The Superstition Mountains and the legend of the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine have been written about in books are the subject of the movie Lust for Gold. This trip takes you into the heart of the wilderness in the area that many feel the gold mine is located. The tour takes you over mountain passes and into canyons that can be lush with vegetation past areas where Salado Indians lived hundreds of years ago and where miners camped only decades ago. Deer, big horn sheep and coyote inhabit this area as well as many species of plants from giant saguaro cacti to desert wildflowers. The routes in this area can make good beginner trips because many trails have only moderate gains in elevation.
* Route variation. Please note the routes may change due to the availability of water.
The group enters the Superstition Mountains along the Dutchman trail ascending past the towering Miner’s Needle to Miners Saddle for views that stretch for miles. From the saddle the group will hike to the heart of the wilderness past areas where mining camps once stood into the lush LaBarge Canyon. The group will set up camp at the reliable Charlebois Spring. Distance hiked today is 8.7 miles with gain of almost 800 feet from the trailhead to Miner’s Saddle.
After breakfast, the group packs up camp and hikes the Calvary Trail through Marsh Valley where “Crazy Jake” Jacob once had his camp. Black and Malapis Mountains tower above as the trail winds into Boulder Canyon and our camp for the night in Boulder Basin. Once in camp there is time for exploring or the steep but rewarding hike to the top of Black Top Mesa for great views and Spanish Heiroglyphics. Distance hiked is 6.3 miles with little elevation change.
The groups hikes out of the Superstitions today along the Peralta Trail past the base of the most prominent feature in these mountains, the 1,200 tall Weavers Needle. The trail also passes the sites of the camps of rival miners Ed Piper and Celeste Jones before reaching Fremont Saddle for some of the best views of the wilderness. Distance hiked is 7 miles, with a 1,400 foot gain to the saddle.