Awesome views to the North & Flatiron
Do you enjoy hiking to the Flatiron? Have you accomplished it more than once? Are you eager for a new vantage point to view Flatiron? Do you want some awesome panoramic views that are blocked somewhat on Flatiron? If you answered Yes to any/all of those questions, you'll definitely want to give this one a shot!
Note: The stats for this hike reflect only the distance, time and elevation gain from the point you leave and return to the Siphon Draw Trail #53. When planning this hike make sure you allow for the time up from the Siphon Draw TH to the hike start point and back down again. Be sure to link either Flatiron or Siphon Draw Trail #53 to your triplog.
My preference is to start from the new McKellips TH location, but however to begin, just follow the Siphon Draw Trail #53 until you reach the top edge of the slick-rock section at: 33.44119 -111.45928 and ~3125' altitude. From here, cut straight left toward the north and immediately angle down toward the northeast until you start curving around to the right slightly, then after a short hop up about 5' you want to hang a left, following the ravine up toward the NNE. There's no trail as such but it isn't hard to follow the ravine for at least half the way up, all it takes is stopping every 50-100' to scan your best route through the next section. Eventually, when you find you are spending a bit more time on choosing the next part of your route and it's getting steeper and/or the ravine is getting thicker with brush, you might find it slightly easier to move to the right out of the ravine a hundred feet or so where the ground is a little more open. Just gove a little extra care in where you step in this area due to the loose scree. (In the warmer months, possibly a rattlesnake haven)
By this time you will likely have made enough backtracks in your route, or at least you will have gained enough insight to choose your route more wisely. Either that or you may end up just bulling your way up to the top, but no matter you'll soon be at the top of the ridge... and you will find the awesome views to the northeast well worth the efforts. Although you aren't yet at the summit, you'll have gained roughly 2,000' from the trailhead so don't feel bad if you sit down and take a break.
Ok, break's over, time for the relatively easy shuffle to the summit. Feel free to take your time because the views, especially from the northeast to the northwest will drop your jaw in awe. The summit itself is almost as flat as a table for some distance so it's almost an anti-climax, but you can make do by standing in the center of the square laid out with rocks next to a fire pit. Congratulations on reaching the summit of Peak 4175! You've earned it!
If you've made it up in less time than expected (which was the case for us) and have enough time to use up before heading back (our descent took 1/2 the time of the ascent due to not having to scout our route), do take the time to wander westward. If you have another 30-60 minutes, head on over to Peak 4102 at the front, most-westward edge of the Superstitions.
Without trying too hard to stick to any pace, we made the trek up and back in just under 5 hours, 2:45 moving time and 2:10 stopped, mainly for taking photos and a few snack breaks.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.