Flatiron Mountain (4860 ft)-Siphon Draw Trail

I finally had the chance to hike Flatiron!  I have been meaning to do this hike for quite sometime now, hearing how beautifully strenuous the hike is.  At just under 3000 ft elevation gain (most of which is in the last mile) and just over 3 miles one way, this proves to be a very tough hike!  Located in the Superstition Mountains (some of the most beautiful desert scenery located in AZ, also the easiest mountains to get lost in my opinion) this hike begins just outside of Apache Junction.  I found a day off, some interested people, and we met at 6:45 to conquer this beautiful beast.  Arriving just before 8 am, me and 6 others set out on an adventure!

Image  What a BEAUTIFUL way to start the day!  Everything from the parking lot forward was this scenic.  We took a group shot in the parking lot and set off..  Image  The thing I love about hiking, is it brings all walks of life together.  We had a random group, but we all had the same common goal!

The hike begins with a flat path through a park leading up to the mountains.  It takes over a mile to get to the part of it that gets tough, and having all day, we took it slow.  Image  We passed by a cool little cave where a lot of people have congregated in the past.  There was a fire ring, and some graffiti.  This was our ‘almost there!’ spot on the way back.  After a while we started getting some elevation and the valley started shining with the sun.  Being Veterans day, there was no lack of people!  This is a popular spot because it is so close to the valley.  After a little while, you come across a part that you can’t help but think.. ‘Man, this would be such a cool water slide!’  It is a natural depression in the rock from the waterfall that is just above it.   This is the part of the hike that marks the point where the hike gets “fun, weird, strenuous, adventurous, scenic etc”, whatever word defines your hiking style!   Image  So we stopped for a group selfie.  Astara, front left, was the only one that had been up before out of any of us.  We were glad we had her!  It is pretty easy to get lost from the trail (I’ll come to that later).  Image (The waterslide).  Right after the waterslide, you come to a very steep incline/followed by a very steep decline.  We stopped for snacks and waited to regroup.  At this point, it is VERY easy to lose the trail.  Stay to the right, look for the marked blue blazes, arrows etc.   Image  (A very cool silhouette of Astara refueling).  After this, the mountain basically just kicks your ass.  It gets steeper and steeper, climbing very rapidly up into the dome of Flatiron.  Image  There are cairns marking the path (rocks piled on top of eachother) to help mark the way.  If you lose site of rock piles and blue blazes after a while, turn around..  This was a very colorful look out at the valley.  Right after this you get to a bouldering section (about 15 ft high) that requires some sort of rock climbing.  It’s a little difficult to get up and down if you are new to bouldering.  However, you are basically at the top, so don’t turn back now!

Image  (The dome of Flatiron).

We got to the top, sat down for a well needed rest, took some photos and enjoyed the scenery.  There is a peak to Flatiron, another 3/4 of a mile, we did not make it there.  We visited the plane crash memorial that happened 2 years ago almost to the day.  We explored.

Image Image (We made it)!  After some exploring and photo sessions we headed back down.  We made pretty good time on the way down, but this hike was a knee killer!  It was one of the girls in our groups FIRST TIME hiking.  Front right in the photo above.  She did AMAZING, we were proud.  It is always nice to get someone out away from the ordinary.

On the way down we would wait to regroup, and my friend asked me if I heard a girl that was yelling for help, sounded like she was lost..  We could hear her, we just could not see her.  About 45 minutes later, we were almost to the waterslide, I saw a girl scrambling down another ravine towards a pretty cliffy section..  That was her!  We yelled over to her, ran up to where she was and led her back to the trail.  Like I said, the Superstitions are a very easy place to get lost in.  She was day hiking by herself and lost the trail.  Scary!  Her name was Jesi, a very nice girl and maybe a future hiking partner!  Who knows what the future will bring!

All in all, a very strenuous, beautiful hike, away from the more crowded mountains like Camelback.  An adventure for sure!

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