"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Lost Dutchman Park & Canyon Lake

Apache Junction, AZ 
Lost Dutchman SP
I have been to many parts of Arizona over the years since Steve's father lives in Surprise and our friends, Doug & Dotty live not too far and they have taken us around the state over the last couple of years.
I have been looking forward to the Apache Junction area and hiking in the Superstition Mountains. As we came up from the Benson area it was a beautiful site to see these peaks jutting up from the desert floor.

Entrance to the park.

The desert was still in beautiful bloom.  So green.  The park was quite full when we arrived.  There are some really great sites.  The view of the mountains are right out your door.

 The setting sun is reflecting on the rear of our rig.

These folks had spectacular sites across from us.  A direct view, no one between them and the peaks.

A typical back in site.  The sites are typically very long.  Large RVs would fit here easily.

Time for a little walking around.  My hike later in the week to Flat Iron is described as strenuous and I need to adjust to the altitude again.  I'm used to high altitude hiking as I regularly hiked in the Sierra Nevada's where we lived before heading out fulltime, but it's been many months on the road and we've been mostly following the coast, so I need more altitude hikes. (more on the hike on the next post).

The Saguaro cactus grows only in the Sonoran desert in Arizona, Mexico and Southern California.  They can get up to 50ft tall and can live up to 200 years.

When they begin to die you can see the ribs inside.  They are used to build homes, furniture and other uses.
There were a lot of blooming flowers and trees everywhere.

This wolf sundial was an Eagle Scout project.

 Some of my favorites!
You can see some homes near the campground in the distance.
We had some great neighbors, Gary & Rene.  They are a flight attendant and pilot for Delta Airlines and split their time in Colorado and Arizona.  They were fun to hang with and we shared a couple campfires and a dinner trip to Goldfield Mine.  Gary had me all pumped for my hike to Flat Iron as he had just done it that day.

Restaurant at Goldfield Mine.

And with the high temps that have come out, so have the rattlesnakes.  This one was across from our campsite.  The camp hosts were out immediately to relocate it.  They say they are starting to see them each day in the campground now.

We were happy to hear about the nearby Canyon Lake from Gary and Rene.  So off we went to cool down and do some paddling.  We didn't think we'd be doing any kayaking until we got back to California in May, so this was a surprise treat.

I had a hard time capturing the nice colors in the bright sun.

Look at that lake in the middle of the desert.

You can get a ride on the Dolly Steamboat and check out the lake.

We put it near the marina and then parked along the road.  Our goal was to paddle along the west side of the lake to the river inlet.  No one was here but us.  The tall walls were very deceiving and winded back quite a bit allowing us to discover beautiful views, chirping birds and some very acrobatic chipmunks running up and down the steep walls.



The sun was going down and it made for the most stunning reflections! 

This passage just got more and more narrow...

With beautiful colors...

Until we couldn't get paddle any further!  Time to head back.

Someone else trying to catch all the fish we could see just below the surface.

Full moon coming up.

 Nice colors reflecting on the lake.
Next up, hiking to Flat Iron!
(the middle peak with the think white line through it)


  1. Wow! You got some great shots of all the mountains and the reflection shots are incredible. I just love that part of Arizona - we're hoping to spend October there.
    Where in ID will you be in July? We'll be in Glenns Ferry over the 4th and Hells Gate a little after that. Would love to meet up!!

    1. Not exactly sure yet. Should be leaving CA just after the 4th of July heading towards Jackson, WY. We don't have to be in WY until July 16, so we may very well go through near where you'll be. Perhaps around July 9 or 10? I looked up some state parks near there W&E. What campground will you be and when?

  2. We were at Lost Dutchman ten years ago...tent camping in January. Just about froze our butts off!


    1. I could imagine! I think Feb & Mar would be better than April when we were there. We'll be back next year in March.

  3. Rattlesnakes..... I will pass. We have seen a couple of snakes in the past few weeks but no rattlers yet. The campground, lake and surrounding area look great. Looks like a place we might need to check out next winter!

    1. It's amazing! I heard about it from the Lowry's and some other who were there recently and knew we HAD to go. Wish we had more time there. More trails to hike and more time on the lake. Tried fishing. Nada. We could see them but could not catch them!

  4. Ohh, I've heard so many good things about Lost Dutchman. We almost made it there in January but not quite (we stayed at McDowell Mountain RP and Lake Pleasant RP nearby). Based on the photos we'll definitely add it to our list for next time around the country! -Mike

    1. Mike, it's a must do! We've also heard good things about McDowell, Lake Pleasant and Roosevelt and plan to stay there Jan or Feb as we'll be wintering there next year.

  5. Lost Dutchman is just a few miles from us. I love the Superstitions. You should see them with a little bit of snow on the top. Really incredible. Your pictures are amazing. Don't forget - Saguaro Lake is just out Ellsworth. That's where Jim does most of his fishing.

    1. Sandie, I'll bet it's gorgeous with some snow! I'll have to remember to try fishing on Ellsworth next Jan/Feb as we'll be there again. I wish I knew exactly where you were so we could've visited again. We're heading out Wed for CA.

  6. Perfect calm water for a paddle! I love it when you can glide along silently through a lake like that.


    1. It was a little choppy to get there, but the inlet was so peaceful and pretty!

  7. I love the sundial but I really love that it was an Eagle Scout project. What a great find-a desert lake to paddle around in :-)

    1. I'd heard about it from other bloggers. Start making a "list" now as you'll get so many great ideas that you might not have considered that you'll forget them when you want to reference the later! Hurley growled and his hair went up when he first saw the sundial. He seemed confused about if it was real or not!


I’d love to hear from you! It’s more fun when you leave a comment!