Named for a prominent outcropping on the west end of Superstition Mountain, this is a difficult but very popular hike/scramble. Although it is very close to the actual summit of the mountain, The Flatiron seems to be a destination of its own. Virtually every hiker we saw on the day we were up there went to the Flatiron and ignored the summit, probably only 30 minutes away.
This is a very popular trail in the Tonto National Forest. Access is generally through Lost Dutchman State Park near Apache Junction, AZ. There are other access points available nearby but parking there could be limited. The trail, if you can call it a trail, is an extension of the Siphon Draw Trail. The route is not well defined, but is obvious when you know where it is (naturally). Basically, it follows the draw to the top of the mountain. As you climb the route becomes steeper and narrower. It’s not an easy climb but most reasonably fit hikers can do it. There is lots of hands-on boulder climbing here. For some reason, the down-climbingr wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be, as is often the case. The best way is marked with blue paint splotches. As you ascend, take time to turn around and enjoy the every improving views behind you.
When you come out of the gully, you’ll be pleased to know that you’re almost there. It’s not the top of the mountain, but your destination is very close. Turn right and follow the trail to the viewpoints. If you do wish to access the summit, it’s straight ahead, atop the hoodoos, flag waving.
This is considered to be a 5 hour roundtrip hike/scramble rated moderate/difficult. The elevation gain is 2,680’ in 2.5 miles, the first 2 miles on the Siphon Draw Trail. If you’re at all hesitant about finding the correct route, go on a weekend and follow the crowd. A woman we met at the top had been hiking alone and got very lost going up.
The views from the top are simply amazing. Also visible at the top is the grizzly reminder of the plane crash from the fall of 2011. You can see the blackened hoodoos where the plane hit. There is still some wreckage there, but please leave it there.
Lost Dutchman State Park is about 5 miles east of Apache Junction on Hwy 88 (the Apache Trail). Other trailheads are available nearby, consult a local map.
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