Massacre Falls via Dutchman’s Trailhead
As the legends of the Superstition Wilderness say, a rich Mexican family came to this area to mine gold in the 1840s. Cornered and killed by the Apache, Massacre Falls and Massacre Falls Trail got their names from this bloody past. Don’t let the moniker deter you, though. This is a great hike with lots of pleasant scenery and not as much violence these days. Massacre Falls are seasonal, so you’ll want to plan to visit when there’s been some recent rain. This route originates from Dutchman’s Trailhead.
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Route Description for Massacre Falls via Dutchman’s Trailhead
Back in the 1840s, the Peralta family came from Northern Mexico to mine the gold-rich Superstition Wilderness. In 1848, they were preparing to head back to Mexico with their spoils when they were cornered and attacked by the Apache. All but a few members of the family were killed. After the attack, the Apache covered the entrance to the mine and hid the gold.
The approach from Dutchman’s Trailhead is longer and a bit more strenuous, so bring lots of water and prepare to have little shade. From the trailhead, you’ll want to backtrack along the road to the second restroom and take the route that heads south into the desert. Take a left to head into the mountains when you reach Massacre Falls Trail.
There’s a trail split before the falls. Stay right to hike along the bottom of the cliff ahead in the direction of the mountains. Going left will lead you to a cliff which has great views but isn’t your destination. Look for the falls to the west. The falls are often fairly weak, so try to time your trip post-monsoon. When you’re done admiring the falls, you’ll return to the trailhead the same way you came in.
Getting to the Massacre Falls via Dutchman’s Trailhead Trailhead
The trailhead for Massacre Falls via Dutchman’s Trailhead is off Forest Road 78.
Massacre Falls via Dutchman’s Trailhead Elevation Graph
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