The Lost Dutchman Mine
The Superstition Mountains
The Superstition Mountains are dotted with ancient cliff dwellings and caves, many of which were built and inhabited by different Native American groups over the years. The Apache lived in this area up into the late 1800's. The name of the range was inspired by old Pima Indian legends.
Supposedly, the Peralta family of northern Mexico developed a rich gold mine in the Superstitions in the 1840's. Legend says their last expedition to the mine ended in an Apache ambush, and the gold they were carrying was left somewhere in the area. The Dutchman (Jacob Waltz) supposedly discovered the old mine with the help of a surviving Peralta descendant in the 1870's. Waltz and his partner, Jacob Weiser, are said to have worked in the mine and hid one or more caches of gold somewhere in the Superstitions. Most retellings of the story place the gold somewhere near Weaver's Needle.
Apparently Waltz made his way out of the mountains but forgot where he'd hidden the gold. Since his death in 1891, many people have roamed the Superstitions looking for his stash, but no one has ever found it. There are some who are said to have had good maps and who located and worked the mine, but there's been no real substance to these stories. Quite a few of these more recent searchers have died in the mountains, adding to the air of "Superstition" about the Lost Dutchman Mine. If you might want to go out there looking for yourself, make sure you have a compass (or GPS), good maps and lots of drinking water. On the other hand, Arizona declared any type of mining operations in the Superstitions off-limits (illegal) in 1983.