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Arizona Hikes and Drives - Chapter 9 - Flatiron Climb

The Flatiron is a promontory (looking like a flat iron) in the northwest part of the Superstition Mountains, near Apache Junction, Arizona. Adjacent is the highest peak in the Superstitions at 5,024 feet, just over 3,000 feet of elevation gain from the Siphon Draw trailhead in Lost Dutchman State Park. The Siphon Draw trail is a moderate trail that officially ends at a seasonal waterfall, but another trail continues up the steep canyon leading to the Flatiron and the peak behind and to the east. The trail involves steep climbing, scrambling and trail locating with many areas of loose rock or gravel on steep ground that challenges footing... it is mostly identifiable by blue paint markings showing the route. It is definitely not for the faint-of-heart as there are many locations on the trail with that challenging footing and some short portions of rock climbing requiring the use of handholds to get up and over the rocks or cliffs. If, like me, you are challenged by heights, you will feel a great achievement by reaching the top. Climbing this route would not be enjoyable or safe if there was any rainfall, but the payoff is an awesome view from the Flatiron or the peak. Experienced hikers and climbers passed us on the way up and were on the way down before we reached the top. A couple of young hikers passed us going up and wearing shoes with little tread and we fully expected to see them lying at the bottom of some cliff along the way, but they made it. We would never climb this trail without good footwear with good tread and sufficient water. Certainly allow the day for the hike, though others did it in half a day. Starting early helped avoid the heat on the way up. These photos are not "art", since they were taken with my "point and shoot" camera in areas with great contrast... shaded canyon with open and sunny sky beyond. That said, Greg and I found this challenging hike to be a huge endorphin builder. The hike is a significant physical challenge for many guys our age, but the real challenge is mental... convincing yourself that the summit is getting closer and that the payoff is worth it... and it was!
The Flatiron with the Summit Just Beyond to the Left
The Flatiron with the Summit Just Beyond to the Left
Starting Up the Siphon Draw Trail
Starting Up the Siphon Draw Trail
Well, That Part was Easy
Well, That Part was Easy
Just Above the Seasonal Waterfall
Just Above the Seasonal Waterfall
The Route Up
The Route Up
Where the Cliffs Narrow
Where the Cliffs Narrow
Helpful Paint Markings
Helpful Paint Markings
Some of the Scramble
Some of the Scramble
Which Handhold is Best?
Which Handhold is Best?
Looking Back at Siphon Draw
Looking Back at Siphon Draw
The View North
The View North
A Brief Respite Place Before Resuming the Climb
A Brief Respite Place Before Resuming the Climb
Examining the Vegetation
Examining the Vegetation
Resuming the Climb
Resuming the Climb
Finding the Route
Finding the Route
The Flatiron from Below
The Flatiron from Below
Hoping it is Our Destination
Hoping it is Our Destination
Other Hikers Catching Up
Other Hikers Catching Up
The Sun Begins to Show
The Sun Begins to Show
Telephoto, but Still a Long Way Back Down the Canyon
Telephoto, but Still a Long Way Back Down the Canyon
From Far Above Siphon Draw
From Far Above Siphon Draw
About Level with the Bottom of Flatiron Cliff
About Level with the Bottom of Flatiron Cliff
It Pretty Much Seems Like Straight Up
It Pretty Much Seems Like Straight Up
The Bottom of Flatiron Cliff on the Left
The Bottom of Flatiron Cliff on the Left
Our First Destination Far Above
Our First Destination Far Above
Loose Footing
Loose Footing
Planning the Next Handhold
Planning the Next Handhold
A Sense of Steep
A Sense of Steep
Taking a Breather
Taking a Breather
Hiding in the Bottom Left
Hiding in the Bottom Left
Finally, Level with the Flatiron
Finally, Level with the Flatiron
The Trail Splits... this is the Flatiron
The Trail Splits... this is the Flatiron
Our Lunch Destination
Our Lunch Destination
That's the Start of OurTrail Way Back Down There
That's the Start of OurTrail Way Back Down There
On the Flatiron Looking South with our Next Destination to the Left
On the Flatiron Looking South with our Next Destination to the Left
The Real Summit
The Real Summit
Greg Calling Jean
Greg Calling Jean
From the Flatiron Looking Southwest
From the Flatiron Looking Southwest
Toward Apache Junction and Gold Canyon
Toward Apache Junction and Gold Canyon
Gold Canyon Golf  RV Resort in the Distance
Gold Canyon Golf RV Resort in the Distance
Greg Enjoying the View
Greg Enjoying the View
How Stable is That Edge?
How Stable is That Edge?
Starting Lunch
Starting Lunch
Greg at Flatiron
Greg at Flatiron
Pretty Straight Down
Pretty Straight Down
Garden on the Flatiron
Garden on the Flatiron
My Lunch
My Lunch
The Other Climbers Cooling Down
The Other Climbers Cooling Down
Close Up Where We Climbed
Close Up Where We Climbed
Getting Jean to Check Us Out in the Telescope
Getting Jean to Check Us Out in the Telescope
Rebuilding Energy for the Return
Rebuilding Energy for the Return
From the Flatiron to the Summit
From the Flatiron to the Summit
Find Greg on the Trail
Find Greg on the Trail
Some of the Plane Crash Fire
Some of the Plane Crash Fire
Near the Summit
Near the Summit
Summit to the Left and Ridge Line to the Right
Summit to the Left and Ridge Line to the Right
From the Hoodoos Looking Back at the Flatiron
From the Hoodoos Looking Back at the Flatiron
From the Hoodoos Looking North
From the Hoodoos Looking North
A Fellow Traveller at the Summit
A Fellow Traveller at the Summit
Kim and Greg at the Summit
Kim and Greg at the Summit
Greg Calling Jean from the Summit
Greg Calling Jean from the Summit
Flatiron from the Summit
Flatiron from the Summit
Looking Southwest from the Summit
Looking Southwest from the Summit
A View of Weavers Needle from the Summit
A View of Weavers Needle from the Summit
A View North from the Summit
A View North from the Summit
Down to the Flatiron
Down to the Flatiron
The Payoff
The Payoff
The Summit Looking West
The Summit Looking West
Flatiron Hoodoos
Flatiron Hoodoos