Where is Lost Dutchman State Park
Located in central Arizona, Lost Dutchman State Park resides near the Superstition Mountains. The park was named for the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine and continues to keep tales of the old west alive. The park contains a campground, day use parking area, and a trailhead that provides visitors with access to hiking trails in the nearby Tonto National Forest. While these hiking trails are not directly maintained by Lost Dutchman State Park, the Forest Service and the state park work in coordination to ensure visitor access and safety. Lost Dutchman State Park is located 40 miles east of Phoenix, 105 miles north of Tucson, and 269 miles south of Grand Canyon National Park.
How Big is Lost Dutchman State Park
Lost Dutchman US State Park covers over 300 acres of Arizona desert. The nearby Superstition Mountains reach an elevation of over 6,000 feet in several places. The mountains, along with the Tonto National Forest can be accessed from the Lost Dutchman State Park trailhead. Popular hikes from the trailhead include the Siphon Draw Trail and the Peralta Trail. The Superstition ridgeline which is accessed from the Peralta Trail has a net elevation gain of just under 3,000 feet. Other trails in the park range from easy to challenging and provide hikers of all skill levels the opportunity to experience the Sonoran Desert.
Lost Dutchman State Park Weather
Temperatures in Lost Dutchman State Park frequently approach highs of over 100 degrees. Visitors should carry excess water with them at all times. The best way to recover from dehydration is to never get dehydrated in the first place. Hottest temperatures appear in the park in June, July, and August. The average lows during these months are around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, temperatures in the park average between 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Situated in the Sonoran Desert, Lost Dutchman State Park only sees about 25 days of rain per year. Yearly precipitation totals in Lost Dutchman State Park average around 10 inches.
When Did Lost Dutchman Become a State Park
First developed by the Bureau of Land Management in 1972, Lost Dutchman State Park was originally designated as a day use area only. In 1977, the passing of various legislative actions placed the park in the hands of the state of Arizona. The park was officially named Lost Dutchman State Park later that year. In 1983, the park gained an additional 32 acres, bringing its total to 320. Despite the park’s short history under state control, operation of the park has not always been smooth sailing. In fact, in 2010 the park was almost forced to shut down due to a lack of funds. However, a man from Katy, Texas donated over 8,000 dollars to help with park renovations and daily operations.
Things to do in Lost Dutchman State Park
Visitors to Lost Dutchman State Park will be transfixed by desert scenery, views of the Superstition mountains, and access to the Tonto National Forest. Our National Park Visitors Guide has listed some of these adventures and other popular experiences in Lost Dutchman State Park below:
Visit the Visitor Center
The best place for visitors to get oriented with Lost Dutchman State Park and start their adventure is at the park’s visitor center. At the Lost Dutchman Visitor Center, visitors can obtain park maps and brochures, ask park rangers specific questions, and shop in the park’s gift shop. The visitor center is open year-round.
Native Plant Trail
Visitors who are exiting the park’s visitor center should head over to the nearby Native Plant Trail. This trail winds through the desert for .25 miles and provides visitors the opportunity to view a variety of desert plants. The entire trail is paved and accessible to visitors with disabilities.
Treasure Loop Trail
The Treasure Loop Trail in Lost Dutchman State Park explores the park’s various geological features. Elevation on this trail increases over 500 feet from start to finish. The Treasure Loop Trail is 2.4 miles one way and rated moderate. The trail can be accessed from the picnic area.
Siphon Draw Trail
The Siphon Draw Trail is the most popular and most scenic hike located in Lost Dutchman State Park. The trail snakes up the Siphon Draw Canyon for two miles before ending. From here visitors can turn around and head back down the canyon or hike the additional 1.4 miles up to the Flatiron. After the two mile mark the trail is no longer maintained and becomes very strenuous. The park recommends only experienced hikers attempt to hike to the top of the Flatiron.
Hiker’s taking on the Siphon Draw Trail and the Flatiron addition who still want more adventure can continue along the Superstition Ridgeline via the Peralta Trail. However, the trail from here becomes completely unmarked and should only be attempted by experienced desert navigators. There is no water along the trail and little to no shade depending on the time of day. Hikers planning to hike this far up the ridge should have amble water and supplies.
Camping in Lost Dutchman State Park
The campground at Lost Dutchman State Park contains 138 campsites. Of these 138 campsites 68 sites are equipped with electric and water hookups. The remaining campsites are primitive sites perfect for tent campers. Every campsite contains a picnic table and an adjustable grill. Reservations for the park’s campground can be made online or over the phone.
Lost Dutchman State Park provides habitat for a variety of desert wildlife species. The most common species visitors are able to spot are mule deer, coyotes, desert cottontails, and greater roadrunners. Other more elusive species found in the park are bobcats and gila monsters.
When to Visit Lost Dutchman State Park
Visitors can visit Lost Dutchman State Park throughout the year. However, summer temperatures in the park get very intense. Visitors looking to visit during the summer months should be prepared to brave the heat. Winter is a great time to visit the park and avoid high summer temperatures. Spring and fall are also great times to visit the park. Anyone camping during the winter months should expect nightly temperatures to approach lows of 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Must Have Items to Bring to Lost Dutchman State Park
Every trip outdoors requires an amount of packing and planning and a trip to Lost Dutchman State Park is no exception. The list below contains essential items List of Parks suggests visitors will want to bring with them on their trip.
Water & High Energy Snacks
Temperatures in Lost Dutchman State Park consistently exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Other seasons in the park also experience intense heat. Every visitor should bring a vast supply of water, electrolyte-filled beverages, and high energy snacks with them to the park. Dehydration is a real concern in the park and should be taken seriously.
Study Hiking Boots
Several hikes in the park feature routes that traverse unstable terrain. These hikes should not be attempted without the proper footwear. Hikers traveling to the par should be equipped with a sturdy pair of hiking boots.
Layers of Clothing
Temperatures in the desert can drop drastically when the sun goes down. Visitors planning to be in the park after dark and campers especially should look to bring a variety of layers of clothing with them to the park. The best way to prepare for intense heat and cooler temperatures is to wear several lightweight layers that can be taken off or added at will.
Visitors looking to explore and learn about the park's vegetation or wildlife species should purchase a field guide before visiting the park. A proper field guide will include color photos and species descriptions that will make identification easy.
Campers looking to visit Lost Dutchman State Park should make a camping equipment checklist they can follow when packing for their trip. This will ensure no necessary equipment gets let behind at home.
The trail system at Lost Dutchman State Park can become very confusing very quickly in the intense heat. Hikers should obtain and study park maps at the park’s visitor center. Hikers can also ask rangers more specific questions about trail conditions.
Yes, pack more water; at Lost Dutchman State Park you can never have enough.
Where to Stay in Lost Dutchman State Park
Visitors looking to stay in Lost Dutchman State Park should make reservations for the park’s campground or cabins online through the park website. Visitors who prefer to stay in a hotel during their trip to Lost Dutchman State Park should pursue options in Phoenix. The city is 40 minutes away from the park.
Food Near Lost Dutchman State Park
There are several restaurants near Lost Dutchman State Park that visitors can enjoy a nice meal at. Visitors who are looking for more options or something specific should make a trip to Phoenix. The city has a large culinary scene and several bars and restaurants that serve diverse menus.
Airports Near Lost Dutchman State Park
The closest airport to Lost Dutchman State Park is located in Phoenix. The Phoenix Sky Harbor International airport is located about 40 miles away from the park. The next closest airport to Lost Dutchman State Park resides in Tucson and is a two-hour drive away.