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Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw, AZ

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2.1k 325 3
Guide 325 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions NW
Rated
4.4
4.4 of 5 by 44
 
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Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,082 feet
Elevation Gain 2,881 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,942 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.51
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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4  2019-08-04
Flatiron and Peak 5024
DixieFlyer
5  2019-05-17
Flatiron Hike - Superstitions
JuanJaimeiii
20  2019-05-11
Flatiron Hike - Superstitions
roaminghiker
4  2019-04-11
Flatiron Hike - Superstitions
JuanJaimeiii
16  2019-03-23 Naferg323
4  2019-03-09
Flatiron Hike - Superstitions
JuanJaimeiii
4  2019-01-25
Flatiron Hike - Superstitions
JuanJaimeiii
12  2019-01-22
Superstition Ridgeline
chumley
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 24
Author AZLumberjack
author avatar Guides 4
Routes 15
Photos 3,889
Trips 462 map ( 4,812 miles )
Age 78 Male Gender
Location Apache Junction, AZ.
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Oct, Nov, Feb, Apr → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:09am - 6:33pm
Official Route
 
37 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Are you up to the Challenge?
by AZLumberjack

Overview
The Slickrock Basin to the Flatiron and on up to the 5024 Summit in Arizona’s Superstition Mountains is a badge proudly worn.


The Flatiron, a massive rock formation located on the westernmost end of Superstition Mountain, is the result of volcanic activity some thirty million years ago. The mountain rose thousands of feet above the desert thanks to rocks and magma deposited from nearby volcanic eruptions. As eruptions subsided, the caldera that once fed the activity, emptied leaving a huge subterranean cavern that could no longer support the weight of the mountain above. As the cavern collapsed, the entire mountain disappeared into the, then extinct, caldera. As time passed, more subterranean activity, perhaps volcanic or plate tectonics, forced the mountain to rise from its grave. The extreme forces exerted upon the rocks left the sheer cliffs exposed as the mountain, much like the legendary Phoenix of old, once again grew from the ashes, leaving a rugged mountain range etched with deep canyons and sheer vertical cliffs. Many more eons of wind and rain have eroded the mountain to its present day form.

Warning
* Come prepared for a muscle burning experience.
* Bring along sufficient amounts of water and snacks.
* Good quality footwear is very important on the polished slickrock surfaces that will be encountered.
* This is a designated Wilderness Area so directional signs and painted markings on the rocks are illegal, it's up to you to know the route and utilize good trail-finding abilities.

Hike
Today the mountain is a magnet, attracting hikers from across Arizona, the US and even foreign nations to challenge the steep rugged trail leading from the Saguaro studded desert foothills to the summit at 5024 feet above sea level. Access to this massive rock formation is via the Siphon Draw Trail and is a challenge to a person’s strength and stamina to hike and climb the three mile trail that gains more than three thousand, feet in altitude. Locals consider the Flatiron a worthy adversary as they train for hiking the trails of the Grand Canyon.

Siphon Draw Trail has its beginnings just outside the Lost Dutchman State Park off the Apache Trail about five miles East of Apache Junction, AZ. The desert is approximately two thousand feet above sea level and supports stands of Giant Saguaro Cactus and several species of desert wildflowers. The trail is wide, gently sloping and well groomed, with spectacular views of Superstition Mountain lying a short distance ahead and walking the trail is relatively easy. In the hours of pre-dawn and early evening, small herds of Whitetail and Mule Deer can be seen browsing for bits of grass not too far off the trail, while keeping a watchful eye for the ever-present Coyote lingering close by.

Enjoy the experience while you can, because soon the trail becomes steeper and large rocks dot the trail as it weaves around boulders and curves in and out along the edge of the normally dry Siphon Draw wash. As the mountain gets closer, the rocks give way to boulders and the slope becomes steeper, the footing becomes tenuous as the rocky trail turns into a path with a base of what the locals refer to as “Slickrock”. After about one and three quarter miles, you will arrive at the “Basin” which can be easily identified by the presence of a usually dry waterfall and an extremely steep one hundred plus yard stretch of that polished slickrock leading up to a narrow gap between solid rock canyon walls.

