Experience the breathtaking Arizona desert views firsthand with a Lost Dutchman State Park RV camping trip in your next Cruise America RV rental.
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 Camping Options
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 seven picks of the best Lost Dutchman State Park RV parks and campgrounds.
Lost Dutchman State Park RV Campground
Amenities: 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.
Capacity: 138 sites
More information: Lost Dutchman State Park RV Campground
Superstition Lookout RV Resort
Amenities: 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.
Capacity: 192 sites
More information: Superstition Lookout RV Resort
Mesa / Apache Junction KOA Journey
Amenities: 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.
Capacity: 100 sites
More information: Mesa / Apache Junction KOA Journey
Blue Star RV Resort
Amenities: 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.
Capacity: 147 sites
More information: Blue Star RV Resort
Happy Days RV Park
Amenities: 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.
Capacity: 180 sites
More information: Happy Days RV Park
Weaver’s Needle RV Resort
Amenities: This 55+ RV resort offers short-term and long-term RV sites for travelers to Arizona. The RV resort features full hookups, a heated swimming pool, 2 recreational halls, a spa, a putting green, pickleball and bocce ball courts, billiards, a dog park, and much more. This well-maintained RV resort is perfect for those looking to have a relaxing stay near Lost Dutchman State Park.
Capacity: over 375 sites
More information: Weaver’s Needle RV Resort
Golden Sun Resort
Amenities: Golden Sun Resort offers RV travels a convenient place to stay near Lost Dutchman State Park. This age-qualified RV community features a clubhouse, Wi-Fi access, a swimming pool, laundry facilities, a hot tub, a pickleball court, a dog park, a game room, and more for guests to enjoy. Stay for a day, a week, a month, or even the season at Golden Sun Resort.
Capacity: 329 sites
More information: Golden Sun Resort
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 earthcaching. 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.
Hiking Trails in Lost Dutchman State Park
Native Plant Trail
This hiking trail takes you on a tour of the native plant species in Lost Dutchman State Park. Be sure to stop by the ranger station to ask for plant descriptions before you go. The trail features local species such as cholla, prickly pear, ocotillo, and more along the way. The highlight of the hike is the “Watch Me Grow” saguaro cactus that the park has been measuring for over 25 years. Park in the 15-minute parking lot to the right side of the ranger station to find the trailhead for this trail.
Siphon Draw Trail
The Siphon Draw Trail is a 4-mile hike roundtrip that offers scenic views as you wind your way up a canyon called Siphon Draw. This hike is for experienced hikers, as it brings a steep rise in elevation and is not recommended for beginners.
Treasure Loop Trail
This 2.4-mile roundtrip trail is rated moderate and comes with a 500-foot elevation gain. It ends at either picnic area and is great if you want to break a sweat.
Animal Species in the Park
There are plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities at Lost Dutchman State Park, including:
Be sure to keep your distance from any wildlife you encounter to remain safe, and never try to feed a wild animal.
Earthcaching in Lost Dutchman State Park
What is earthcaching, you ask? Earthcaching presents a gentle and eco-friendly solution to the growing enthusiasm for geocaching-like pursuits in parks, offering a highly gratifying means to relish a day exploring the trails!
Geocaching involves utilizing a GPS-enabled app to embark on an outdoor adventure, uncovering peculiarities and exceptional locations along the way. Similar to geocaching, with earthcaching, you can delight in a hiking expedition through the park, utilizing your GPS unit or smartphone's compass app. Along the journey, you'll encounter captivating tales about the park and gain a deeper understanding of the natural landscape surrounding you.
Step 1. Download the park earthcaching packet.
Step 2. Choose GPS
Step 3. Explore the state park!
You have the option to select from three distinct hiking ability levels: easy, moderate, and difficult. As you explore each location in the park, immerse yourself in its beauty and create lasting memories of an extraordinary experience. Instead of the traditional cache adventures involving physical items, Earthcaching leaves only a digital footprint to preserve the land undisturbed. Capture a photo of the cache and share it on Instagram, tagging @lostdutchmanstatepark and @AZStateParks, while using the hashtag #LDSPEarthcache!
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!