Tag Archives: Lost Dutchman State Park

Top Picnic Places In Arizona

Top Picnic Places In Arizona

With the weather getting warmer, who doesn’t want to spend more time outdoors? So gather your family and have yourself a picnic.

This spring season, consider having a picnic at one of the following locations:

Northern Arizona

Dead Horse Ranch State Park is located in Cottonwood and covers 423 acres of land that includes 10 hiking trails, 22 campground sites and two picnic areas. Situated near the Verde River, Dead Horse Ranch has abundant flora and wildlife that changes depending on the season.

675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd.
Cottonwood, AZ 86326
(928) 634-5283

Red Rock State Park is another great place to have a picnic. This park’s signature red rocks and lush greenery are the perfect scenery for having lunch outdoors. Red Rock also has many hiking trails: The Coyote Ridge Trail, Kisva Trail, Yavapai Ridge Trail, Javelina Trail and Rattlesnake Ridge, which rises above the Twin Cypress picnic area.

4050 Red Rock Loop Rd.
Sedona, AZ 86336
(928) 282-6907

Slide Rock State Park, named after the slippery creep bottom nearby, is another Sedona favorite for picnicking. Aside from its nature trails, Slide Rock also has a wading and swimming area that’s perfect for cooling off. Its apple barn offers seasonal apple picking, and Slide Rock Market has snacks and picnic supplies.

6871 N. Highway 89A
Sedona, AZ 86336
(928) 282-3034

Eastern Arizona

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is located three miles west of Superior. It features Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden, beautiful vistas, natural habits, a desert lake, picnic areas and a visitor center. This is the perfect place to admire nature while picnicking.

37615 U.S. Hwy 60
Superior, AZ 85273
(520) 689-2811

Another park that made this top picnic places list is named after one of Arizona’s lost gold mines. Lost Dutchman State Park is located five miles north of Apache Junction and is at the base of Superstition Mountains. Along with hiking and nature trails, picnic facilities and 35 campsites are offered throughout the year.

6109 N. Apache Trail
Apache Junction, AZ 85219
(480) 982-4485

Southern Arizona

Patagonia Lake is a popular spot to have a picnic. Camping sites are offered depending on how much you want to rough it. They range from undeveloped spots to places with running water and electricity. Patagonia includes picnic ramadas, a swimming beach and a boat rental store.

400 Patagonia Lake Rd.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
(520) 287-6965

Roper Lake State Park is another great place for a picnic. There are two sections to the park: Roper Lake and Dankworth Pond. Roper offers a 30-acre lake, a natural stone hot tub, an island, a beach and campsites. Dankworth Pond has picnic ramadas, an Indian village and a playground.

101 E. Roper Lake Rd.
Safford, AZ 85546
(928) 428-6760

Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park is part park, part museum. It has a gift shop, a museum inside the courthouse and a courtyard. The courtyard is a perfect spot to have a picnic after exploring the park and exhibits.

219 Toughnut St.,
Tombstone, AZ 85638
(520) 457-3311

Western Arizona

Alamo Lake State Park is located about 40 miles north of Wenden. The lake is a great fishing spot and is known for its large mouth bass. There are many outdoor activities to enjoy at Alamo Lake, such as wildlife watching, hiking amongst beautiful scenery, and, of course, picnicking. Alamo Lake State Park has an amazing view of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

(928) 669-2088

Encanto Park, also known as Enchanted Island, is a beautiful urban oasis that’s perfect for a family picnic. This 222-acre park offers children rides, pedal boating, a lake and scenic views. Enjoy your picnic under the many ramadas or pick a spot near the water.

1202 W. Encanto Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 254-1200

Fountain Hills Park has large oak trees that are perfect for spreading a picnic blanket under. Watch the majestic, world-famous fountain while having lunch. Other features of Fountain Hills Park include a playground, 35-acres of turf, a lake and many picnic tables and benches.

12925 N. Saguaro Blvd.
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268

Photo: dougtone, Flickr

Lost Dutchman State Park

Famously named after a lost gold mine, the Lost Dutchman State Park, located 40 miles east of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert, is a great place to escape to, especially for those looking for adventure and a chance to strike it rich.

According to legend, Jacob Waltz located a gold mine in the 1870s. He and a fellow comrade supposedly hid one or two caches of gold in the Superstition Mountains. In 1891, Waltz died and the location of the glorious gold mine died with him as well. Clues were left to where the location allegedly is, however, no one has been able to find the mine for the past hundred years.

The gold mine has drawn thousands of visitors that hope to get lucky. All searches end in disappointment and questions as to if Waltz really hid gold inside the mountains.

Besides the infamous, rumored gold mine, the park also offers a variety of trails that lead into both the Tonto National Forest and the Superstition Mountains. Visitors can hike the challenging Siphon Draw Trail to the top of Flatiron. Those wanting a leisurely stroll through the park can walk along the Native Plant Trail and take in the desert scenery.

While camping or enjoying a picnic at one of the park’s facilities, one of the many native wildlife, including coyote, mule deer, jackrabbit and javelina are bound to be seen. With 72 campsites, the wide-open space is a great place to enjoy the natural wildlife and star gaze at night.

With a plethora of hiking and biking trails, nature walks and a chance to find gold, the Lost Dutchman State Park is a great place to visit for a few hours or even a few days, just don’t get lost trying to find the Lost Dutchman’s Mine.

For more information on the Lost Dutchman State Park, including driving directions and park fees, visit www.azstateparks.com.

Superstition Mountains, east central Arizona, Photo:

Superstition Mountains

The Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction can be regarded as both a paradise for hikers and treasure hunter’s alike, offering beautiful scenery as well as a chance to escape from the city.

The mountains, with a 160,000 acre range in east central Arizona, offer visitors a chance to explore the area and what it has to offer. The Superstition Wilderness Area is used by hikers, horseback riders, campers and even treasure hunters hoping to strike it rich.

The Superstition Mountain Museum, located in front of the actual mountain, houses different buildings to explore including a blacksmith shop and a barn; and it gives visitors a chance to learn about the surrounding area.

The Natural History Exhibit at the museum has displays of different local animals and reptiles that are frequently found in the mountains. Bobcats, Gila monsters and javelinas are famous for being seen by hikers on the mountain.

The museum in front of the mountain also has a Native American Exhibit. The exhibit has displays of Hohokam and Salado pottery and other artifacts as well as giving visitors a chance to learn about the Indians that once occupied the region.

The mountains also hold a secret that attracts hikers year round. The Lost Dutchman’s Mine is believed to be an area located somewhere in the mountain where gold is supposedly hidden. Jacob Waltz is rumored to have been the owner of the rich gold mine, but when he died in 1891, the location of the riches died along with him.

Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club is one of the sites in Apache Junction where the Superstition Mountains create a beautiful backdrop for visitors. The club has two golf courses, combined making it 36 holes of fun and challenging tee time. Visitors can also enjoy dinner at their exclusive restaurant as well as have the opportunity to stay at one of the club’s villas.

At the base of the Superstition Mountain, the Hieroglyphic Trail gives hikers the chance to see collections of Hohokam petroglyphs, and is considered a gentle trail for hikers of all levels. Hikers can then follow the steep trail up to Superstition Ridgeline, which gives the chance to see a view of the city from up above.

The Lost Dutchman State Park is an area with trails that lead from the camp to the Superstition Mountains. The park offers campsites, nature trails and a chance to experience native wildlife.


Come back in July; we’ll have more “Places to See” then!