Arizona Superstition
Mountains Gold BaseCamp
An Ultimate Experience

Trip Details

Type: BaseCamp Hiking, Backpacking, and Treasure Hunting

Trip Code: AZSB

Duration: 5 Days

Distance: 34-46 mi/54-76 km

Fitness: 2
Comfort: 2
Solitude: 3

Origin: Phoenix, Arizona

Cost: $1300/person

Trip Description:

The vast mountain complex northeast of Phoenix presents fabulous opportunities for hiking and exploration.  They also offer legendary stories of the Old West's colorful history, as many a fortune was made and lost in these mountains.  Our epic 5-day Superstition Gold BaseCamp and Backpacking tour delves deep in to the heart of this spectacular, mysterious, and outstanding wilderness area, as we hike and hunt for the treasure of the Lost Dutchman.  As the story goes, a local miner of German (not Dutch) origin named Jacob Waltz, came into a saloon in Phoenix, claiming to have hit the motherlode of all gold strikes and holding a gold nugget of epic proportions.  The mysterious stranger left and took his secrets with him to his granve in 1891, his motherlode mine's location never being revealed nor truly mined, and thus a legend was born.  During this fabulous trip back into geologic and cultural time, we will follow the clues left by The Lost Dutchman from our basecamp and deep wilderness camp.  Be ready; we may not find gold, but we will absolutely embark on the adventure of a lifetime!

  1. Peralta Canyon Trail, Superstition Mountains
  2. Superstition Mountains
  3. Superstition Mountain, Superstition Wilderness
  4. Weaver's Needle, Superstition Mountains
  5. Sculpted Tuff, Superstition Mountains
  6. Haunted Canyon, Superstition Mountains
  7. Lost Dutchman, Superstition Mountains
  8. Superstition Mountains
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Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

The Superstition Gold BaseCamp tour begins in Lost Dutchman State Park, where we spend a fun day of orientation to the area and its legendary story.  We'll visit the Superstition Mountain Museum, which gives an incredible overview of the tantalizing history of the area and countless painstakingly recreated period stagecoaches, gold mills, buildings, and artifacts.  After this great experience, we will strike out into the wonderful Superstition Mountains for our first taste of this excellent wilderness with a hike on one of its many excellent trails chosen by your geologist/guide.  Then we'll head to our comfortable and private basecamp in the scenic Superstition Foothills. eating a delicious miner's dinner and contemplating our epic journey ahead.
Drive Time: 1.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 6 miles, 1000 foot ascent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:

Today begins with an excellent breakfast at daybreak, then off into the fantastic Superstion Wilderness to see some of its most famous and iconic scenery.  Weaver's Needle, Fremont Saddle, Peralta Canyon, petroglyphs, and sweeping views of the wilderness and out across the Sonoran Desert.  We will begin to explore the geology of the area, and ponder upon where we may find our buried treasure.  Bring a camera and your miner's spirit today!
Distance & Elevation: 7-10 miles, 1000 foot elevation gain/loss
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:

On day 3, we will begin our official hunt for gold, as we strap on our backpacks and head deep into the Superstition Wilderness, following clues relayed by Mr. Jacob Waltz on his deathbed on the whereabouts of his mine.  We will hike and explore gorgeous slot canyons, rugged peaks, and take in this quiet, fabulous, and mysterious wilderness as we begin to unravel its secrets.
Distance & Elevation: 7-10 miles, 1000 feet elevation gain/loss
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:

This morning we will wake up bright and early to continue our hunt, hike, and outstanding exploration of the geologic and scenic curiosities of the Superstition Wilderness.  Be ready, we just might find something!  After our brush with the Lost Dutchman, we'll make our way back to our front-country basecamp for another hearty miner's dinner, sunset, and star-gazing.
Distance & Elevation: 7-10 miles, 1000 feet elevation gain/loss
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5:

Our final day as miners/treasure hunter's sees us into Haunted Canyon's wonderful depths.  As its name implies, Haunted Canyon is reputed to be filled by spirits.  The Apaches who inhabited the area until the late 1800's surmised that Haunted Canyon was the gate into the underworld, while the later pioneers, prospectors, and settlers in the area began rumors that Haunted Canyon was the site of an ill-fated silver mine claim that was reputed to be incredibly rich, but cursed those who toiled in its depths.  In any case, today it is a fabulous site to hike, explore, and imbibe in the legends that have made the Superstition Mountains world-class for both their hiking and their stories.  We'll then head back to Phoenix.
Distance & Elevation:7-10 miles, 500 foot elevation gain/loss
Breakfast, Lunch
Drive Time: 1.5 hours

*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.

What’s Included:
A professional, degreed, licensed and medically trained geologist/guide
All necessary gear: daypack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your geologist/guide will prepare all meals)
All food, including a mix of fresh and pre-made backcountry meals
Roundtrip Transportation from your hotel in Phoenix to Superstition Wilderness and all activities/attractions
Entrance fees, camping fees, and backcountry permits

Meals: what to expect
We provide all your meals from a light breakfast on day 1 through lunch the last day. Your geologist/guide will prepare a variety of meals on the trail and in camp that will fit the day's activity. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we're more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

All meals will consist of one entree, prepared by your geologist/guide.  Fresh options will be available, and meals will be served cafeteria-style on covered tables.  There will be trail snacks that consist of nuts, fruits, chocolate, and other "gorp" style mixes.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

What’s Not Included:
Transportation to/from Phoenix, Arizona
Lodging the night before/after the trip
Clothing, raingear, and footwear
Personal toiletries, sunscreen
Water bottles/hydration bladder
Headlamp or flashlight
Guide gratuity (suggested 10-15% of trip cost)
*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet

How many people are in the group?
Most basecamping trips in Superstition Wilderness will accommodate 6 people plus one geologist/guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 10 people plus 2 guides.

Are there age restrictions?
Children under 12 are generally not permitted on any of Blue Marble's scheduled trips.  This can be negotiable on private tours, please contact us to discuss this policy

How do I sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation , we require an initial deposit of $500 per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking.  Your deposit is payable over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-602-904-2536
Travel Logistics

Where does the trip begin/end?
This trip will begin/end in Phoenix, Arizona and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Phoenix. You will want to fly into either Mesa (0.5 hour drive) or Phoenix. Please visit our  Travel Resources  page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.

Where do you meet our guides?
We will hold a pre-trip orientation at 4:30pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the host hotel in Phoenix. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation.  Most trips will depart between 5am and 6am.

*This meeting is not mandatory, but highly recommended, as we will depart early the next morning. If you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can make alternate arrangements.

What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
We will provide all transportation to/from trailheads for the duration of the trip. We will pick you up at the host hotel in Phoenix and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the host hotel can leave their cars at the hotel. These hotels will often store your luggage for you, as well. If not, we are happy to store extra luggage at a secure location for the duration of the trip. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car there

What time will we get back on the last day?
Expect to be back in Phoenix by 6pm at the latest on the last day of the trip. Some trips will return earlier but we cannot make any guarantees. In general, it is recommended that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.

Trip Dates

2017 Dates

2018 Dates

More dates to come soon…
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-602-904-2536 or email us  for details.