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bohicaaz Mesa - A travel report by Jeremy
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Mesa,  United States - flag United States -  Arizona
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bohicaaz's travel reports

Finding the Lost Dutchman

  10 votes
This is one of the best hikes in Arizona and it happens to be just outside a major metropolitan area, Phoenix. Not recommended in the summer months even with the canyon being cooler than the valley floor.

Lost Dutchman from the bottom.
Lost Dutchman from the bottom.
About a thirty minute drive outside of Phoenix along the old Apache Trail road is the Lost Dutchman State Park. For a seven dollars you get a parking pass and a map of the hiking trails. Several different ones to chose from as the fable goes a Lost Dutch Man a hundred years ago found a large vein of gold and then disappeared and the gold was never found. I'm still looking. The Siphon Draw trail is the best hike. It takes you up from 1,100 feet on the valley floor to right about 5,000 ft in two hours. It begins with a gradual climb into the steep canyon and then takes off straight up. Half way point takes you through smooth sandstone runoff where a thirty foot waterfall is flowing after big rains. Once at the top you can see for over 100 miles in one of the best views you can find. To the East (opposite the city) you can see a chain of lakes and mountains and moutains with no civilization in sight.

Favourite spots:
Flash floods had smoothed the rock from the waterfall runoff.
Flash floods had smoothed the rock from the waterfall runoff.
The first summit leveled off on a mesa and you could look straight down well over a thousand feet. Across the street from the entrance of the State Park is an old west mining town with a restaurant, saloon, and mining camp where you can see how they used to mine a hundred years ago.

What's really great:
Near the top and looking back down the trail.
Near the top and looking back down the trail.
There is a much more popular hikes and state parks in Arizona but this park is a well kept secret. Incredible views right outside the city that hardly anyone seems to use. Also, I found out later they filmed a scene in the movie Jerry Maguire in the parking lot with the mountain in the background.

HoHokam Park where the Cubs play spring training. The city just opened a new musuem as well downtown. Probably more to see if you spend a little more time in the city itself.

Mesa is mostly a residental community, albiet a large one. There are Holiday Inn's and Best Western type hotels everywhere. Very few high end resorts/hotels. Best option for higher end accomodations would be in Scottsdale, Arizona which is 15-20 minutes to the north where you have dozens of options. Closer to the Lost Dutchman State Park there are RV parks adjacent to the park and all throughout the general area. Overnight camping is NOT allowed in the park. Lost Dutchman State Park is connected to the Tonto National Forest though so you could concieveably hike to the summit over a peak and camp inside the NF. No campfires in Arizona though for the majority of every year due to forest fires.

Rancho de Tia Rosa's mexican restaurant on Lindsay and McKellips or Los Dos Molinos mexican place in Mesa. Molinos is very HOT but very good. Always a line but it goes fast. RT O'Sullivans is a good sports bar just down the street in downtown Mesa by the Bank of America building.

Other recommendations:
Mesa Amphitheatre is a great music venue that fits about 2,000 people all general admission.

Published on Saturday June 2th, 2007

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Tue, Jun 05 2007 - 12:11 AM rating by ny7belowaz

I'll second that this is one of the best hikes in the valley. great review. another tip: when the waterfall isn't running, you can free climb up the 30-35 foot cliff with only a few "questionable" moves, and lots of good grips. adds a little adventure, but if you're not familiar with climbing, save your energy for the hike. you'll need it.

Sun, Jun 03 2007 - 09:45 AM rating by rangutan

Your first report, very well done, a bit short though (like most of my reports). I find hiking and back-country reports particulary helpful, there are hundreds of guides to cities but so few like this on wilderness, thanks! :-) [4.3]

Sun, Jun 03 2007 - 06:26 AM rating by baptista

I love your photos , its the execellent picture.

Sat, Jun 02 2007 - 01:36 PM rating by marianne

Interesting report and nuce photos. What kindof music venues are held?

Sat, Jun 02 2007 - 06:05 AM rating by mistybleu

Jeremy, nice report; it sounds like an incredible place to visit.

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