for free!

The Gatekeeper, AZ

Guide 54 Triplogs  0 Topics
  5 of 5 
no permit
76 54 0
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,878 feet
Elevation Gain 712 feet
Accumulated Gain 733 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.37
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
Will recalculate on button tap!
7  2021-11-26
Flatiron Hike - Superstitions
5  2019-05-17
Flatiron Hike - Superstitions
9  2019-01-04
Flatiron Hike - Superstitions
6  2018-11-25
Flatiron Hike - Superstitions
5  2018-11-25
Flatiron Hike - Superstitions
6  2018-05-20
Flatiron Hike - Superstitions
1  2017-12-16
Superstition Ridgeline
7  2017-12-16 aviedelson
Page 1,  2,  3
Author syoung
author avatar Guides 6
Routes 23
Photos 1,125
Trips 593 map ( 3,813 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
Expand Map
Preferred Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar → Early
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:36am - 7:28pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2020 Superstition Fire9.6k

There is a big rock right there....go get on top of it
by syoung

During a trip up Flatiron to clear the paint marks this past summer, I was chatting with JuanJamieiii as we trekked through the desert. As we gazed up at this impressive rock, he asked me if I had ever been up to the top. I scoffed at the notion while he assured me that it was not as difficult as it may appear. My first attempt was a few weeks later, and I quickly realized that he was right. Now, I must say that this is not the most difficult scramble to the top, but it is beyond a doubt one of the most exposed portions on the mountain. If the idea of taking a step to the right or left and tumbling off (most assuredly to an untimely demise), then this is definitely not the hike for you.

The hike approach begins at the Mining Camp parking lot, or if you are inclined to, you can begin at Lost Dutchman State Park. Head towards the Siphon Draw signage and head towards the mountain. The giant monolith that looms at the canyon's opening that leads into the mountain is your goal.

I started calling this rock the Gatekeeper for a few reasons. When I started taking people up to Flatiron, I used this rock as a marker of sorts. If we had to stop before we made it to this point, it would be a long day on the mountain. When I brought my kiddos up the mountain, I decided to embellish the story slightly. I turned the Gatekeeper into a sleeping giant (think like the stone eating giant from a famous 80's movie) who protected the mountain from people not ready for it. If disturbed, the Gatekeeper would unbury himself (his head is the only thing exposed) and toss the perpetrators off the mountain.

There is a turnoff at approximately 1.2 miles in. With the Gatekeeper looming to your right, look for a side trail that zooms downwards from the Siphon Draw main trail. The turnoff is directly in front of one of the railroad ties that cross the main trail to prevent erosion. You will begin boulder hopping now until you reach the slick rock of the stream bed. Make a sharp right and follow the stream bed for about 100 feet until you are standing at the bottom of the Gatekeeper's eastern face.
Now here is the real gut-check time. Look up once, think twice, and turn back if you have any doubt at all. You will begin scrambling up this steep face. In my opinion, the best route up is following the crack all the way up until you hit the southern face.

Upon reaching the southern face, you have the crux of this ascent facing you. I am not quite sure if I would call it a climbing pitch as much as a wall to clamber up. Find your way up the 8 or so feet, and you will dog leg to your right and hop up a 4-foot wall.

You should now be facing towards Flatiron. Carefully, and I do mean carefully, make your way up the rock and badda bing, badda boom, you are on top of the Gatekeeper! Enjoy the views but don’t step too far in either direction. There is only room for 1 or 2 people up here at any one time.

Make your way back down the way that you came.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2015-11-18 syoung
    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Mining Camp Trailhead
    2011-10-03 FREE access via Mining Camp
    Drive to Mining Camp
    General area access map

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 48 min (37.3 miles)
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 1 h 51 min (110 miles)
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 2 h 44 min (183 miles)
    page created by syoung on Nov 18 2015 4:02 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

    end of page marker