Big Pacacho (Apache Leap Mountain)

Legend of the Apache Tears

The legend is about the Coyote, Tonto and Pinal Indians who were all part of one Apache tribe. They lived on top of Big Picacho. This is a mountain that was hidden to those around them.

In July of 1870, the Apaches were living life as they always did until General George Stoneman deemed it necessary to establish an outpost west of what is now called Superior, AZ. Life got bad in the the winter, when the tribes were having a difficult time gathering and hunting. The buffalo and vegetation were scarce and the Apache men did not know how they were going to feed their families and tribes. In desperate need of food, the “Pinal Apaches had made several raids on a settlements but after these raids the ranchers decided to do something about it.

US Calvary Company B and the ranchers gathered and went on a search for the Apache tribes. During the search, the men found a hidden trail leading up Big Picacho mountain where the Apaches camp was.

Not knowing that their camp had been discovered, the tribes were unprepared for the attack that was coming. After finding the trail up to the camp, the soldiers proceed up the mountain for a sneak attack.

With the Apaches unaware of the soldiers coming up the mountain, they had no time to defend themselves. Within moments, the soldiers had killed “nearly 50 of the band of 75 Apaches were killed in the first volley of shots causing the rest of them to retreat. With nowhere to go the rest decided to run to the cliff’s edge and chose death by leaping over the edge rather than die at the hands of the white man. This left the wives and children to grieve the death of their men.

Tears Turn to Stone

It is said that the wives and children gathered a short distance from the base of the cliff where the sands were white, and for a moon they wept for their dead. They mourned greatly, for they realized that not only had their 75 brave Apache warriors died, but with them had died the great fighting spirit of the Pinal Apaches. The wive’s spirits were greatly saddened and a stone was formed were the tears of the Apache women and their loved ones hit the ground. These stones are called the Apache Tears. These black obsidian stones, when held to the light, reveal the translucent tear of the Apache women. It is said that whoever owns an Apache Tear Drop will never have to cry again, for the Apache Women have shed their tears in place of yours.

Apache Tears Cave Mine

During my Montana Mountain Jeep Tour we will drive through the Apache Tears Cave Mine and stop to hunt for the beautiful Apache Tears (dark-colored Obsidian, a natural rounded volcanic glass/rock). They can be polished and will light up like a diamond when a light is cast through them. They are said to heal grief and give protection.

Healing Powers of Apache Tears

Apache Tears are said to have a strong action to aid emotional healing and bring comfort to the holder of the stones when they are grieving. They say they are strong stones for grounding and protection, and to aid you to clear negative emotions that may be holding you back.