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Weaver’s Needle Loop
Superstition Mountains
December 5, 2009
by Michael Humphrey
  GPS Map 
Michael, Chip, Eric, Dick, Rudy, Wayne

We start up Peralta with our jackets on, headed up to Fremont saddle for the first 1600 feet of elevation gain. About halfway up we get warm enough to put away our jackets. It is early morning when we get to the saddle for the group picture with Weaver’s Needle behind us. Weaver’s Needle is named for Mr. Pauline Weaver, who explored and prospected in the Superstitions.

Weaver’s Needle is a triple volcanic plug of Miocene origin.

It is now time to start down to Boulder Creek, before we get cold enough to put the jackets back on.

As we go down the trail Weaver’s Needle changes shape as the three peaks that make up the mountain come into view. The three peaks are made up of the same lava from the same time, very hard to tell apart except when you are up close. It is easy to see the slot on the right side of the center peak where climbers go the top. No one is climbing today.

We continue down on Peralta until it gets to Boulder Creek and the junction with the Dutchman’s trail. We make a right turn here onto the Dutchman’s until it crosses the creek again. We stop here for lunch and Michael tells us about the Dutchman, aka Jacob Waltz.

Mr. Waltz was born in Wuttenburg, Germany, so he was German not Dutch; this is not the last mistake in his story. He came to America about 1839 and then traveled to the gold fields of North Carolina, which were played out by then. He traveled around learning how to be a miner and that you have to be a citizen of the US to stake a claim. He became a citizen in Los Angeles in 1861. He traveled to the Bradshaw Mountains in Arizona in 1863 and his name appears on a few claims in the Bradshaws until 1867.

About this time be became friends with Elisha Reavis, who homesteaded a parcel of land in the Superstitions that bears his name today. Jacob filed a homestead claim in the Phoenix area in 1868. He found some deposit of gold after 1868 and would bring back gold ore to Phoenix. He died in 1891 in the home of his “girlfriend” Julia Thomas, leaving some gold ore under his bed. Julia was a “girlfriend” to many miners, so it is questionable how much Jacob trusted her. She is the source of many of the maps and tales of how to find the mine. Over the next several years she spent all her money on finding the mine. She spent the rest of her days selling maps and stories about the Lost Dutchman Mine.

The only true clues to the mine were left in Jacob’s handwritten note:

No miner will find my mine. From my mine you can see the military trail, but from the military trail you cannot see my mine. The rays of the setting sun shine into the entrance of my mine. There is a trick in the trail to my mine. My mine is located in a north trending canyon. There is a rock face on the trail to my mine. Weaver’s Needle can be seen in a southerly direction from the hill next to my mine.

You can believe or not that these clues will get you to the mine, but we decide not to search for his mine today.

We continue on the Dutchman’s Trail until we get to the Terrapin Trail. We leave the Dutchman’s here, but will rejoin it later in the day.

The Terrapin Trail has a steep ascent to Terrapin Pass, but we get to view a rock face with many arches in it. This is the last major hill we will do this day.

Other Side

The Terrapin Trail parallels the Peralta, but is on the east side of Weaver’s Needle. Terrapin dead ends on the Bluff Spring Trail and we make the right hand turn. The Terrapin trail also puts Weaver’s Needle behind us.

About a mile before we get back to the parking lot, we can see the cars. We are about 900 foot above the parking lot and the trail is very steep here.

Just before we get back to the parking lot we rejoin the Dutchman’s Trail for the last 50 feet before the parking lot. If we had taken the Dutchman’s out it would have added about three miles to the hike and at least an hour.

We make it back to the vehicles and have a beer. This finishes the clockwise loop around Weaver’s Needle. The sun will be setting in about an hour, so we decide to head back to where we left the cars and go home to rest and have a shower.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated April 24, 2018