cave where the Apache Kid hid out in the old Western days. Also in the same area is Hieroglyphic Trail, a short and relatively easy hike towards the base of the mountains with views of Gold Canyon and Native American petroglyphs along the rock walls at the end.
Peralta Trail is another favorite of mine, also in Gold Canyon. It’s a moderate hike with plenty of incline leads to the Fremont Saddle which overlooks Weavers Needle – truly a unique sight to see! Other than that there are tons of things to see in and around the Superstition Mountains area.
Other Points of Interest in the Area
Canyon Lake is close by and offers a scenic mountain drive along the Apache Trail which leads to Tortilla Flat, an old “ghost town” near the lake. Across from Lost Dutchman State Park you have Goldfield Ghost Town. This was a real mining town back in the late 1800’s and has now been turned into a tourist spot for some old West fun the whole family can enjoy.
Goldfield Ghost Town has mine tours, a zip line and cowboy gunfights everyday during the cooler months. Of course, Salt River is close by as well and offers an extraordinary time as you can kayak or float down the river during the summer and witness the wild horses that live in the area.
Where to Stay near the Superstition Mountains
I recommend booking a couple of nights at the Lost Dutchman State Park cabins or camping lots. Close by is the Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch and marina where you can book a room right by the river and have a short 15 minute drive to the Supes. VRBO’s as well as Airbnb’s will probably be the best bet if you are not looking to camp. Nearby towns such as Apache Junction and Gold Canyon also have hotels within minutes of the range.
Need to Know Before you Go
If you go hiking in the Superstition Mountains, especially in the summer, you absolutely must bring enough water. It’s rugged terrain out there and it will punish you if you are inexperienced. The summer months are not the ideal time to hike in these places but you will be just fine visiting.
Unless you are a trooper and can wake up and hike before dawn and get back to the car shortly after sunrise, I would definitely not risk hiking in the mid day summer heat. Other than that, weekends are the busiest time at all these places I have listed so go early. Thanks for reading everyone. Enjoy!