Behold the legendary history of Tonto National Forest's Superstition Mountains at Arizona's prime tourism destination, the Superstition Mountain Museum, as it tells the stories of ancient indigenous inhabitants and the Old West glory days of gold prospecting.
Fun and learning for all generations, Central Arizona’s Superstition Mountain Museum, also known as Lost Dutchman Museum, provides unparalleled views, and intriguing tales of the Superstition Mountains found east of Phoenix and The City of Apache Junction. The Museum contributes an incredible picturesque Sonoran Desert setting, a plethora of relics from the 1800s, live mining demonstrations, local artist appearances & classes, Southwest regional experiences, one-of-a-kind shopping, and the opportunity to travel back in time with its indoor & outdoor representations of the past.
Superstition Mountain Historical Society & Museum History
In 1979, a non-profit organization, the Superstition Mountain Historical Society established the Superstition Mountain Museum just west of the Superstition Mountain Range and east of Apache Junction, AZ. The society’s mission and museum’s purpose is to preserve the history, display artifacts, recount folklore & legends of the Superstition Mountains, and surrounding area. Ever discovering and sharing knowledge about the nuances of the infamous mountains, for centuries, shrouded with mystery and intrigue.
Exhibits at Superstition Mountain Museum
Apache Junction’s Superstition Mountain Museum holds three permanent exhibits, all containing artifacts and a wealth of information regarding the rich history of the Superstition Mountains, its former human occupants, and natural geological makeup.
- Jacob Waltz “Lost Dutchman” Exhibit – Discover more about the mysterious “Lost Dutchman” gold mine and the German gold miner himself Jacob Waltz.
- Geological Exhibit – Be awestruck by the treasure trove of natural geological specimens, rock and ore samples from Goldfield mine nearby.
- Native American Exhibit – Explore enthralling displays of artifacts from ancient people dating back over ten thousand years. Items such as arrowheads, pottery, ax heads, and shell & turquoise pendants.
Attractions at Superstition Mountain Museum
The attractions are diverse and plentiful at the Superstition Mountain Museum grounds on the historic Apache Trail in Phoenix’s East Valley. Offering twelve and a half acres filled with the likes of 19th-century business reproductions, Old West 1800’s relics, buildings from the sets of Western films, a scaled railway & passenger train, mining exhibit, mills, drills, nature trails, an extraordinary labyrinth pathway, an inventive outdoor amphitheater and live reenactments from the wild west days of yore.
20-Stamp Mill – In the 1800s, this mill, donated to the Museum in 1989, was used to recover gold by crushing mined material encasing the precious metal ore. It was state-of-the-art technology at the time. Now a rare surviving example of mechanical ingenuity.
Apacheland Barn – Seen in multiple Western films, is one of the only buildings that survived both fires of the Apacheland Movie Ranch. The barn houses several Old West vehicles of the past as well as Charlies General Store.
Arrastre – An old fashioned mill used by miners to extract gold and silver from stone and other host materials. Also referred to as a Mexican Rastra, introduced in the 1500s by the Spanish.
Boot Hill – Superstition Mountain Museum’s amusing version of an Old West cemetery for gunfighters.
Amphitheater – Made of salvaged, hand-cut stone from Theodore Roosevelt Dam with seating and a stunning backdrop of the Superstition Mountains.
Eighth of an Inch Mine – Small mining operation exhibit built to be historically authentic.
Elvis Chapel – Donated by Sue and Ed Birmingham from the now-closed Apacheland Movie Ranch near Gold Canyon, AZ. A movie prop made for the Western film Charro! in 1969 in which Elvis Presley starred.
Labyrinth – A meditative, ancient walking path created by J.J. Pelletier, a long-time volunteer & teacher of the Museum, outdoorsmen, traveler of the world, and retired Green Beret.
Nature Trail – One-third-mile nature walking trail highlighting the Sonoran Desert’s native plants intertwining with the Museum’s buildings at the base of the Superstition Mountains west face.
Miner’s Shack – A display portraying the humble living quarters of old-time miners and prospectors.
Powers 1890 Well Drill – Turn of the century water well drilling machine powered by horses.
Remington Bronze – A bronze replica of sculpturist Frederic Remington’s last work “Stampede.”
SMMRR Railroad – G-scale model train exhibit and 400 square foot education space dedicated to sharing the vital role the railroad played in Arizona’s copper mining industry.
Superstition Mountain Renegades – An Old Wild West reenactment group that brings gunslinging, cowboys, comedy, and drama to life with live skits on Saturdays during the winter high season.
