|Lost Dutchman State Park|
Located in the Sonoran Desert foothills, this park provides a scenic view of the famous Superstition Mountains, site of the legendary Lost Dutchman gold mine. At 2,000 feet elevation, the desert here is lush with paloverde, ironwood trees, and giant saguaro cactus. Desert wildflowers can be spect...
Lower Salt River
|Description: The lower stretch of the Salt River, though controlled by dams, flows perennially and is highly scenic in its setting among Arizona Upland Sonoran Desert vegetation. Much of this area is included in the very popular Salt River Recreation Area. Views include rugged portions of the Goldfield Mountains, Stewart Mountain, and Red Mountain. This is an easily accessible, highly scenic portion of the Sonoran desert with a perennial river, ideal for an early morning trip specifically to observe wildlife. There are historic and prehistoric Native American sites throughout the area.|
Wildlife to Watch: Wildlife can best be viewed by leisurely walking along the river or floating the river in a canoe, kayak, or inner tube. Bald eagle, osprey, peregrine falcon, Harris’s hawk, heron, egret, waterfowl, and other riparian and upland birds are frequently observed. Many species of migratory songbirds also appear during the spring to nest in the area, such as black-chinned and Costa’s hummingbirds, vermilion and ash-throated flycatchers, Bell’s vireo, Lucy’s warbler, and hooded oriole. Mistletoe clumps in the mesquite and cottonwood trees attract a variety of wintering birds which feed on the abundant berries, such as phainopepla, northern mockingbird, western bluebird, American robin, and cedar waxwing. Bighorn sheep, deer, javelina, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, skunks, and other mammals may be spotted on the hillsides or coming to water, depending on the time of day. Beavers are occasionally seen along the riverbank or swimming in the water. Of the various lizards, snakes, and toads found in the area, the gophersnake, coachwhip, western diamond-backed rattlesnake, desert spiny and zebra-tailed lizards, and Woodhouse’s toad are most common.
Special Tips: Fee Site. Vehicle and foot traffic is prohibited from December 1 to June 30 along the south side of the Salt River near Water Users Recreation Area to protect nesting bald eagles (Bulldog Cliffs area). The Blue Point and Sheep’s Crossing recreation areas may also be closed December to June to protect nesting bald eagles downstream.
Ownership: U.S.D.A. Forest Service
Size: 200 acres
Closest Town: Mesa
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: