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Lost Goldmine Trail Day Hike
Superstition Wilderness
December 11, 2004
by Beth Baumert

On a warm, sunny, clear Saturday morning, six of us set off to hike the Lost Goldmine Trail in the Superstition Mountains. This trail starts about a mile down the road from the Peralta Trailhead and runs south of and parallel to the Superstition Ridgeline. It is relatively flat and easy and very scenic. The only concerns were whether the hikers had enough sunblock on and enough water with them. The temperature was predicted to go up to 77° F, and it did. It certainly did not feel like a December hike with the sun blazing down on us from a cloudless blue sky.

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    We set off and about a mile into the hike, there is the largest and most impressive saguaro I’ve ever seen, with over 40 arms. Shown here is a picture of it, courtesy of Brian Cross:

The trail runs parallel to the ridgeline, with Peralta Canyon on the other side. The rock formations along the way are magnificent. The Superstition Mountains were volcanic 25-30 million years ago, and the remaining calderas are quite impressive. The lighter-colored tuff is a mixture of ash ejected from the volcanoes and quartzite.

We passed through a forest of saguaros and then through a group of huggable (NOT) teddy-bear chollas. It causes one to wonder why there is a sudden group of certain plants in specific areas.

Regions plentiful with quartz hint of nearby gold, hence the name of the trail. I started thinking about just where that gold might be. There was evidence that others had investigated this. We saw the remains of what appeared to be a horse trough and there were several unmarked paths up to the hills, all asking to be explored. High above one of these paths was a cave eroded into the rock cliff.

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We saw a biplane gliding above us and a huge granite boulder which had become detached from the hills above. We continued on until crossing the creek bed full of colorful rocks and with someone prospecting there. We hiked onward until we went in about 4 miles, found a lunch spot with some shade in a wash, and settled ourselves there.

After a relaxing lunch break, we turned around and headed back. The day grew warmer and shade became a precious commodity in which to take a break.

We shared snacks and stories and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and weather. It was a very nice hike with good company.

All photos courtesy of Brian Cross.

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updated September 16, 2015