On a busy weekend, the large basin area usually has several hikers, both male and female, of all ages milling around the base of the steep slickrock slope, polished following thousands of years of water borne sand and stone. It’s decision time now, do you continue on up the remaining three quarters of a mile with one thousand, five hundred vertical feet yet to go or do you admit that you enjoyed the experience and turn around. Most first timers to the Siphon Draw Trail are overwhelmed by the sights surrounding them, some of the rock walls are dotted with small alcoves that can resemble faces of gargoyle-like figures, the seemingly insurmountable slickrock and far above them are the sheer vertical cliffs of the Flatiron.

Those who have decided to proceed, will scramble up the smooth slickrock and work their way through the narrow slot at the top, only to be confronted with a view of the remaining trail leading, to what appears to be, a near vertical climb through rocky, hell-like corridors with growths of Catsclaw brush, studded with occasional Agave, Prickly Pear and Cholla Cactus plants. Another culling of adventurers takes place here, while only a more determined hiker continues on, and no, you haven’t reached the hard part yet.

From here on, the hiker now changes style and becomes a climber, it’s going to require using your hands almost as much as your feet to overcome the natural barriers that the mountain has placed in your path. Sections of near-vertical rock walls must be scaled, many appear to have alternate trails leading around them, but beware of false trails that can lead you up only more dangerous paths, well away from the main trail.

The mountain has intentionally placed obstacles in your way, almost as though it was trying to keep mankind from reaching its scenic summits, so as each is encountered, it must be evaluated and overcome, only to be confronted by the next one and the one after that. The climb is so steep that you still cannot see the top of the trail, but you know it can’t be too far now as the steep cliffs of the Flatiron are almost at your right side, and then it happens. You find yourself on a four foot deep by twelve foot wide dirt and rock shelf, looking directly into the face of a ten foot tall wall studded with irregularly placed sloping rocks sticking from it. This is known only as “The Wall”. Although this is the last of the hurdles, and the top of the trail is only a stone’s throw away, some hikers are so intimidated by the wall that they surrender to the mountain and began their return, back down the mountain.

The left side of the wall has the remains of a small Mesquite tree growing near the top while the right side has a sharp corner that may provide hand and footholds and the center, well the center of the wall has only sharp-edge rocks protruding from it that all seem to be slanted downward. Ropes and/or cables cannot be permanently installed as this is part of the Superstition Mountain Wilderness Area, and are prohibited, so you must make do with what you see.
When you have finally overcome the wall, it’s a short, but steep, scramble to the saddle where you will find trails leading to the Flatiron, Ridgeline Trail, the air crash memorial or the 5024 summit. Most hikers will follow the well worn trails out onto the gradual slopes of the Flatiron, take a well deserved break, take in the scenic views and prepare for their return trip back down. The more adventurous hikers, however, will seek out the trails heading up into the foreboding maze of Hoodoos that guard the Western summit, 5024. Once again, be careful which trail you choose to follow, as many are false trails that have a sudden, vertical dead end. If you have found the right trail, you will have a very narrow slot to pass through requiring the removal of your backpack, there will be more boulders to scramble over and even a short tunnel to navigate around and through some fallen Hoodoos.

You will know you’re at the summit as soon as you break out of the maze of rocks and into the sunshine. The rocks and boulders here have names inscribed on them from those who came ahead of you and the views from here are certain to exceed your expectations. Take your time to wander the summit, check out the scenery all around from every vantage point and be sure to take the obligatory photo of the Flatiron a scant 450 feet below and take in the views of the rest of the world three thousand feet below you and relish in the fact that you conquered the mountain and have arrived at the 5024 summit. Congratulations, take a break in the thin, clean air and get yourself psyched for the climb back down, it can be even more trying than the trip up.

Water Sources
Do not gamble on finding water along the Siphon Draw Trail. Water may be present at the base of the waterfall and trickling through the "Basin" following a rain, but this is usually of poor quality.

Camping
Some good camping sites can be found along the trail leading to the Ridgeline where you can expect to find some incredible late night views.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Note
This is a moderately difficult hike.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2016-01-24 AZLumberjack
  • 2018 Lost Dutchman SP Info
    area related
    2018 Lost Dutchman SP Info
  • 2018 Lost Dutchman SP Map
    area related
    2018 Lost Dutchman SP Map
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.

