Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lost Goldmine Trail & Petroglyphs

With the Arizona temperatures hovering near a perfect 75 degrees, Mr. Cactus invited me to join him on a hike to see the petroglyphs just outside of Phoenix.

I've been anxious to see these hieroglyphics from the moment we moved here.
When we lived in St. George we often visited the various ancient sites in Southern Utah, and I've been curious to compare the writings.

To reach Superstition Mountain we hiked for about a mile and a half along the Lost Goldmine Trail, which can be quite primitive and rocky in many sections.

Looking back at the valley and Dinosaur Mountain.
The desert in February is bright with various colors of green, as plants show new growth.
There was a strong scent of sage as we wound our way along the trail.

The trail head marker gave a rich history: "The rocky washes and saguaro studded hills at the base of Superstition Mountains have lured adventurers for 9,000 years. Salado, Ho Ho Kam and Apache Indians gathered here before the white man arrived."

After about an hour, with a climb of around 600 feet, we reached our destination at the base of the mountain.


We have heard some say that if you look at this petroglyph at the right angle and with a little imagination you can see Abraham Lincoln's face.

Estimations are that these writings were done around 2,000 years ago.

The rocks are easy to reach and climb around.

We packed a picnic lunch and sat among these beautiful carvings, pondering the hidden messages.

Looking back down offers quite a view.

There was a dusting of snow on top of Superstition Mountain a few weeks ago, leaving pools of water in the crevices of the rocks.

The warm sun has evaporated most of the moisture, leaving a bright green moss that attracted swarms of bees.

The locals said the pools of water are usually clear this time of year, and nice enough that they can go for a swim.

The Superstition Mountains are the 2nd most photographed site in Arizona, following the Grand Canyon.
In the 1870's Jacob Waltz mined a pure form of gold out of these hills. Clear up to his death in 1891 he never revealed the exact location of his find. For centuries prospectors have looked for the "Dutchman's Lost Mine", but to this day it has not been found.

If only these rocks could talk.


Jackie said...

Funny, this is one trail that I haven't been on while in AZ. It is so close to where my parent are too. We are planning on doing some hiking and this looks like a fantastic spot. Would love to see those petroglyphs. Have you been up to Freeman's Saddle for a hike? It is truly spectacular. You must give that one a go. We go early though because the parking lot at the trailhead fills up fast.

karenfae said...

those trails look beautiful. I love hiking in so many different areas - mountains and desert - one of the good things about moving is finding new places to hike!

fiberchick said...

What a beautiful part of the world you live in!

Lurline said...

Yes, it is just magic. Wow,how much history is there. Thanks for opening my eyes.
Hugs Lurline.

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

I am so intrigued by your post! Is it a state park? Or can you just explore? I would think it would be protected from feeling hands. If it was touched enough would it wear away? I have so many questions as where I live I have never seen anything so wonderful. Just amazing, and do not laugh but I can see Good Old Abe! Thank you for sharing this amazing site.. I would spend hours and hours there!

Cathie in UT said...

Thank you for sharing your pictures and my DH really enjoyed them. He has studied petroglyphs and told me several things about them from the pictures.
Now, he would love to visit your area so that he could see them in person but since the last time he climbed to the ones in St George he broke his leg in three places I am not anxious for us to visit them! LOL

Anjeanette said...

I love this. My parents and siblings still live in Arizona. I do miss it.