Growing up in rural Georgia, one of my favorite things to do was dress up as an archeologist (Indiana Jones style, what did you expect? I was 7) and head out into our backyard to dig for buried treasure.

An archeologist inspecting hieroglyphs
Credit: Canva

I never did find anything, save for a few lost toys and quarters, but the thrill of the hunt was enough for me.

Wouldn't it be cool if I found something, though?

What is the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine?

No, there's no relation to "The Flying", but the Lost Dutchman has been a mythical figure in Arizona lore for centuries. Initially born Jacob Waltz, the Dutchman was a prospector in central Arizona during the mid-19th century.

A prospector holds a pan of gold in a river
Credit: Canva

Allegedly, while out in the Superstition Mountains (located just east of Phoenix), Waltz discovered a massive vein of gold that would be worth millions, if not billions today. Unfortunately, he was attacked and killed before he could do anything about the fortune.

According to legend, he was found near-dead in the middle of the desert with saddlebags full of gold and was able to tell one man about his findings.

This set off the greatest treasure hunt in Arizona history.

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Where is the Gold?

A treasure map to the lost Dutchman's gold
Credit: Canva

It's been almost 200 years since Jacob Waltz initially found his fortune, so someone must have found it, right?


Someone puts a magnifying glass to a treasure map
Credit: Canva

Hundreds of hopefuls have headed to the Superstition mountains in search of fame and glory, and every time, have come away empty handed. Allegedly, the gold is near Weaver's Needle, an easily recognizable landmark on the mountains.

While the gold may not have been found yet, that just means you have the chance to solidify your name in history. Many believe the treasure is a hoax, but that's up to you to find out.

[AZ State Parks]

[Apache Junction Public Library]

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Gallery Credit: Tim Gray

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Gallery Credit: Christopher Cappiali/Canva

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