ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Day Trip to the Goldfield Ghost Town and Museum in Apache Junction Arizona

Updated on May 3, 2015

Fun Family Day Trips are Easy to Find in Arizona

We recently took a family day trip to the Goldfield Ghost Town and Museum in Apache Junction, Arizona. It was actually our second time around but it had been about 7 years since our first trip and our youngest son was only 3 years old at the time so his memories of it were a little vague. We came across some pictures from our first trip and when he asked about where they were from we quickly knew the best way would be to show up in person.

We love taking short trips through-out the year rather than one expensive week-long family vacation. We actually get to see more places and it allows everyone to chose a favorite place to go or activity to do. It's not always free but this particular day, other than gas (which is definitely NOT free), admission is by donations only. We always donate and although that does add to the costs, it just does not feel the same as if you HAVE to pay that admission to a theme park or event of $59.99 per adult and a discounted rate of $47.99 for kids under 10 or something like that.

So that being said, we set out on our day trip so that we could arrive at opening of 10 a.m. so as to avoid the hottest part of the day. So join along for our journey into the ghost town to see if we found any gold!

Prospecting & Gold Claims Information, Gold Panning Equipment and More - If you are going to go on an adventure go prepared!

Modern Prospecting: How to Find, Claim and Sell Mineral Deposits (Prospecting and Treasure Hunting)
Modern Prospecting: How to Find, Claim and Sell Mineral Deposits (Prospecting and Treasure Hunting)

Want to learn more about prospecting and buying your own gold claims? This would be a great place to start.


First Stop Museum - Full of artifacts, history and more...

Goldfield Ghost Town Museum
Goldfield Ghost Town Museum

The museum is great! They have such a varied collection of items it's hard to see them all but they include things like minerals, gemstones, mining tools, gold mine maps, and they have several pieces from movies that have been filmed in or around the area. Just some really interesting pieces, some history, some just for fun, either way a good way to spend time with your family.

Don't Want to End Up Here! - Goldfield must not have had many criminals...

Goldfield Ghost Town Jail
Goldfield Ghost Town Jail

Goldfield-Gateway to the Legendary Superstition Mountains

Legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine

Although we did not visit the Lost Dutchman State Park today, we had been previously and it is great for hiking and camping or some good nature walking on the many paths through the brush and cacti . If you don't know the legend about the Superstition Mountains and Jacob Waltz, then let me share a little of the story.

He was actually a German immigrant who claimed to have found this legendary gold mine sometime around the 19th century somewhere in the Superstition Mountains which is very close to Apache Junction. He kept the location a secret and there are quite a few variations on what exactly happened to him or whether he discovered it alone or even if it was really in Arizona. So the legend grew over the years to carry many tales, making it one of the most famous "lost mines" in American History.

Many have since attempted to find the legendary gold and some have even died in their quest. Not sure if I would be willing to make that ultimate sacrifice on legend. Not saying I wouldn't pan for gold or even buy a mining claim but nothing so serious as to put my life or family's lives at great risk. But it does make for great stories as you find yourself walking through the old ghost town seeing the artifacts and pieces of history from both the Goldfield mine and the Lost Dutchman mine.

Gold Miner 1V_TGP-001 Spiral Panning Machine
Gold Miner 1V_TGP-001 Spiral Panning Machine

If you do buy a gold claim, you will need something a panning machine to separate it.


Family Fun, Gold Mines and Legends - What more could you ask for on a family day trip?

If you decide to take a family day trip out to the Goldfield Ghost Town or even to the Lost Dutchman State Park for some hiking or camping, be sure to watch these videos for some background information that will explain some of the history behind the stories and gold mining that left more than one ghost town in its path.

Do You Know What Any of These Pieces Are? - I will not proclaim to know and was hoping for some help in identifying some of them...

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Gold Mining Claims - Risk or Reward?

Would you ever buy a gold mining claim?

See results
Live Reptile Exhibit
Live Reptile Exhibit

Live Reptile Exhibit

Snakes, Lizards and more

Well if you don't like snakes then you might not want to go in here. Of course this was one of the most

important places to go in according to our youngest son, so... I guess you know who won that battle. Pretty

cool exhibit, glad they were inside and not out. Be sure to check out the larger pictures of the snake below, if you dare...

Snakes in the Reptile Exhibit - Goldfield Ghost Town

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Eastern Diamondback RattlesnakeMexican Hognose SnakeCan you identify this one?He really likes the lightThis one was the most active and quite entertaining to watch
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Mexican Hognose Snake
Mexican Hognose Snake
Can you identify this one?
Can you identify this one?
He really likes the light
He really likes the light
This one was the most active and quite entertaining to watch
This one was the most active and quite entertaining to watch

Panning for Gold - High gold prices + bad economy = vacation ideas?

Okay so maybe that equation looks a little funny but there are more and more people who are planning whole family vacations around places to pan for gold. It really doesn't take that much to make their trip profitable. Just food for thought...

Have you ever panned for gold

See results

Family Day Trips or Long Vacations - I say vacations all year long!

Photo © tordon - all rights reserved

What does your family do for vacations?

See results

Goldfield Mine - Mine Tours Entrance

Goldfield Mine Entrance
Goldfield Mine Entrance

There were so many cool buildings, structures and pieces of antique equipment at the Ghost Town, it is really hard to remember it all. I can't even imagine how they built some of this back when they did. I know some of it has been reconstructed but still... it is pretty amazing when you think about it.

Overall this was a wonderful family day trip with a little history, a little legend and some really cool stuff to see leaving us lots to talk about over the summer.

Find Today's Daily Deal on the Best in Phoenix!

End of the Day Treat - To be a kid...

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Think I can run through this water?Ready or not, here I go!Ahhh,,, cool at last...
Think I can run through this water?
Think I can run through this water?
Ready or not, here I go!
Ready or not, here I go!
Ahhh,,, cool at last...
Ahhh,,, cool at last...

What are some of your favorite family day trips? - The good, the bad and the ugly! We want to hear it all!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • sbconcepts profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @julieannbrady: You never know when you might actually find some of that gold! But we love the beach too and Savannah has a lot to see with all of the history. Love the architecture there too, so much to see you need more than a day. Thanks!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Well, I have enjoyed a trip to the beach or a trip to Savannah! It would be cool to pan for gold and pay for that trip!

    • sbconcepts profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @goldenrulecomics: It is a great little trip but I see in your case it might be more than just a "little day trip" but there are so many things to do here in the Phoenix area, it would be worth the trip. We have not yet made it out of the country but would love to one day take those longer vacations. I'll just come read about yours and dream...

    • goldenrulecomics profile image


      5 years ago from New Jersey

      I would love to visit here! We write about both our day trips and longer vacations, and our recent favorites have been to Nova Scotia and Montreal!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)