Superstition Mountain looms beyond the Mining Camp in Apache Junction, Arizona

Posted: May 6, 2014 in Arizona, Photography by Atridim
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Captain Rick: The Mining Camp in Apache Junction, Arizona is world famous for its restaurant, museum and spectacular view of Superstition Mountain.


Click the above image to view it in high definition via my Flickr Photostream.

The world famous Mining Camp Restaurant is part restaurant, part historical museum and opened its doors to the public in 1961. The complex is located at the base of the beautiful and mysterious Superstition Mountains and along the romantic Apache Trail in Apache Junction, Arizona.

The restaurant’s unique exterior is made up of roughly sawn ponderosa pine hauled from brought down from the Mogollon Rim.

Today, the restaurant still follows the theme of the early mining camp cook shanty. The decor is authentically styled shanty town with mining equipment strewn here and there.

Visitors can learn about the colorful history of the area, as newspaper and magazine clippings adorn the walls and provide a historic glimpse into the legend and lore of this area. These articles include rare tellings of the stories of treasure hunters, Spanish gold, murder, mystery and intrigue.

The legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine centers around the Superstition Mountains. According to the legend, a German immigrant named Jacob Waltz (some sources offer other spellings of his last name, such as "Walz") discovered a mother lode in the Superstition Wilderness and revealed its location on his deathbed in 1891 to a woman who had taken care of him for many years. Several mines have been claimed to be the actual mine that Waltz discovered, but none of those claims have been verified.

Since the mid-1800s, well over 100 people have died among the craggy peaks. Some of those deaths were murders associated with the fabled Lost Dutchman Mine; but many were due to falls from its breathtaking – and dangerously steep – precipices. The high death toll prompted state officials in 1983 to outlaw any serious mining efforts in the Superstition range.

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Photography by Captain Rick


  1. Sarah says:

    Just amazing, I never tire of viewing the Superstitions and surrounding areas

  2. June says:

    Fantastic photo Rick! Back in the 80’s six of us climbed Superstition Mountain, passed an area where wreckage of a plane had crashed into the mountain, rested on the top for a while, then started our decent, but it quickly got dark on us and it was pitch black out there. We had 2 flashlights but we got lost and didn’t know how to get back to camp. One of our group suggested spending the night on this huge rock we had come to and continue our decent in the morning when we could see where we were, but you could hear the coyotes which sounded very near as well as all the other creatures out there, and on top of that this was in the winter time and the temp dropped a lot at night. So I took the flashlight, prayed for God’s guidance, and after climbing out of a gully and walking to the right (instead of down), I came upon the path that led to our camp. We were so exhausted and glad to have found the path that we sat down and rested for a moment. Then we saw a lot of flashlights and heard voices coming up the path… it was a search party that had come to look for us because my sister got worried and knew we were suppose to be down before dark. It was quite an experience which I couldn’t relate everything in this email due to lack of time. Maybe one day I’ll write a book :o) God protected us and we rested that night in camp and two of us (Steve & I) were ready to go back on the mountain the next morning. Sincerely, June

    • atridim says:

      Sincere appreciation for sharing your wonderful story. I envy your ascent of Superstition Mountain. It is something I have wanted to do since moving to the Valley in 1996…but have not yet. Your inspiration will help me keep it near the top of my ‘to do’ list.
      Captain Rick

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