Most recent of 83 deeper Triplog Reviews
Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Flatiron via Hwy 88 trailhead on First Water Rd. On the trail at 5:05am by light of the moon and headlamp. Lots of fun creatures lurking in the dark. Saw several tarantulas, a scorpion (my headlamp has blacklight mode) and a few other birds and rodents. This route adds some mileage and time. Miss the old days of parking at Mining Camp. Made it up to the peak in just over 2 hours. Passed a couple groups of 4 on the way up. Was blessed with some cool raindrops about 3/4 way up the mountain. Much needed boost of energy and motivation, but it didn't last long. Soon I was back to huffing and puffing and trying to figure out why I feel compelled to do this on my day off. I had the peak to myself, rested about 10-15 minutes then made my way back down the Draw. Great cloud cover kept the sun rays to a minimum. Arrived at the trailhead 9:02am.
Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
I thought this would be an enjoyable way to get a slightly harder hike in. I'm not sure if it was, yet. Extremely humid, and I got rained on at the end, but that was OK, since it was refreshing and not a frigid Flagstaff rain. Parked at the lot on FR 78, and walked the base on the cross cut, which is fine. It was never really hot, but it was so humid that by just a small part up the draw, I was tired. I never got cool on this, even on top, since it was stagnant today and moist. So, it was nice to be rained on. Lots of nice storms around, but my camera battery died and this is not really a hike lacking pictures.
Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Busy week with family in town. Most left this morning. While the rest slept in, I busted loose for some me time. Selfish I know, but I needed it.

After a brief stop at the Flatiron, I coaxed the other two hikers up there into going up to the peak with me. I stayed for awhile longer after they both moved on. It was so nice outside and I just couldn't ignore the solitude. One of my favorite places.

With about a mile left I ran into a couple heading up. The gal had a wedding vale on so I had to ask. Yup, married that morning. Consummating their marriage with a Flatiron hike, where they were engaged one year ago. The wedding was on Facebook to save everyone time and money. Party later.

A great getaway/workout hike on a gorgeous day.

p.s. Ran into AZ Lumberjack at the little gift shop and cafe nearby, where I often stop for a burger and a cold one. We enjoyed a cold one together and caught up. Nice seeing you Jack!

Wildflowers
Mexican poppies as I passed through Dutchman.
Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Most excellent hike to start a most excellent day. Jamaal and his buddy Chase were an hour late meeting to start up but life knows timing better than I so it ended up working perfect. Also, had the slightest trouble finding parking at 6 AM in the dark in the middle of nowhere but digressed and payed the seven bucks. Started off in total darkness with the exception of one single headlamp light we saw ahead of us. Made it to the chute and finally saw the person making her way up. After the chute, for some reason the trail becomes confusing for some. This hike is really straight forward: follow the path and when in doubt, stay to the left. Chase was gung-ho and went on ahead and drifted right following the woman ahead of us. Jamaal and I continued up towards the left and made it to the small climbing section before Chase finally caught up to us and look who is with him but the woman we were following the whole time. Turns out she is a student at ASU named Sidney that got a full ride for playing Ultimate Frisbee. Awesome.. She joined us to the flatiron and then again up to 5024. On the peak there were a couple, we're calling them Norwegian women, sunbathing and taking photos of themselves doing handstands off a 800 ft rock face. We loved every minute of it.. The now four of us made our way around the peak back down to the actual crash impact site and it was kind of eeire being there so we didn't stay too long and headed back down. Passed the usual train of people headed up, it's so nice not to have to be in that traffic jam after starting so early.. Also the Norwegians up top..
Felt kind of bad losing pace with Sidney on the way down. It was great meeting her and she was super awesome and very intrepid, there needs to be more women like her in this world.
Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Ridgeline - 5057 - 5024
Back for some more Ridgeline therapy, but this time with plenty of sunshine and a couple of peaks!

We started off at a fairly brisk pace heading up Siphon Draw, but we bonked pretty quickly. :lol:

This hike is much better with the views! But plenty of fun either way. :D

It was a little warmer today than we are used to this time of year, but overall still really nice. Last time I brought over a gallon of water and used less than a liter, today I used all 3 liters that I brought. When that sun is beating down on you up on that ridge, you feel it.

