We have been in the area now for four days. The first two days at the Apache Junction KOA, and now our second day at Lost Dutchman State Park. Continuing with our “philosophy” that “we doan need no stink’n reservations”, we were able to get into the park’s overflow area, pretty much for as long as we want it. Although this is dry camping, with no hook-ups, this “overflow” has to be the best that one will find anywhere. It is located at the highest elevation within the park, with paved and well-manicured sites complete with fire rings and picnic tables. Each site is as good as reserved sites, except with no hook-ups. Perfect for us because we are self-contained and our tanks were empty except for water, which was full. All sites within the park, overflow included, are spaced such that you never feel crowded. All at different elevations with Sonoran Desert at its best between sites. Just gorgeous. And, as a backdrop, the Superstition Mountains in all their glory.
Our site, due purely to luck of the draw, was elevated such that we had panaramic 360 degree views. We are truly Happy Campers.
Although this state park is convenient to Apache Junction and amenities, it also serves as a gateway to go further east into the back country toward Canyon Lake, Tortilla Flat, Roosevelt Lake and, ultimately Globe, should someone want to take that route which includes gravel roads intermittently along the way. One of our day trips took us as far as Tortilla Flats, a small tourist attraction about 15 miles back into the hills. The scenery along the way made the trip worthwhile. Quite stunning, and oh so western. As always, just click any photo to see an enlarged version.
This photo of the western end of Canyon Lake does not due it justice. When you get down to the shore, the sheer walls of stone dropping right down to the water are pretty dramatic. Although not visible in the photo, there is a dam upstream to the left. Behind the dam, is Saguaro Lake of equal size. And, although it is hard to see in this photo, there is a break in the rocks where Canyon Lake flows north and then east behind the far ridge, becoming Roosevelt Lake behind yet another dam. The lakes in total probably stretch 50 miles west-to-east.
Once we reached Tortilla Flats for a rest stop and gift shop “spree”, we turned around and re-traced our route back to Lost Dutchman State Park. Along the way, we encountered this “family” of Saguaros, the father and mother with their arms around each other.
On another day, we visited Goldfield Ghost Town which WAS a real town back in 1890 when gold was discovered in the area. It is thought that the name was a reflection of the number of mines in the immediate vicinity. Some say the buildings are the original ones. Others say the town burned down at some point and was partially reconstructed on the same site. Regardless, today the buildings appear to be authentic even though the town is essentially a tourist destination with lots of shops, eateries, a train, gold panning and such. Even so, it’s an interesting and fun way to spend an afternoon, which we did. And to make it all the better, Goldfield Ghost Town is almost directly across the highway from the State Park.
Stopped for a brew and wandered around town looking for a gunfight. Didn’t find one on this day, although they DO happen with some frequency.
I needed to use the restroom, but the only seat in town was taken.
Have a seat!