The Legend of the Lost Dutchman State Park Arizona


Lost Dutchman State Park is conveniently located in the heart of the Superstition Mountains, approximately 20 minutes from the gates of our golf course communities in Gilbert, AZ. Known for its beautiful views of the Sonoran Desert and hiking trails for all fitness levels, this park is perfect for a day trip or weekend of camping.

While the park is filled with wildlife, what’s more intriguing is the history behind the park’s name. According to the Arizona State Parks, the legend of the Lost Dutchman gold mine has fascinated Arizona residents and tourists since the mid-1800s. As the story goes, the Peralta family of Northern Mexico discovered and excavated a gold mine in the 1840s. On their way home to Mexico, the family was ambushed and killed by a group of Apache natives.

The rumor of the mine spread throughout the region, attracting miners to the mountain. There are those who searched and were even believed to have found the mine, but when they tried to return to it, it was no longer there.

It wasn’t until the 1870s that Jacob Waltz, known as “the Dutchman” due to his German origins, was said to have found the mine by way of a descendant of the Peralta family. Waltz and his partner, Jacob Weiser, worked the mines and hoarded the gold within the mountain. Weiser is rumored to have been killed by Apache natives. However, there are those who believe he was murdered by his partner, Waltz, out of greed.

In 1891, Waltz had long settled in Phoenix and in failing health described the location of the gold mine to his neighbor and caretaker, Julia Thomas, though she was never able to find it. Many travelers have tried to uncover the lost gold mine, but none have succeeded. Adding to the mystique of the mountain, voyagers have been said to fall on bad luck and, in some cases, death in search of the mine.

If you wish to explore the legend further in the comfort of your home in our golf communities in Phoenix, AZ, you can read Barry Storm’s “Thunder God’s Gold” or watch “Lust for Gold,” a 1940s film adaptation of the novel starring Glenn Ford, Ida Lupino and Gig Young.

To learn more about Lost Dutchman State Park, you can visit the Arizona State Parks website.