The Mystery Behind Superstition Mountain

Superstition Mountain and Spring WildflowersSuperstition Mountain is believed to have great treasure hidden within. Many people have tried to find it but have never succeeded. It is difficult to explore because of its dangerous cliffs and plateaus. It’s a treacherous mountain and many adventurers never come back.

Superstition Mountain, located east of Phoenix, is famous for the Lost Dutchman’s Mine where millions of dollars worth of gold is hidden. The history of this mountain would astound you. Those who discovered the mine were in grave danger, especially if they took any gold from this spot. This is sacred ground. People disappear and mysterious deaths occur. That’s why it’s called Superstition Mountain.

Those who have discovered its whereabouts usually met with an accident. The people, who were able to get away safely, never returned. Just as the men were about to form a party and return, something always happened to them. They would get sick and die or get in a fight and get killed, or something mysterious would happen to them. Now you know how this mountain got its name.

It all started in 1540 when a conquistador by the name of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado went to southern Arizona, searching for the Seven Golden Cities of Cibola. When he asked the Apaches for help, they admitted that the mountain held an abundance of gold, but they refused to help because they feared the great Thunder God. This land was sacred ground.

As the Spaniards explored the mountain, looking for the gold, men began to vanish. No one knew where they had gone, but the Apaches told them the great Thunder God had destroyed them. At first they didn’t believe it until they found the bodies of a few men. They had mysteriously died. This frightened Coronado’s men and they refused to continue searching. When Coronado realized his men were right, he finally gave in and named it Superstition Mountain. It didn’t take long before word was passed from one generation to the next that it was an evil place. And the name stuck.

In 1845, Don Miguel Peralta went searching for the gold and discovered a large amount hidden in the mountain. He couldn’t believe his luck and named it Sombrero Mine. The area looked just like a sombrero. It had a point like a hat with a wide brim. But others thought the peak of the mountain looked more like an index finger pointing toward the sky, so they named it the Finger of God. But that’s not the name it goes by today. When an explorer named Paul Weaver scratched his name in the rock below the tall spire, its new name became Weaver’s Needle.

Don Miguel Peralta had discovered the richest gold mine in all Western history and began shipping it back home to Mexico. When the Apache noticed what was happening, they became angry because they had trespassed onto sacred ground and were stealing what was theirs. In 1848, they decided to drive the foreigners off their land. When Don Miguel found out they were preparing for a battle, he quickly concealed the mine and headed home with his mules and wagons packed to the brim with gold. But it was too late. The Apache warriors were ready for them. They massacred all the Spaniards.

What happened to the gold they were carrying in the wagons? It spilled all over the mountain. As time passed, different prospectors have found the remains of broken wheels and the bones of burros. In fact, in 1914 a man named Silverlocke discovered $18,000 worth of gold that was found in a rotted leather pack that had been on one of the burros.


Why is it called the Lost Dutchman Mine today? Jacob Waltz was born in Germany. In 1845 he came to America, searching for his fortune. Why did they call him the Dutchman if he wasn’t Dutch? His nickname was probably taken from the German word: Deutsch. Germany is called Deutschland. So people could have gotten confused and thought he was Dutch.

Many years passed when he finally settled in Arizona and worked for some miners. The Indians labeled him Snow Beard, because he grew a long white scraggly beard. Soon he began hearing stories about Superstition Mountain from the Indians. They told him about the great Thunder God who was protecting all the gold inside the mountain. This made him quite curious. When he asked about it, he found out that Don Miguel Peralta had discovered this gold mine years ago but covered it up so no one could find it. This intrigued him greatly.

In 1870 he became good friends with a real Dutchman named Jacob Weiser and they went in search of this lost gold mine together. One day they showed up in Phoenix, buying whiskey for everyone, celebrating their great fortune with golden nuggets. These men had struck it rich. No one knew where they’d gotten it. They wouldn’t reveal its whereabouts but many suspected they had found the Sombrero Mine. Some say that they stumbled upon it and others say a descendent of Don Miguel Peralta had a map and sold it to them. No one knows for sure. For the next ten years, they continued bringing in gold nuggets. When Jacob Weiser disappeared, Waltz became paranoid and took extra care to not allow anyone to follow him to the mine.

