SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS, ARIZ. (KRON) — About 40 miles east of Phoenix is a mountain range of myth and legend — what locals simply call the Superstitions.
It’s a rugged range that rises more than six thousand feet.
Highway 88 follows the centuries Old Apache Trail, first used by Native Americans who later helped build the road used to haul supplies up and down the mountains during construction of water projects in the early 20th century.
This is Goldfield Ghost Town, next to Lost Dutchman’s State Park.
Legend has it a German immigrant revealed on his death bed the location of a hidden gold mine. Prospectors have been searching for Lost Dutchman’s mine ever since.
A little farther up the mountain and you find Canyon Lake — one of four reservoirs that are part of the Salt River Project that provides water and electricity to central Arizona.
It’s also a popular boating area. Back on the ground, KRON4’s Ken Wayne drove to Apache Junction and to the Old Apache Land movie set, where countless b movie westerns were filmed.
The original set burned down in 2004, leaving behind just a few structures.
This Gallows was where Linda Evans was to be hanged in the Kenny Rogers series “The Gambler”. This barn hosted many gunfights and today, has a wall covered with pictures of all the stars who’ve been here. But for many, the highlight is this small wooden church.
Charro was one of the last movies made by Elvis Presley.
“They had no chapel, so they had to build one. It also called for the steeple to get blown off. So they built two steeples. They brought one they could blow off and one that could be permanent,” said Jeff Danford, with the Superstition Mountains Museum.
Today the church is covered with Elvis movie posters and pictures.
There were no interior scenes shot for “Charro” but Elvis did perform here.
“One of our volunteers was a 16-year-old kid,” Danford said. “And he and his mom were extras in that movie and he said Elvis would sit there and play his guitar, sing songs for them.”