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Enjoy the Fall Weather with a Star Party, Hikes and Other Events at Lost Dutchman State Park in February


February 15, 2015

(Phoenix Arizona - January 30, 2015) - Many hikes and events are offered throughout the month of February 2015 at Lost Dutchman State Park. Bring your family to hike or enjoy a picnic for the day and enjoy the fall temperatures in Apache Junction.

Wednesday, February 4: Medicinal Plants of the Sonoran Desert, 9 a.m.

This approximate 2.5-mile and two-hour round trip hike with ranger Erica will introduce medicinal plants of the Sonoran Desert. Tea made from creosote bush to ease arthritis, nuts from the Jojoba bush to nourish the skin, gum from Brittle bush to combat bronchitis, just a few of the healing plants found in our desert. Area. This is a moderately easy hike with elevation change of 500 feet. Bring water, snack, sunscreen, hat, and proper hiking shoes. We will forage along Treasure Loop east on Jacobs Crosscut and return. Meet at Cholla Day Use.

Wednesday, February 4: Karaoke for the Campers, 4-6 p.m.

Bringing her karaoke sound system with her on her travels, host "Miss America Linda" will give

our campers the opportunity to sing some of their favorite tunes while at the base of the Superstition Mountains! Join the group for some fun at the campground amphitheatre and bring your list of songs and your singing voice. (Repeats February 11, 18 and 25).

Saturday, February 7: Wildman Phil and friends, 2 p.m.

Wildman Phil Rakoci brings his friends: dragon-like lizards, huge scorpions that eat lizards, snakes and other desert critters for this entertaining, informative and inter-active animal show for kids of all ages. Meet Phil at the Palo Verde Ramada and bring a chair.

Wednesday, February 11: Getting to Know the Birds Around You, 9 a.m.

Meeting in the Saguaro Day Use area, there will be a brief discussion about how to tell one bird from another, then we'll be looking for resident birds (from hawks to hummingbirds) and for any late migrants stopping by on their way south. After birding the Saguaro Day use area, we'll look for birds as we walk up toward Jacob's Crosscut Trail. We'll make the short loop around and back to Saguaro Day Use lot, birding as we go. This is more of an "amble" than a hike as we let the birds come to us. Bring binoculars, water and wear sturdy trail shoes. No dogs, please. Led by volunteer Birder Babs.

Wednesday, February 11: Sunset Hike 4:15 p.m.

Following the Treasure Loop trail to Jacobs Cross Cut and intersecting with Siphon Draw Trail will find hikers marveling at the mountain and the sky full of color, especially when there a few clouds. A photographer's delight! Elevation change is 102 ft. on very well maintained trails. Easy, two-hour hike. Bring a flashlight for return to parking lot. Meet at Saguaro Day Use area. Led by volunteer hiking leader Nancy.

Friday, February 13: Music AND Star Party, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Get into the mood for the next day - Valentines Day. Enjoy new world music, inspired by nature with guitarist Russell Hyngez. Russ is a guitarist, composer, educator and hiker who believes that nature has a profound influence over us. The musical program will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Palo Verde Ramada. After the program, attendees will walk a well-lit path to the Star Party at the Saguaro Day Use area. The Star Party begins at 7 p.m. Members of the Superstition Astronomical League will then provide telescopic views of the night sky and answer questions about astronomy and astronomical equipment. What will be in the sky tonight?

Saturday, February 14: Geology Walk with Geology Professor Steve Semken, 9 a.m.

Take a walk along the trails in the park with ASU Geology Professor Steve Semken and learn more about the formation, foundation and a look into the future of the Superstition Mountain. Mr. Semken is an Associate Professor of Geology and Geoscience at ASU and enjoys sharing his knowledge of rocks and what we can learn from them. The easy 2.5 mile, two-hour walk will take place on maintained trails. Participants should wear hiking shoes and carry water. Directions to trailhead will be given at the Ranger Station on day of hike.

Wednesday, February 18: History, Legends and Lore Hike, 9 a.m.

Following the Treasure Loop Trail, Volunteer hiking leader Jim will discuss the history of the

Superstitions, along with legends and lore of the gold. This 2.5 mile round trip with an elevation

change of approx. 520' is a moderate hike. Hikers should wear hiking shoes and carry ample water. Meet in the Cholla Day Use.

Friday, February 20: Star Talk, 7:30 p.m.

Learn about the night sky, constellations and planets with local astronomer Bill Dellinges. Parking and seating at campground amphitheater.

Saturday, February 21: Bird Walk, 8:30 a.m.

Join volunteer "birder Vera" for a morning of discovering the birds of the desert. Learn how to

identify the birds in your back yard, the proper use of binoculars, where to find birds in our area,

and then take a guided walk through the desert to practice new skills. Bring binoculars if you have them, appropriate clothing, water and enthusiasm, but no dogs or small children, please. Expect to have some surprises and fun! Meet at the Native Plant Trail parking area near the ranger station for orientation. Participants will then relocate to Cholla Day Use Area.

Saturday, February 21: Amazing Night Under the Skies, 7-9 p.m.

Join Dr. Sky, a radio/TV journalist based in Phoenix, for An Amazing Night Under the Skies. What planets will we see in the dark desert sky? Dress warmly and be prepared to be amazed at the sightings. Palo Verde Day Use area (weather permitting).

Sunday, February 22: Inspirational Music, 5 p.m.

Listen and sing-a-long with Jim Potocki, local seasonal resident. Jim will be bringing a sampling of songs with him from Sunday appearances in Pennsylvania. Join us at the Palo Verde Ramada. Dress warmly and bring a chair.

Wednesday, February 25: Challenge yourself hike, 9 a.m.

Join us at Siphon Draw Trailhead for a 4.2 round trip hike to the basin (slick rock waterfall area). A steady uphill grade provides hikers the opportunity to exercise leg muscles, heart and lungs. Come prepared to hike on a less than smooth trail. Elevation change - 1030 ft. Wear sturdy trail or hiking shoes, carry at least two bottles of water and bring a snack for a three-hour moderately strenuous hike. Led by hiking leader Barb.

Saturday, February 28: Edible Desert Plants, 1 p.m.

Naturalist and home economist Jean Groen of Apache Junction is the author of many food books,

including "Foods of the Superstitions." Have you ever sampled the sweet jelly made from prickly pear cactus fruit? How about crackers or cookies baked with mesquite meal? These and other recipes can be found in the more recent and expanded companion volume "Plants of the Sonoran Desert and Their Many Uses." She has researched Indian recipes for desert plants and "modernized" and developed recipes for today. Jean will discuss desert plants, seeds and fruit and share tasty recipes at the Palo Verde Ramada.

For more information visit call (480) 982-4485 or visit The Park Entrance Fee is $7 per vehicle (up to four adults) for all of these events. Primitive to full hookup camping sites are available at a fee of $15 to $25 depending on the type of camping site needed. Lost Dutchman State Park is located off of Highway 88 (Apache Trail North) just outside of Apache Junction, AZ.

For information about all 28 Arizona State Parks, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 or visit Campsite reservations can be made online at or by calling the Reservation Call Center at (520) 586-2283. Open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. Follow AZStateParks on Twitter and Facebook.


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