What happened to Jacob Weiser? No one knows for sure. It was either Apaches or gold seekers trying to get information out of him. In 1891, Waltz was finally going to show his girlfriend where the mine was but never had a chance. He died during the night and took the secret with him. That’s why it’s called the Lost Dutchman Mine.

The Apache Indians say a Thunder God protects the mountain. Each summer the great Thunder God roars his loudest, creating thunderstorms like no other, announcing his control over the mountain.

DesertWebThe mystery behind Superstition Mountain was the inspiration for a mystery novel: Desert Intrigue. This novel is the fourth book in a series of mysteries called The Adventures of John and Julia Evans.

When Julia’s brother announces that his dude ranch is haunted, she believes that someone is trying to sabotage his place and force him to sell. The mysterious happenings have to do with Superstition Mountain, the lost Dutchman’s goldmine, and the great Thunder God. Is it possible that the legend of the Thunder God is actually true? After a terrible thunderstorm, everyone begins to wonder. John and Julia quickly head to Mesa, Arizona and discover a few mysterious events. Will they find out who is behind these disasters before Uncle Kelly’s dude ranch is ruined? 


17 thoughts on “The Mystery Behind Superstition Mountain

  1. Very interesting. We are going to move to Sun City soon. I wanted heat about superstation mountain. There will be so much to see. I’m from Indianapolis, Indiana

  2. We are currently putting together a party of 25. Archeologists , miners, And using high tech equipment to study the ground and its contents. 2016 will be the jump off. It is privately financed . If you have intreast contact us.

  3. Ms. Clarke:

    Your write up on the Superstition Mountains and the lost Dutchman Gold mine I have read or seen in a long time, it almost sounds like you got the information passed down to you. I was wanted to ask if you were of any relation to William A. Clarke, the miner, or Weaver of Weaver’s needle?

  4. Ms. Clarke:

    Your write up on the Superstition Mountains and the lost Dutchman Gold mine was the most straight forward I have read or seen in a long time, it almost sounds like you got the information passed down to you. I was wanted to ask if you were of any relation to William A. Clarke, the miner, or Weaver of Weaver’s needle?

  5. Hi Linda. You are a wonderful story teller and writer. I am just a Crazy Old Man who writes. I have been researching and writing about the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine for a few years. I did find additional information in your story title: THE MSTERY BEHIND SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN:. I thank you for that. I wrote a supposition essay titled: “THE PERALTA STONES FIND THE LOST DUTCHMAN GOLD MINE. The forgoing essay is part of the book titled th: “THE STONE SPOKE” (self-published). I will send you a draft copy of the forgoing book by e-mail if requested. I just finished a supposition essay interpretation of the Julia Thomas Map (of the Lost Dutchman Mine (currently awaiting copyright from Copy Right Office. In closing, I will state I am not “a cowboy or miner. I am a writer who listen to Jacob Waltz. UREKA! Sincerely, Harold Cophn.

  6. I am fairly new to this treasure hunting thing and have been utilizing Google Earth as a tool to search and I can’t believe some of the interesting things and places I have found in the Superstitions. I wish I could show some here but think I’ll keep this to myself.Today I found a “Spanish Compound” maybe Coronado’s from the 1500’s?? It measures approximately 150′ long X 90′ wide,rock wall approx. 12’high and there are several structures within.I can’t say exactly where it is located for obvious reasons,but there are no roads or trails to it and it is about 50 miles from the nearest highway.I believe it to be Spanish as they were fearful of the Apache Indians in the area and were attacked fairly often,this I have read.
    I am 69 years old,too old to be hiking into the Superstitions looking for lost treasure,so I am soliciting anyone how may be interested in my finds(and I have many,with coordinates) Who knows,maybe I’m on to something by using technology to my advantage. If anyone reading this is interested please contact me at my email-…Thank You Frank G

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