A New Park with New Views

After spending 3 weeks at two different parks in Tucson, early Saturday morning we finally packed it up and made the move north to Phoenix. I must admit that Phoenix is one of those cities I thought we would skip over. In my mind it was nothing more than a large sprawling city crawling with retired folks and overrun with artificially green golf courses. While I suspect I might be partially right in my initial assessment, what I failed to realize is that Phoenix is surrounded by one of our favorite things. Mountains! Lots of mountains! The city is essentially plunked down in wide valley bordered on all sides by a ring of jagged peaks and soft rolling slopes.

Superstition Mountains
Late afternoon view of Flat Iron Peak in the Superstition Mountains

On the southeast side of the city lies the Superstition Mountain range. This is where we’ve made our home for the next 12 days. We’re staying at Lost Dutchman State Park which is tucked right up against the Superstition Ridgeline. It’s another nice Arizona state park with scenic views and large sites.

Lost Dutchman SP
Our site with a large front yard, Mountain view from our yard

Our site boasts a huge private front yard surrounded by Palo Verde trees. This time of year the prickly, yet lovely, Arizona state tree doesn’t have leaves, but its profusion of spiny branches provides a nice amount of filtered shade over our sitting area. It’s been awhile since we stayed anywhere with vegetation this tall (except the Saguaros of course) so we’re pretty excited about our mini forest in the desert.

Lost Dutchman SP
A tree of our very own

The Superstitions are filled with miles and miles of hiking trails. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the hiking possibilities around here with two medium length treks. Both hikes started at our front door and explored the area just east of the campground.

Superstition Mountains
Mountain views

We’ve noticed that in response to a plethora of recent precipitation the desert is beginning to show signs of greening up for spring. We even spotted some wildflowers on the trail!

Lost Dutchman SP
Mexican Poppies, A Cholla forest surrounded by green, Cholla skeleton in the “grass”, Brittlebrush shrub in flower

Besides hiking the only other exploring we’ve done in the area so far is a quick visit to the Goldfield Ghost Town, which resides across the street from Lost Dutchman S.P.. Back in the early 1890s when gold fever raged in the west Goldfield was a booming mining town with a population of five thousand. There was once over 50 working mines in the area and everyone wanted to get their piece. The Goldfield Ghost town is now a tourist attraction with a few original buildings and many more built to look old.

Goldfield Ghost town
A unique sign

This is one of those places where there is no entrance fee, but everything costs something. There’s a fee for a picture with a cowboy, a fee for a trip down into the mine, a fee for a look in the museum, a fee for a ride on the train, a fee to try your luck panning for gold. Needless to say we weren’t so intrigued that we paid the fee for any of those activities. However, we did enjoy browsing through the shops and looking at some of the authentic mining town artifacts.

Goldfield Ghost Town
Scenes from a ghost town

We also happened to arrive just in time for the hourly gunfight show.

Goldfield Ghost Town
A gunfight every hour on the hour

Overall it was a fun place to spend an hour or two, but if we weren’t staying across the street I am not sure we would have taken the time to seek it out. We have lots more activities planned for our 2 week stay in the Phoenix area. Including a few sporting events, a long mountain drive with a lake visit, some ambitious hiking, a meet up with a couple we meet back in Tucson, and who knows what else. Stay tuned!

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4 Responses to “A New Park with New Views”

Comments

  1. Ingrid

    Glad you’re enjoying your time at Lost Dutchman. Aren’t the Superstitions beautiful? We loved the hiking there. Wish we were still in AZ. Safe travels and it was nice meeting you…..Ingrid

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Nice meeting you too! We really like it here and are happy that we decided to spend 2 weeks.

      Reply
  2. John in Mesa

    Welcome to our neck of the woods. You picked a wonderful time to visit. Hope you’ll be around long enough to attend the antique tractor pull in AJ on the 9th.

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Thanks! We will still be here on the 9th, but have a day long activity planned already. So much to do!!!

      Reply

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