Water is still available at 2 points along the Ridgeline trail, a drainage shortly after 5024, and the drainage you cross after dropping down from the ridge after 5057. Water also available off-trail below West Boulder Saddle.
Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Starting the New Year off on the right foot. It was pouring out here in Gilbert when I left in the morning. Arriving at Lost Dutchman provided much of the same. I was kind of surprised that the parking lot for the Siphon Draw trailhead was almost bare, with only 4 other cars there. I got a relatively late start, arriving at the park at around 10ish AM and I wasn't sure what to expect in the parking situation.

The rain persisted the entire hike and created a rather slick trail. I found out that my precip jacket needs another coating of that chemical treatment.

Reaching the second saddle the winds really kicked on. I'd guess 40mph at least with gusts well over 50mph. Making my way towards 5024 it was rather strange in that occasionally I'd dip behind terrain that caused a natural wind break and a serene calm. The actual summit was an intense wind tunnel. Walking out to Flatiron and I was actually getting blown to the west by the wind.
Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Finally getting around to posting this. It's been a busy year, but want to sneak in one last hike before the 31st. Was having a monumental birthday and wanted to get out of town and do something a bit more challenging than Trail #100. Brought a guy from work along with me and we hit the trail at 8 AM. Nice day for a hike, overcast, no wind and in the 60's for most of the hike. First time hitting this trail from Lost Dutchman, miss shaving off a few minutes from the ascent by parking at Mining Camp.

Looking forward to 2017 and whipping myself back into hiking shape.
Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
A reverse Flatiron to reverse the effects of over-eating on Thanksgiving. Took the Praying Hands route, wrapped around the north tip of the mountain and up the first major drainage up the backside of the mountain. This route intersects with the Massacre Falls Reverse Flatiron route at a ridgeline that slants straight up the mountain towards the hoodoos up top. Made it up to 5024 without seeing a soul. Just under 2 hours from parking lot to the top. Started my descent toward Flatiron. From the moment I reached the vertical wall, it was like morning rush hour going up the draw.
Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
On my Cave Trail hike last week, I met a guy from NE at the Weavers Needle overlook and gave him the low down on HAZ. Kevin is now a member himself and reached out to me with some questions about Route Scout and the Flatiron Hike. Long story short, we decided to hike the Flatiron together.

We got an early start and had the trail mostly to ourselves on the way up, just a few people ahead of us. Kevin was up to the task, making it to the top like he'd been there before. He also had that kid in the candy store look you get when you discover something truly wonderful. After a nice break on the Flatiron to admire the views, we went over to the peak for some better views. I invited the other five already on the Flatiron to join us. They did.

Once on the peak, we admired the views along the ridge line, and everywhere else you can see from up there, chatted, took pics, then back down. Kevin and I stopped at the Hitching Post afterwards for some food and cool refreshments.

Simply awesome day.
Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
I would have formerly logged this under the Flatiron, but I basically just tagged that and went to 5024, which is where I always spend more time and want to be. Haven't been out in a while, and it was pretty nice for a weekend day. I think that will change in a month or so. For some reason, I have done this hike either while sick or getting better about 1/3rd of the times I did it. Today, I am sick and I was rather achy while hiking. I did it, and it was still a nice hike, a great day and summit, and way better than the alternative of nothing.

Permit $$
AZ State Parks more info
2018 Day Use Fees range from $2–$30


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To Siphon Draw Trailhead
From Mesa follow Highway 60 East to Idaho Road. Turn North onto Idaho Road which is SR88 and follow North 2.2 miles. SR88 bends right just past Scenic St. and Idaho continues North. Be sure to go right and stay on SR88. Follow SR88 4.9 miles to the Lost Dutchman State Park. Turn right into the park. Pay the fee then follow the signs to the trailhead.

Free Alternative:
Utilize the Crosscut Trailhead 0.7 mi in on FR78. It is 2 miles on Jacobs Trail #58 to the junction with Siphon Draw #53. Which is 0.85 mi into #53.
2.00 - 0.85 = 1.15 mi extra each way

Mining Camp
This former free access point is now private as of Dec 2016.
2017 - cancel christmas, closed


From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 41.3 mi - about 52 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 134 mi - about 2 hours 9 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 186 mi - about 2 hours 56 mins
page created by joebartels on Jan 24 2016 9:11 am
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