Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Apache Junction, AZ: Desert Downtime in Lost Dutchman State Park!

Some RV trips are all attractions and sightseeing and going and doing, and some are just the opposite ... downtime, relaxation, lots of sighing and oohing and aahing over nature's bounty.  A visit to Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction, AZ, is just that ... an oasis of desert beauty just 30 minutes from Phoenix, where visitors can kick back and decompress from life's busyness.


The campsites are set at the base of the Superstition Mountains, which are beautiful by morning's first light ....


As daybreak turns into morning ....


At dusk ...


And as night falls!


And don't EVEN get me started on the gorgeous desert sunsets!

  


We enjoyed the special treat of a rare "lunar halo" over our campsite.  We learned from Google that halos come from high, thin cirrus clouds 20,000 or more feet above our heads.  Tiny ice crystals in the Earth's atmosphere cause the halo by both refracting (splitting the light) and reflecting (sending glints of light) at the same time.  The sky inside the halo is always darker than the rest of the sky.  These pictures do not do it justice ... it was so magical!





Lost Dutchman has a variety of hiking trails leading out from the park, most notably the famous "Flatiron" trail.  While only 6 miles round trip, the last mile includes a 2,000 foot elevation gain on a steep, difficult, unmaintained trail!  Definitely out of our league, but we enjoyed a half-day hike and picnic lunch on the Siphon Draw trail nonetheless.




After all that exertion, we earned the enjoyment of luxuries like campfires and steak on the grill!
(Like anyone actually needs an excuse for steak on the grill!)



But wait!  There's more to explore at Lost Dutchman!

How about a designated place to park your cactus?


Or, forget your watch?  There's a coyote sundial for that!


But really, the best thing about Lost Dutchman is simply enjoying the stolen moments
 of bonding with your spouse ... or your dog.  :-)


LOST DUTCHMAN, we love you!  We'll be back again soon!