This is a beautiful, well maintained Arizona State Park located northeast of Phoenix in Apache Junction. While we absolutely recommend a visit to this park, our advice is to pay close attention to which campsite you select, as not all are created equally.
Click here to read about our criteria for campground reviews.
Overall Rating: 3.8/5
Price per night / Discounts: $30 / None
Campground website: Lost Dutchman State Park
Our Site #: 76
Privacy Rating (how spacious and private do the sites feel):
4/5: Our site was in the newest loop, which meant it was very tight compared to the other loops. However, most sites in this loop (including ours) are parallel to the road, so we didn't have anyone right next to us. Our front to back spacing was decent and there was a substantial amount of vegetation growing around the campsite, so overall, it was ok. However. if you can get into one of the older loops, you will have much, much better site separation and privacy.
Location Rating (accessibility to points of interest or to major highways):
4/5: The park is northeast of Phoenix in the small town of Apache Junction. There wasn't much of interest in the town, but we could get our necessities. It's obviously within driving distance of the larger city, but it's not necessarily a short drive (Phoenix is big and traffic is a bear, so plan accordingly.) On the other hand, the park is located right on the Apache Trail, which is a fun off-road scenic route, and the park itself offers fun hiking and biking trails.
Site Quality and Big Rig Accessibility Rating (utilities and accessibility of campground hook ups):
2/5: This is where our particular campsite really disappointed us. The loop containing sites 75-104 doesn't hold a candle to the other loops. The sites are smaller, the roads are tighter, and most all sites are substantially unlevel. Additionally, and oddly, there are no shower/bathroom facilities in this loop, meaning folks who are not completely self contained must walk about a quarter mile to the other loop - which is probably not super appealing in the middle of the night in a desert full of coyotes. While we could fit in our site, it took more maneuvering than usual to get lined up, and we had to use almost all of our leveling blocks to get level. It was just disappointing, especially considering how lovely the other loops are. Our strong suggestion is to find something in one of the older loops.
Technology and Customer Service Rating (online resources, reservations, and staff):
5/5: Dealing with the Arizona State Parks is always a pleasure. Everything can be done online and customer service is always top notch.
Internet Availability Rating (Verizon coverage or campground wifi):
4/5: No Wifi here, but AT&T worked well.
Had we been in another loop, I have no doubt we'd be singing the praises of this beautiful state park. The views are lovely, the hiking is fantastic, the people are nice, and the price is reasonable. However, all loops are not created equally in this campground and, unfortunately, we ended up with one of the least desirable ones. Our site was small, tight, hard to get into, and nearly impossible to get level. If you can get into one of the other loops, I think you'll be much happier. Also: heads up for dog owners: the park does minimal work to remove cholla cactus from the trails, so keep an eye on your pup or you may end up with an expensive vet bill.