Superstition Mountains Near Tucson AZ

Naming the Superstition Mountains Happened

Learn The History of The Stunning and Beautiful Superstition Mountains

superstition mountains north of tucson azThe Superstition Mountains are the second most photographed place in Arizona. The Grand Canyon is the first.

Superstition Mountain is one mountain within the Superstition Mountain Range east of Phoenix AZ – MAP. For locals, the mountain range is just called the Superstitions.

One of the often-heard questions from visitors is how “superstition” got into the name. Superstition Mountain has had different names over time. Two of the more recognized names include Crooked Top Mountain and Thunder Mountain.

The label, Superstition, evolved from local Salt River Valley farmers in the late 1860’s. Pima Indians told the farmers’ stories of strange sounds emanating from the mountain.

The Pima Indians described how people disappeared and strange deaths had occurred. The tribesmen actually feared this specific mountain within the mountain range.

These stories made the farmers believe the Pima tribesmen were superstitious about this mountain location. The farmers named the mountain, Superstition Mountain. The name has stood ever since.

Lost Dutchman Mine

Weavers Needle is a landmark and rock-climbing spot east of Superstition Mountain.  This tall 1,000-foot-high column of rock is a distinctive peak visible for many miles around. This location plays a significant role in the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine.

The stories surrounding the Lost Dutchman’s mine have reinforced the legends of the Superstition Mountains. The Dutchman’s mine is one of famous tales in the history of the Old American West. Allegedly one of the richest gold finds of the time but cursed.

Many people went missing or died as they searched for the Lost Dutchman mine. The legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine has carried on for over 120 years. That legend supported the fears of what might happen to explore and hikers in the Superstition Mountains.

Superstition Mountain Tragedies

The Superstition Mountain Range has had more disappearances than most other U.S. Mountain ranges. The rugged nature of the topography has many sharp drop offs, cliffs and canyons. Extreme temperature changes are common along with high winds and dangerous wildlife.

Four to five hikers die in the Superstition Mountains every year. But hikers and explores meander the mountain regardless of the danger.

Leave No Trace

The Superstition Wilderness is one of eight designated wilderness zones in the United States. That designation prohibits anyone from taking or disturbing anything in the preserved area. A policy of “leave no trace” covers the 200,000 acres of protected wilderness.


So there you have it. Part legend, part fact. The legends of the past created the “superstition” in the name Superstition Mountains. Current stories of missing hikers continue to enhance the tales from history.

A trip to the Superstition Mountains is an easy day trip from Tucson AZ. Just a little over an hour drive. For more on the legends and facts, visit the Superstition Mountain Museum – MAP.

Then make your own mind on the superstitions of the mountain.

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