Apache Tears near Superior, Arizona
Posted by: adenium
N 33° 16.135 W 111° 08.118
12S E 487399 N 3681108
Quick Description: A rock-hounding site known for its Apache Tears southwest of Superior, Arizona.
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 3/20/2011 5:49:08 PM
Waymark Code: WMB0QD
This rock-hounding site is at a now defunct perlite operation. A large chamber has been excavated into the hillside. This part of the digging is off-limits; access is restricted by a chain link fence. However, there is sufficient area of the rock face exposed to allow for a lot of searching. Although one can simply pick up the Apache Tears off the ground, better and larger nodules are to be found in the whitish-grey perlite. Bring a rock hammer and some gloves! It is glass after all!!!
Background: Apache Tears are rounded nodules of obsidian, or volcanic glass. The name originates from the legend of a group of about 75 Apaches who, rather than be captured by the US Cavalry, rode their horses off the mountain near Superior, Arizona to their deaths. The families of Apache warriors cried when they heard of the tragedy and their tears turned to stone upon hitting the ground.
Access: Perlite Road is located off US 60. The road is passable by passenger cars up to about N 33.27828, W 111.14016. If you don't feel comfortable crossing a small creek, then this is a good place to park. From here it's less than a mile to the collecting site. If you're able to continue, the road ends at locked gate at N 33.27146, W 111.13860. From here, take the trail that leads toward the southeast. You will pass a smaller collecting site at 33.27019, -111.13726. It's worth a stop as we found a rather large Apache Tear at this location as well as a number of small ones.
Geocaching: Be sure to grab Teardrop Mother Lode Cache while you're visiting the site.