Superstitions Aren't Just for Profressional Athletes in Phoenix
Just an hour outside of the Phoenix Arizona lies one of the best hiking areas. The Superstition Wilderness area is located within a 50 miles of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Formed by volcanic eruptions over 15 million years ago, The Superstition Mountains are home to narrow twisting canyons, impressive rock walls, and majestic rock spires. The Superstition Wilderness Area was created in 1939 and expanded in 1984. It currently contains approximately 160,200 protected acres. Elevation ranges from 2000 to 6265 feet and is considered Arizona’s most rugged ranges. The area is extremely accessible with routes from US - 60, AZ State 88, and AZ State Route 188.
Weavers Needle, Freemont Saddle, Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, Miner's Needle and Peralta Canyon are some the most commonly visited attractions. The Superstitions are well known for its mining legends, ghost stories and secret map lore. It is widely know that a German immigrant named Jacob Waits discovered a mother load and revealed the location on his deathbed in 1891. He revealed the information Julia Thomas, a boarding-house owner who had taken care of him for many years. Several mines have been claimed but the actual mine Waitz discovered was never verified.
The most visited hiking destinations are the Peralta Canyon Area and the Lost Dutchman Area.
Peralta Canyon Area
Located on the south side of the range, this popular area provides access to Superstition Peak, Weaver's Needle, Miner's Trail, Miner's Needle, Peralta Canyon Trail, Cave Trail, and Bluff Spring Trail.
To get to the Peralta Canyon area, take Hwy 60 from Phoenix heading towards Globe (east) to milepost 204. Turn left on Peralta Rd. From here go about 7 miles until you reach the pay station. If climbing Superstition Peak, you could park 0.6 miles before the fee area at the Carney Springs Trailhead.
Lost Dutchman Area
Located on the west side of the range, this popular area provides access to Flatiron, Siphon Draw Trail, Treasure Loop Trail, and The Hand. Lost Dutchman State Park is the jumping off point for these areas. The Park is close to the wilderness area and charges a fee for entrance and parking. Restrooms, campgrounds, improved trails, and lots of people are the result of these fees.
To get to the Lost Dutchman State Park, which is located off of AZ Highway 88, drive east from Phoenix on US-60 and exit on Idaho Road. Go north on Idaho Road for 2.5 miles and turn right (follow signs for Hwy 88) toward Canyon Lake. Drive 5 miles to Lost Dutchman State Park.
With nearly 30 trails there is always a new places to explore and hike. The area is beautiful and often rugged. The Superstitions can be inhospitable to those not equipped to meet the ever changing weather. Searing heat and a shortage of water are typical conditions in the summer. Bitter cold, rains and the rare snowstorm may occur in the winter.