A pale moon rises over a rocky spire in the midst of the Sonoran Desert. An unspoken mystique seems to hang in the air as you survey the tranquil scene in milky starlight.
There’s something about the crags of the Superstition Mountains in the distance that seem to hide a secret. The old legends of the hidden gold mines within seem to beckon you onward — just beware of the wild coyotes baying into the night.
With scenes like this, it’s no surprise Teddy Roosevelt called the park, “one of the most spectacular best-worth-seeing sights in the world.”
In this ultimate guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about visiting one of Arizona’s greatest destinations: Lost Dutchman State Park.
Lost Dutchman State Park Facts
This Arizona gem is steeped in history and legend. Get a full appreciation for the place with these Lost Dutchman State Park facts!
- Lost Dutchman State Park is a 320-acre park situated near the Superstition Mountains in Arizona.
- The park is known for its rich history, local legends surrounding a lost gold mine, craggy mountainscapes, and open plains.
- The park is named after the renowned Lost Dutchman gold mine. It’s said that a German immigrant named Jacob Waltz discovered the mine in the 19th century but never revealed its location.
- This is the most famous of many origin stories about the mine. Some claim the Spanish governor of New Mexico planted his family fortune there. Others say the gold is Lost Apache Treasure, others still believe that it was discovered by the U.S. Army.
- Even today, people worldwide come to Arizona seeking the lost treasure — as many as 9,000 per year!
- After a season of heavy rainfall, you may be treated to fields of lush, golden, desert wildflowers all across the plains.
Book your trip now to explore the rich history of the land and learn more about the mystical origin stories that are whispered through the park.
Best Lost Dutchman State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
Get yourself situated in a cozy spot for your stay. You can cut down on planning time with our handy list below. These are our five picks of the best Lost Dutchman State Park RV parks and campgrounds.
Lost Dutchman State Park RV Campground
The RV sites in Lost Dutchman State Park are your best bet for convenience, price
, and location. Sixty-eight of the sites come with electric and water hookups. The rest are open sites along a paved road. Wake up next to the sunrise coming up over the Superstition Mountains, enjoy limitless space, and stay in the heart of the adventure.
More information: Lost Dutchman State Park RV Campground
Superstition Lookout RV Resort
Need a more cushy list of amenities with immaculate facilities to boot? Check out this RV campground near Lost Dutchman State Park. Besides full hookups at every site, Superstition Lookout has a cozy library, community kitchen, a gym, and shuffleboards. Each site is sectioned off for a quiet and comfortable stay.
More information: Superstition Lookout RV Resort
Mesa / Apache Junction KOA Journey
If you’re looking to visit a few parks in the area, this RV campground near Lost Dutchman State Park will do the trick. You’ll be located near the city proper and just 15 minutes away from Lost Dutchman and other attractions in the area. The sites include full hookups, free Wi-Fi, a laundry room, pool, rec room, and more.
More information: Mesa / Apache Junction KOA Journey
Blue Star RV Resort
Blue Star is another nice option if you’d like to be within Apache Junction. You’ll find full hookups, back-in gravel lots, and Wi-Fi. The park is divided into two sections — the “Blue Star” side and the “Dutchman” side. Make sure to book the Dutchman side if possible. You’ll pay a premium, but it’s well worth it for better views and a higher level of privacy.
More information: Blue Star RV Resort
Happy Days RV Park
The friendly hosts at Happy Days RV Park give this welcoming campground even more quaint charm. You’ll find a hot tub, pool, golf driving range, and restrooms with private showers. All sites are full hookups and come with reliable, fast Wi-Fi. Stay close to plenty of local attractions in a friendly environment at Happy Days.
More information: Happy Days RV Park
Best Time to Visit Lost Dutchman State Park
With temperatures reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, a well-timed visit to the Sonoran desert is critical for a comfortable trip. Find the best time to visit Lost Dutchman State Park with our seasonal guide.