Events at Superstition Mountain Museum
The Superstition Mountain Museum & Historical Society has served the local Apache Junction, Arizona community and beyond for over forty years with various forms of events such as hosting authors and artists, classes on numerous regional subjects, stamp mill demonstrations, lectures, and cultural activities about the Superstition Mountain area’s earlier settlers.
Authors & Artists – The chance to meet local authors with “Meet The Authors” and partake in “Arts and Crafts on the Patio.”
Classes – Engaging learning experiences like Dutch Oven Cooking, Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Old West, Desert Safety, and Navajo Weaving.
Free Admission Events – An assortment of captivating classes and events available free of charge.
Lectures – Featured Superstition Mountains history and lore experts via the museum’s annual lecture series.
Special Events – Changed up every season, “Apacheland/Heritage Days,” “Native American Arts Festival,” “Magic of Mexican Artistry Mata Ortiz.”
Stamp Mill Demos – Free demo of the 20-stamp mill in action, crushing rock as it did back in the olden times of the 1800s.
Shopping at Superstition Mountain Museum
Explore and shop many impressive finds at Superstition Mountain Museum in Apache Junction, AZ. From refreshing ice-cold drinks & ice cream to exceptional artisan Native American pottery, jewelry, & wood carvings, shopping excursion possibilities abound for everyone at the Superstition Mountain Museum.
Charlies General Store – Located in the Apacheland Barn serves up ice cream, drinks, regional cookbooks, and Western-themed gifts for kids of all ages.
Museum Store – An abundance and variety of attractive, handcrafted items including rocks and minerals, Southwest-inspired goods, contemporary Mexican art, and quality Native American jewelry.
Online Store – Superstition Mountain Museum’s online store sells books, memberships, memorial bricks, and tickets.
Volunteering & Membership at Superstition Mountain Museum
The Superstition Mountain Museum is continuously welcoming volunteers to help them extend their mission of delivering the Superstition Mountain region’s history and splendor to the public. Volunteers are crucial to general facilities maintenance and the museum’s overall success with its multitude of attractions. Some volunteer opportunities involve hospitality hosting, answering phones, guest greeting, grounds keeping, and gift shop tending.
Community generosity and support are vital to the Superstition Mountain Historical Society’s successful operations of their events, activities, demonstrations, and classes, by way of membership purchases. There are two different museum membership options at the Superstition Mountain Museum in Apache Junction, Arizona.
Prospector Museum Membership is a one-year membership for thirty-five dollars.
Gold Panner Museum Membership is a three-year membership for one hundred dollars.
Weekly Events, Groups & Weddings at Superstition Mountain Museum
Exclusive weekly events, group rates, and a distinctive wedding & gathering venue offered at the Superstition Mountain Museum, along Central Arizona’s Apache Trail.
This Week at the Museum – A selection of events on specific days of the week. Ranging from Stamp Mill Demos, Special Cultural Concerts, “Iron Will” the Blacksmith, Teton Ken and his animals, Big Trains, and Magic of Mexican Artistry.
Group Rates – Groups of six or more qualify for group rates at the museum. Informative tours lead by a museum tour guide—reservations for scout troops, school, or other groups made by phone or email.
Weddings – The Superstition Mountain Museum supplies a gorgeous venue and backdrop for your gathering, wedding, commitment ceremony, vow renewal, or memorial celebration. Providing non-denomination resident ministers, beautiful outdoor areas, and the iconic Elvis Memorial Chapel.
Nearby Things To Do In Apache Junction, Arizona
With the Superstition Mountain Museum, the Superstition Mountain region near Apache Junction, Arizona, possesses other things to do for out-of-town visitors, tourists, and residents alike. Focusing on the beauty and unique qualities of the Superstition Mountain range.
Superstition Mountain Museum Location, Hours & Admission
The Superstition Mountain Museum’s location is on the east side of the Apache Trail, Highway 88, northeast of Phoenix’s East Valley, and the City of Apache Junction in Central Arizona.
Superstition Mountain Museum Hours are from 9 am to 4 pm every day except for holidays Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
Admission to the Superstition Mountain Museum is five dollars for adults, four dollars for seniors, free for kids 17 and under with paid adult admission, and free for Members of the Museum.
Your furry pet family members are also welcome to the Superstition Mountain Museum grounds. All pets must be on a leash or held, cleaning up after your pet is required, water accessible onsite, and never leave your pet in a hot car.
Are you looking for an Arizona adventure that combines the history of the Old West, Native American culture, and the Superstition Mountains with scenic desert beauty, local artisanal shopping, and live fascinating demonstrations? All put together in an indoor/outdoor living museum complex-style setting? If yes, it’s time to add Apache Junction’s Superstition Mountain Museum to your AZ Places to Visit and Things to Do list.
Superstition Mountain Museum
4087 N Apache Trail
Apache Junction, AZ 85119