History is like Frankenstein's monster; all it takes to make it come alive is the right education, a large body of artifacts exhumed from the earth, and an electrical storm. Learn from the past with today's Groupon: for $5, you get admission for two to Superstition Mountain Museum in Apache Junction (a $10 value), plus 15 percent off in the gift shop. Children are admitted for free with a paying adult.
Located on an site covering more than 12 acres at the foot of the mountain, Superstition Mountain Museum shares the rich history of the varied inhabitants of the Apache Junction area. Both indoor and outdoor exhibits pepper the site, where curious sightseers take in the area’s geology and natural history, finding out that gold normally begins as ore, rather than popping out of the ground as gold teeth. With an emphasis on the gold-rush years of the late 1800s, outdoor walking trails are replete with days-of-yore accoutrements, such as stagecoaches, windmills, and old mining equipment. History hounds stomp around a reproduction of a town straight from the Old West, peering in the windows of the barber shop or bailing fictional poltergeists and real uncles out of the old clink. Movie mavens clamor for two famous structures, both transported piece by piece from their original sites, the Apacheland Barn, known for its western film cameos, and the Elvis Memorial Chapel, which now houses the Apacheland Movie Memorabilia Museum. Gold gophers examine a collection of maps to try their hand at searching for the Lost Dutchman Mine(http://gr.pn/gLJM0r), supposedly the most plentiful gold mine in the world.
Superstition Mountain Museum also houses a gift shop and blacksmith shop, where the blacksmith marries both modern and past-day techniques in his steelwork. At the old-time photo studio, patrons throw on shiny saloon gear for photographic evidence of their ghost-whiskey-swilling, rabble-rousing day or to prepare for an upcoming trip to the past.
Superstition Mountain Museum
The sprawling Superstition Mountain Range has been inhabited for more than 9,000 years, but its landscape has remained the same until relatively recently. In the 19th century American settlers moved in, driven by rumors of a bountiful gold mine. The Lost Dutchman Mine spawned a range of new settlements alongside existing American Indian sites here. Though the mine's inhabitants—and the cowboy hats they wore—are long gone, their story lives on at the Superstition Mountain Museum, a 12.5-acre interactive outdoor museum and nature walk dedicated to preserving the area's history. Full-scale recreations of 19th-century buildings include a stage-coach shop, barber shop, 20-stamp gold ore crusher, and the church-turned-film museum Elvis Memorial Chapel. Each building transports visitors back in time with the help of exhibits featuring authentic artifacts and documents such as ancient rock samples that reveal local geology, or art and household items depicting American Indian life.
4087 N Apache Trail
Apache Junction, Arizona 85119Get Directions