Lost Goldmine Trail, Phoenix

Directions: East (from Phoenix) on Hiway 60 past Apache Junction/Gold Canyon.  North on Peralta Road about 7 miles almost to its end before you actually enter the Superstition Wilderness where you'd have to pay a few bucks to park.  The free parking lot is on the left/north side of the road. 

Trail Information: This is true desert trail running, although some Gold Canyon homes are visible to the south around Dinosaur Mountain.

The Lost Goldmine Trail is runnable, but it's rather rugged.  Sturdy trail running shoes are recommended because of the amount of loose rocks on the trail. There are no major hills; but it isn't flat by any means. It just rolls up and down the arroyos.

It heads west for about 7 miles along the base of the Superstition Mountains and along the wilderness boundary fence.  It is possible to join up with Jacob's Cross Cut Trail which leads north around the mountains into Lost Dutchman State Park and its trails.  But unless you car shuttle to the state park ($5) or the Cross Cut Traihead (free) on First Water Road (off Apache Trail Hiway 88), you'll have to out-and-back this run.

Feeling lucky?  After it rains (maybe six times a year) there are at least three big flowing waterfalls coming down off the edges of the mountains--hundreds of feet and loud crashing. It's amazing to take a little detour up the Carney Springs Trail and climb up, really steep up, to get close to one of the falls. This trail is just a fence break gate about 2 miles from the east end of the Lost Goldmine Trail that leads north and up into a side canyon.  The trail misses the big falls by about a quarter mile, so you won't get right up close unless you feel like bushwhacking through the nasty stuff.

Miscellaneous Information: February-April is the best time of year for this trail because of the Sonoran desert's green vegetation and wildflowers.  Summer is full of rattlesnakes and suicidal heat.

There are no facilities or water at the trailhead or anywhere along the trail.  The Walgreens in Gold Canyon is the last and closest store for fluids and other trail necessities.

Mark Voss