Amidst the serenity of the Sonoran Desert in Central Arizona lies Lost Dutchman State Park, which is a gem for RVers with beautiful Superstition Mountains views as the backdrop. At an elevation of 2,060 feet, the park stretches over 320 acres, featuring different desert vegetation at each altitude ranging from cacti to huge rolling bare cliffs at higher attitudes. Located 40 miles from Phoenix, Lost Dutchman State Park is beaming with outdoor activities and serves as a popular getaway for RV explorers interested in sampling the beauty of the adjacent Toronto National Forest. Lost Dutchman is a must visit for RVers, both for its hiking trails suitable for any skills level and for its invitingly beautiful landscaping.
Lost Dutchman offers an array of activities including backpacking, cycling, hiking, and horseback riding. During your stay here you can spot nocturnal desert wildlife including mule deer, coyote, bobcats, foxes, and javelina. Birding enthusiasts will love the chance to spot hawks, owls, and hummingbirds. Gracing the Lost Dutchman scenery is a variety of desert flora such as giant saguaro, cholla, brittle brush, prickly pear, and shrubs. The Lost Dutchman State Park is open all year round, with January to mid-April being the peak season. However, for hikers, the ideal time to visit is during the fall, winter, and spring as the temperatures are manageable unlike in summer when there are exhilarating temperatures
RV Rentals in Lost Dutchman State Park
Transportation in Lost Dutchman State Park
Lost Dutchman State Park is conveniently located off of Highway 88, within about an hour's drive from Phoenix. You shouldn't have any trouble driving along the majestic desert roads that lead into the park. Just a stone’s throw from Apache Junction you will find that the one-way lane road leading to Lost Dutchman State Park is smooth, making it easily accessible by RV. Inside the park, the trails are wide, well-raked, and easily accessible.
There are a number of parking lots dotted around the park. Depending on where you want to start your trek you can either park your RV at the Cholla Day Use, Saguaro Day Use, or Siphon Draw parking lots. There is also an Overflow parking lot if the park is especially busy. If you are camping you can park your rig at the campsites. Once you park your RV it'll be easy to access the large number of hiking and biking trails all over the park.
Campgrounds and parking in Lost Dutchman State Park
Campsites in Lost Dutchman State Park
Mesa / Apache Junction KOA
In the shadow of the stunning Superstition Mountains, just east of Phoenix, Arizona, is Mesa/Apache Junction KOA, in a landscape many consider to be one of the most beautiful in the western United States. Nearby, you’ll find the amazing 145-mile Apache Trail loop, where you can explore the history and gorgeous geography of this area, including ancient Indian Ruins and Western lore. Off-road jeep tours, rock climbing, hiking, and backpacking are all nearby in state and regional parks. Just 30 miles east of Major League Baseball spring training games, Mesa/Apache Junction KOA is in prime position to let you enjoy all this amazing area has to offer. Enjoy the year-round heated pool, hot tub, assorted games and sports facilities, a dog park for the pups, and much more. In the evening, take in some of the most wonderful sunsets you’ll ever see. Pull-through sites can accommodate rigs up to 65 feet, and propane is available on-site for purchase.
Lost Dutchman State Park Campground
Lost Dutchman Park boasts 134 campsites housed in seven loops to accommodate RVs, trailers, and tents. Open all year round, the campground consists of dry campsites, 68 electric hookup sites, two group camping areas, and overflow sites. Reservations can be made from one day up to one year in advance.
There are no length limits for trailers and RVs. The cell signal is fairly good but there is no Wi-Fi connectivity. Generator use is allowed from 8.00 am to 9.00 pm. If you want to enjoy your RV vacation without distraction remember to bring noise-canceling headphones with you. Beware, there are notorious mice and desert rats, so remember to take the necessary precautions to deter them such as leaving lights on around your RV.
For shopping needs, campers can drive to the nearby Apache Junction five miles away. Some of the amenities available in Lost Dutchman State Park include a dump station and two shower and restrooms buildings. You'll have access to grills, fire rings, picnic tables, and electric and water hookups in some loops. Pets are allowed on camping grounds provided they are on a leash. For equestrians, there are stables offering horse rentals services just past Goldfield Ghost Town a half-mile away. You can also rent cabins if you prefer.
There are no first-come, first-served campgrounds available at this state park.
Seasonal activities in Lost Dutchman State Park
Attending Park Recreational Programs
Over the years Lost Dutchman State Park has excelled in bringing the park's atmosphere to life. Occasionally the park hosts recreational activities and special programs such as karaoke festivals, bird walks, full moon hikes, and live musical performances. Next time you are having your RV vacation be on the lookout for scheduled activities during your stay. It is worth noting that some programs like two-and-a-half-mile guided Full Moon Hike only allow a limited number of participants and requires advance booking.
The four-mile cycling trail around the campgrounds and picnic areas provides lovely views of the desert landscape. The single track trail starting from the campground is classified as moderate. The best time to cycle is in the early morning or late evening because of Arizona’s scorching sun. At this time birders can enjoy seeing a variety of birds while wildlife lovers will have fun viewing the desert animals. Additionally, the changing colors of the Superstition Mountains is a quite a marvelous sight to look at and take photographs.
With six hiking trails Lost Dutchman has everyone’s hiking prowess covered. Since the area is very humid you will need to pack a hat, sunscreen, plenty of water, snacks, and sunglasses. For beginners, you can choose the shorter and relatively easy quarter-mile Native Plant Trail and two-mile Treasure Loop Trail. The most difficult, strenuous, and steep hikes of the Siphon Draw and Flatiron Trails are best suited for an experienced hiker. In addition, they are best done during the cooler months. Trekking poles, hiking essentials, and topographic maps will come in handy. Whichever trail you choose you will have a great time absorbing the amazing views of the Superstition Mountains. During spring there is spectacular blooming of the cacti plants. Most of the trails are dog-friendly and suitable for horseback riding.
Touring the Visitors Center
If you are looking to take home some souvenirs you can head over to the Visitors Center. Here you can find restrooms, a gift shop, and exhibit section. RVers can purchase wildlife books, snacks, and maps. To get an insight of your next RV-friendly destination in the neighborhood you can grab your copy of detailed brochures featuring local attractions.
The park offers excellent picnic facilities for families, friends, and groups. Lost Dutchman State Park has 13 shaded shelter houses and three group ramadas named Saguaro, Cholla, and Palo Verde. All three ramadas are strategically placed to give guests great views of the Superstition Mountains. Similar to campsites, group ramadas can be reserved up to one year in advance and require a non-refundable reservation fee. To qualify for advanced booking in the Cholla and Saguaro ramadas you are required to have a minimum of 12 guests, while for Palo Verde the minimum number of guests is 20. Some amenities in the day use ramadas include tables, electricity, fire pits, barque grills, and drinking water.
Lost Dutchman State Park offers some of the most beautiful starry skies in the entire country. There's nothing better than enjoying a summer night sky that is dazzling with planets and celestial objects. If you drive your RV here during the summer you might be able to attend one of the park's Star Parties, where you gaze up at the skies above with high-tech telescopes.
Experiences in Lost Dutchman State Park
Lost Dutchman State Park is one of the prettiest places to camp outside of the Phoenix Metro Area. The park sits at the base of the Superstition Mountains, and the red rocks and flatiron mountain tops frame the campground creating a serene and scenic atmosphere for campers. At night, the sky is filled with stars, and I was lulled to sleep by the sound of coyotes yipping in the distance. I can't wait to camp here again!