How We Do It

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How SALT Achieves Its Mission

The Superstition Area Land Trust (SALT) is dedicated to preserving the awe-inspiring Superstition Mountains, a region steeped in legend, history, and geological marvels. These mountains, officially designated as a Wilderness Area in 1964, are a tapestry of prehistoric ruins, volcanic flows, and the famous tales of the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. The trails that wind through this rugged landscape are named after the prospectors and cowboys who once mined and ranched here, capturing some of the most beautiful and varied scenery on Earth.

The Superstition Mountains are a precious asset, offering easy access to the wild for city dwellers from nearby Apache Junction. However, this accessibility is both a blessing and a curse, as urban encroachment threatens the very essence of this wilderness. The 16,700 acres of state trust land adjacent to the Wilderness Area serve as a crucial buffer, providing habitat for rare and endangered species and hosting some of the region’s most popular trailheads.

SALT recognizes the urgent need to conserve these lands to ensure they remain a sanctuary for recreation and solitude. This area is perfect for a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and simply finding peace in nature. By protecting this gateway to the wilderness, SALT aims to preserve the Superstition Mountains for future generations to enjoy and explore.


For much of its history, SALT has relied entirely on the work and goodwill of dedicated volunteers and benefactors.  Beginning with its initial founders, those who love the Superstitions and its Foothills have consistently stepped up to the plate with their time and dollars.  They’ve served on the Board of Directors, taken on administrative tasks, put together fundraising campaigns, run the website and social media and worked on the popular trail crew.  In short, SALT’s efforts over the years to conserve these magnificent lands would not have been possible without them.

Collaborative Conservation Efforts

Our Primary Mission is the long-term conservation, preservation and management of natural open spaces surrounding the Superstition Wilderness Area through education, advocacy, land acquisitions, federal and stand lands protection, and other conservation actions.

Funding and Support

The Study Area for the Superstition Area Land Plan Includes 105 square miles. The Area is bordered on the north by the Superstition Wilderness Area, on the east by the Tonto National Forest, and by a line a mile southwest and south of U.S. 60.

Funding and Support

The efforts of SALT volunteers have been enhanced and multiplied by partnerships with other conservation organizations, government agencies and local jurisdictions.  SALT has collaborated with the following by providing services and materials such as strategic planning, consulting, presentations, trail maintenance and interpretive kiosks. In return, our partners have offered expertise, support and funding.

  • Central Arizona Conservation Alliance
  • Public Land Managers Group
  • Superstition Foothills Destination Park Exploratory Committee
  • Tonto National Forest
  • National Park Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Arizona State Land Department
  • Arizona Game & Fish Department
  • Pinal County Board of Supervisors
  • Pinal County Parks & Trails Department
  • Pinal County Open Space & Trails Advisory Commission
  • Pinal Partnership
  • Pinal Partnership Open Space & Trails Committee
  • Gold Canyon Community, Inc.
  • Apache Junction Parks & Recreation
  • Town of Superior
  • Legends of Superior Trails
  • Resolution Copper

The Superstitions are iconic for the entire East Valley, and residents from across the region will be critically important allies in conservation.  SALT has therefore spent considerable time in nurturing relationships with multiple city and county leaders.

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We would love your help, donations, or voice to help us protect and conserve the Superstition area. If interested please give us a call or contact us by clicking below!


Protecting Natural Resources

We employ various methods to protect the natural resources of the Superstition Mountains for public benefit.

Through these efforts, SALT aims to create a sustainable balance between human activity and the conservation of the Superstition Mountains. By protecting these lands, we ensure that they remain a cherished natural resource for future generations to enjoy and explore.

Facilitating the transfer of land to public or private conservation entities to ensure its protection.

Voluntary, legal agreements to permanently limit use of land to protect its conservation values. Working with landowners who wish to place conservation easements on their property. These easements are legal agreements that permanently limit uses of the land to protect its conservation values while allowing the landowner to retain ownership and use of the land.

This is a transaction between buyers and sellers for raw land. Identifying and purchasing land parcels that are critical to the community and the environment. These acquisitions are targeted to enhance the connectivity of conserved lands and protect vital habitats and recreational areas.