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Lost Dutchman State Park

6109 N. Apache Trail
Apache Junction, AZ 85219
No Email Address
2 Reviews
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We had planned to stay as many as two nights at this campground. Since there was some question as to the status of electrical hookups here, we did research until we found positive confirmation on Arizona State websites. Since a reservation wasnít possible, there was no need for us to actually contact the park. Confident that the campground now had electrical hookups, we were only concerned that we would arrive only to find it had no vacancies so we made contingency plans accordingly. On the appointed day of our trip, about an hour before sunset, and with the temperature still hovering around 114 degrees Fahrenheit, we arrived at the apparently abandoned visitorís center to be greeted at the front gate by a piece of paper indicating that the campground indeed had _no_ electric hookups. We entered and found not another living soul, save for the campground host (who of course, had a full hookup), and, a couple that had just drifted in to assert free use of the bathrooms. We inspected the campground and the sanitary facilities hoping to find some sort of silver lining. After turning on two control valves in the bathroom in an attempt to get water, I had to conclude that there wasnít even running water. One of the drifters pointed out that I had overlooked yet a third(!) valve which needed to be turned in order to get the water to flow. Hoping to get some encouragement from the host, we knocked on his trailer door to ask him if he thought it would be all right for us to run our quiet generator during the night so that we could operate our air conditioner. We felt it was a reasonable request since there was no one else in the campground that could possibly hear our equipment! His initial retort was that there _was_ someone else staying at the campground. I asked if he was referring to a closed up and abandoned tent trailer we had seen. I noted that the owners had apparently parked the padlocked tent trailer and then de-camped to a motel! His concluding comment was that the patrolling park officer would kick us out in the middle of the night if we ran a generator. At that point, we decided we would be stupid to remain there, considering the oppressive heat, so we drove to nearby Fountain Hills and camped in my sisterís driveway (at least there was a full hookup!). The biggest letdown concerning this park has to be the attitude of its associated personnel -- not just the host who was happy to get rid of us but also to all the state employees who allow incorrect information to persist on state websites. Obviously they knew something was wrong because they posted the sign at the gate. There was no authority there to take ownership of the bad condition of the existing facilities; absence of necessary policies or facilities; nor the downright incorrect information that they are willing to let people rely on. Subsequent research revealed that there _had_ been a plan to add electrical hookups at the Lost Dutchman and Lake Havasu Campgrounds but that these projects were delayed temporarily (Öor perhaps permanently). The campground is certainly well located for its namesake park and for a number of other commercial; natural park; and offroad attractions. Ordinarily, I would give the campground my highest accolades on this point but, in this case, it is not like there arenít a hundred other commercial and government campgrounds nearby that are actually comfortable. So, I feel justified in giving this campground a big fat ďzeroĒ in this category. As for the look and feel of the campground, itís hard to deny that there isnít a lot of potential for a first-class site but it is just so rundown that I canít award it more than an average score. The infrastructure to be found is so rundown and so many necessary facilities for this climate are lacking, that I feel I must score it as below average in that category. I would give the campground an average score for big rig accessibility but I have to point out that most of the suitably large sites that I saw were marked as closed, for no apparent reason. Given that observance, I feel Iím being generous to even let that average score stand. If someone wanted to stay at another government run campground instead of a commercial campground, in the area, I wouldnít hesitate to recommend the nearby Usery Mountain Recreation Area (about 15 road miles from Lost Dutchman) or the McDowell Mountain Regional Park (about 43 road miles from Lost Dutchman). Both are operated by the Maricopa County Department of Recreation. The $20 or so rates are a bargain compared to the facilities currently offered at Lost Dutchman. Obviously, if I had awarded the Lost Dutchman Campground its full due based on the attractions in the area, it would have gotten a somewhat higher score but three stars are already too many. Donít think about staying here unless you are prepared to go somewhere else as a result of your possibly unfavorable inspection. I wouldnít even give much credence to what you might _read_ about this campground without you personally confirming it onsite.

Received from Anon for visit in Aug 2007

Site Number:None
Stay Again? NO
Located on Apache Trail between Apache Junction and Tortilla Flat, at base of beautiful Superstition Mountain, hiking trails and cactus garden. Boondocking area and campground with water and electric. We stayed in boondocking area for $10 a day

Received from Norm for visit in Mar 2001

Site Number: None
Stay Again? YES

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