Blazing hot summers might make winter RV camping
in Lost Dutchman State Park seem like a snowbird’s dream. And it’s true that the days are about a crisp 60 degrees. But you’ll also need to expect nights near freezing. If you don’t mind cold weather RVing, you’ll get to enjoy sparsely populated campgrounds and have the park seemingly to yourself.
For the very best of the already gorgeous landscape, try spring RV camping in Lost Dutchman State Park. Around mid-May, the brown hues of barren land begin to change. Verdant growth in the form of wild desert flowers color the scene in rich tones of gold and orange. This arid desert around Lost Dutchman is full of surprises.
All but the most diehard sunbathers among us should give this season a pass. Summer RV camping in Lost Dutchman State Park brings with it scorching days reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most parks have some saving grace in the form of lakes and rivers to get a little relief. But Sonoran’s intense heat with no major bodies of water nearby makes it tough to recommend a summer visit. Steer clear from June through August unless you’re a big fan of extreme heat.
Fall is one of the best options for RV camping in Lost Dutchman State Park. Daytime temperatures start at a balmy mid-80s in October and slowly drop to the mid-70s. Try an October visit for a summery feel. Or late November for crisper autumn winds. Do bring some layers as nights can get pretty chilly.
Things to Do in Lost Dutchman State Park
Now that all the planning is squared away, let’s get into the fun part. This list of things to do in Lost Dutchman State Park will get you started.
- Observe the wildlife. Sonoran is home to a diverse set of animal life that you might spot with an observant eye. Listen to the howl of wild coyotes in the morning or as they hunt at night, yipping at the moon. Look for moving brush at sunrise and sunset for a chance to see desert cottontail rabbits.
- Try earth caching. This eco-friendly alternative to geocaching is a fun way to share your trip pictures on social media. Check out the Lost Dutchman geocaching page to see how it works. After downloading the app, you can also learn more about each location you visit through your phone’s GPS.
- Hike the trails. Lost Dutchman’s trails are perfect for any skill level of hiker and offer great views all along the way. Try Jacob’s Crosscut for a shorter, 4.8-mile trail that will take under two hours to finish. There is a longer 5.5-mile trail available but the path is not well marked.
- Visit Goldfield Ghosttown. Take a family-friendly glimpse into the past at the Goldfield Ghosttown. This was the site of a real mining town that’s been faithfully restored as it was in the 1890s. Adults can learn a bit of history while kids can have some fun watching mock gunfights or panning for gold.
- Ascend the Flatiron Peak. If you’re looking for a challenge, the nearby Flatiron Peak is it. This mountain is not for the faint of heart. You’ll be faced with steep uphill sections and plenty of scrambling. Plan for about six hours of work ahead of you. But, you’ll be blessed with the best view in Apache Junction and know it was all worth it as you reach the top.
With so much to do, you’ll want to book your trip in advance and plan enough time to see all the breathtaking sights the park has to offer.
Tips on Visiting Lost Dutchman State Park
Just a minute! Before you go, keep in mind these final tips on visiting Lost Dutchman State Park.
- Bring plenty of water. You’ll use more than you think you need and you absolutely don’t want to run out on a trail.
- There is little shade throughout the park and the sun is relentless. Consider bringing a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and any other protection you think you might need.
- Be kind to the wildlife. Never feed wild animals, keep your camp clear of food, and maintain a safe distance.
- Be prepared. Bring some form of GPS, a spare phone battery, sun protection, and a light source whenever you head out.
- Bring layers. Arizona nights bring dramatic drops in temperature around 20 degrees or more.
Now that you’re prepped with all the tips and tricks for navigating the desert land, it’s time to hit the road!
RV Rental for Lost Dutchman State Park
Need a pair of wheels to get you there? Grab an RV rental for Lost Dutchman State Park with Cruise America
Their line of RVs is decked out with all the essentials you’ll need to have a comfy stay wherever you go. A fully functional kitchen, bathroom and shower, bedding, and seating area make the road feel like home.
Make the journey as joyful as the destination. Reserve
a Cruise America RV rental
for Lost Dutchman State Park today!