Superstition Mountains and the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine

By | July 12, 2019

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Superstition Mountain Range. Source: (Wikipedia)

With the exception of the Grand Canyon, the Superstition Mountains, located to the east of Phoenix, are the most painted and photographed landmark in Arizona. However, it isn’t just their beautiful scenery that attracts this attention. According to the legends, the mountain has a history which includes hidden treasure and murder.

Superstition Mountain is 3,000 feet tall volcanic peak which is believed to have formed from a seven-mile-wide caldera. The first European explorer to discover the mountain was the Italian missionary Fray Marcos de Niza who visited it in 1639. However, it wasn’t until the late 1860s, after the Pima Indians introduced the mountain to the Salt River Valley farmers, that it earned the name Superstition Mountain. The farmers named it that based on Pima stories derived from fear of the mountain.

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The Weavers Needle rock column of Arizona’s Superstition Mountains. Source: (Wikimedia Commons)

The story for which the Superstition Mountains gained their fame allegedly occurred in 1848. According to the legend, the Peralta family from Mexico was mining gold in the Superstition Mountains and stumbled upon a fortune in gold ore. Shortly after the end of the Mexican-American War, all but one member of the Peralta family was murdered by Apache warriors before they could extract the gold.