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Superstition Mountain, near Apache Junction, Arizona, as seen from the Apache Trail (SR88).

   This is one of the classic views of Superstition Mountain (main peak elevation = 5057 feet, 1541 meters).  Taken from Lost Dutchman State Park, this photograph shows some of the towering volcanic rock formations that comprise the western end of the Superstition Mountains, the name of the range that includes this mountain. 
   The cliff faces shown here are part of the Superstition resurgent dome, a type of explosive feature now coming to be known as a "supervolcano".  Fortunately, this one is very old and inactive. 
   A resurgent dome forms prior to the eruption of a , as monstrous volumes of magma (molten rock), in this case and , build up within the Earth's crust.  Eventually, the magma explodes outward, and the surrounding rocks collapse back into the remaining cavity, forming a caldera.
   The Superstition Caldera last erupted approximately 25 million years ago, during what is called the .  Vast amounts of superheated volcanic ash then flowed across the landscape, and descended from the sky, wreaking utter devastation on anything within maybe a hundred miles (160 km).
   The Superstition Caldera is part of the , which includes other volcanic features in the area.
   Smaller quantities of ash would also have fallen over a thousand miles (1600 km) away, and the effects on the Earth's climate would have lasted possibly for many years.

If you want more information about
the Superstition Mountains,
download these three FREE short GeoStories™
(PDF files, each <1MB):

Is the lure of Lost Gold is stronger than the lure of Found Gold?
More than one thinks so.

Gold Dust

Herein lies the Lost Dutchman's Gold -- the Superstition Wilderness.

One Piece at a Time

Weaver's Needle, in the Superstition Mtns of Arizona.

  Somewhere in the shadow of Weaver's Needle, in the Superstition Mountains, lies the Lost Dutchman's Gold.
  How did it get there?  The Needle, I mean.

If you think times here today are crazy, violent, and dangerous, read this and count your blessings.

Tuff Times

Battleship Mountain, in Central Arizona.

   Next View >>
   See the GeoHistory page if you want to know more about why the landscape looks the way it does, or return to the map of "The Superstition Mountains" for more view locations.
   You can also send this as an E-Postcard to your friends!

If you like
rocks, gems,
geology, hiking,
& stars in the sky,

to our

  There are currently four other scenic views in this sequence:
  - a look deep into the heart of the Superstition Wilderness

  - a view of Weaver's Needle
  - canyons along the "Apache Trail" (SR88)
  - Superstition Mountain, as seen from the Usery Mountains
  There are many other scenic views around the Apache Junction and Globe areas, accessible from the map.

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