A fairly short trek but a tuff one on horse back in the Superstition Wilderness takes you to the Massacre Grounds, where according to legend Apache warriors slaughtered a party of Mexican miners.
"SOME HISTORY BELOW"
There are many variations, but the main story goes something like this: During the middle years of the 19th century, the wealthy Peralta family of Mexico operated several mines in what is now Arizona. In the aftermath of the Mexican War, with the new border shifting south, the Peraltas decided to extract as much ore as possible before their holdings became U.S. territory.
One last expedition, laden with rich gold ore, was on its way to Mexico when Apaches attacked, slaughtering the hapless miners on the northwestern flanks of the Superstitions. Years later, the single survivor of the attack revealed the location of the family's richest mine to Jacob Waltz, who had saved another family member from harm.
True or not, the account provides a foundation for tales of the Lost Dutchman Mine.
Lending credence to the story is the report that in 1912 a couple of prospectors found gold ore worth $18,000 in the area where the massacre allegedly took place.
The first part of the trail to the Massacre Grounds is an old road that leads south from a small dirt parking area, climbing steadily into a magnificent desert landscape. Before long, the route passes east of a hill topped by a distinctive rock spire. As you proceed, you gain terrific views of the Superstition ridgeline, the Goldfield Mountains and a foreshortened view of Four Peaks. Soon you'll see the top of Weavers Needle in the southeast, peeking over a distant ridgeline.
The trail is generally easy to follow, although it gains nearly a thousand feet of elevation and some sections are narrow, rocky and steep. Several spur trails, many marked by rock cairns, branch out across the area as you proceed. It is much harder on horse back but it is doable. You must have a surefooted animal that is in good shape.
|We headed out the sand draw past Goldfield|
Out of Goldfield you go to the right up the sand-draw. Head to the second parking lot going up to the first water parking lot you will see sign there for the Massarce grounds.
Of course we did not take the easy route we headed right up to the base of Superstition mountain and worked our way across the gullies.
|Paul and Shaween followed use for a while|
|Alan texting and riding LOL|
|Alan took a great shot of us below Superstition|
|Beautiful views of the Superstitions|
|"SPOT THE MULE" Alan was crazy enough to climb up this gully.|
|We heading down lower to see if we could find a better crossing.|
Paul and Shawneen headed out on a different trail that was not as ruff.
|Alan and his Foxy mule|
We found a way over the gully and met back up with Alan and his mule (part billy goat) Foxy
|Last hill up until we reach the Massacre grounds|
|Looking back at the views|
|Love this shot of my wild stallion Hunter "The Huntsman"|
|Hunter and Foxy with Pinky the Aussie/boarder collie|
|Don't look down OMG|
|Lunch break on top of the Massacre grounds|
The Massacre Ground is a plaque that only has one way in and 1000's of foot drops all the other 3 corners. The first time we came here I would not go up. I stayed just below the edges. I am slowly getting over my height issues riding such a safe minded and surefooted horse.
|Here is Miss "Pinky" she is such a wonderful little dog. This is Alan's dog.|
|You fill like you are on top of the world up here.|
|Hunter was just a little bit wet after coming up those big hills.|
|This is a good view of the valley. You can see the Black Mesa trail we took last week.|
The Black Mesa trail has a almost black highlight on the top of it.
|Ron and I on top of the Massacre grounds|
|Some of the steep trails down|
This trail was a little too steep. I don't like the loose rocks that are on it one big rock rolled onto Hunter leg and cut him in two places. He is fine no blood or swelling thank god. He did'nt even do anything when the rock hit him. He is just so steady :)
|Almost back at Camp|
On the way up the sand draw coming back to camp we met up with friends from North Dakota Jim and Dawn. They were riding with Lou Ann the owner/Mayor of Goldfield's wife.
|Dawn and Lou Ann riding past the active gold mine at Goldfield|