Elle Miller

The Wave Cave trail, Superstition Mountains, AZ

Looking for a warm getaway with a thirst for gold, East of Phoenix lies the Superstition Mountains, home of the legend of the lost dutchman’s gold mine. 


In 1891, Jacob Waltz, well known as the Dutchman, took to the grave the location of a grand gold mine, or so it’s rumored. Barry Storm, an early author regarding the gold mine, claims Waltz found the mine abandoned by the Peralta family. Neighbors of Waltz had known of a map said to have been originally made by the Peraltas, however it was cryptic and difficult to read. The most prominent feature those who take the journey look for, is the heart shaped figure that is presented on the Peralta’s map. Some have claimed there is a heart shaped rock there, while others think it could be the location of the mine itself.


Over 100,000 people have searched for the goldmine and have either disappeared, died, or went home empty handed. Some believe a curse was put on the mine itself, as 300 people have claimed they found the mine, but disappeared shortly after.


Disregarding any believed curse, these 5,000 ft tall mountains fill the horizon line with their jagged structure, complimented by many native cacti. With 52 trails to choose from ranging from three to 28.3 miles, an active family trip is guaranteed. In addition to the many trails, lies the Superstition Mountain Museum established in 1990. There you will find artifacts such as the Peralta’s map, and proof of Jacob Waltz’s residency in Arizona. Exhibits regarding more of the history of the Superstition Mountains such as the past native american tribes who settled there, or the geological history, are also present.


With how cold Michigan gets in the winter, the Superstition mountains near Phoenix, Arizona is a great getaway for winter break bringing history, exercise, and sightseeing to the table!