Before giving you my description of this hike, I really want to say that I am so glad we did this hike. Although at some points on the trail I was questioning what I was doing there, I wanted to give up, I was putting in some serious thought as to calling for a helicopter to come get me off this mountain. I spent a good portion of going down this trail, sliding on my butt and/or crab walking down. With all of that said I look back on it and am so glad I finished this trail. It was a serious adventure and it was a lot of fun. They said it would be a six hour hike, I thought we would probably get it done in four and it ended up taking us 7 hours.
This trail begins at the Siphon Draw Trailhead in the Lost Dutchman State Park. Round trip the entire trail to Flat Iron is 6 miles. It starts off as an easy gradual uphill walk towards the mountain and upon entering into the mountain the trail becomes more of what I would consider a moderate hike. It becomes rockier, steeper, and bigger steps to walk over. At this point in time, I felt good. It was pretty much, once we got near the basin, which is about 2 miles in – things got real.
The basin is an unbelievable site. The ground becomes somewhat smooth – but is vertical and very slanted. It looks as though a flash flood just
entered carved out this wave like shape on the ground. Hiking up this part was awkward and although technically it’s a short distance, we had to take breaks while going up because it’s so steep.
Once getting on top of this “wave” the trail continues up a little bit longer and you will reach a great spot that offers a glorious view of the final mile. You’ll see at this point that this last mile to reach flat iron is going straight up to an elevation gain of 2,000 feet and it’s not going to be easy. It’s a scramble going up and a lot of people will tell you to stay to the left. There are white dots and/or arrows painted on rocks indicating where the trail is, but at times it’s easy to lose sight of that and you can easily get off course. There are multiple ways of scrambling up which will still lead you to the trail, but if you stay to the left it seemed more stable. There is loose rocks and dirt so it’s very easy to lose your footing. Also we saw a lot of people with gloves on and I would recommend them, especially while going down because I seemed to grab a lot of the ground and tree limbs while heading down and was scared of splinters. This part of the trail reminded me of when I hiked Camelback. Meaning that there’s huge rocks and boulders that you have to climb over. The ground isn’t stable since it’s full of loose rocks and dirt so you have to very cautious. You know that you are very close to the end of this scramble when you come to a straight wall of rock. It’s best at this point to again – stay to the left and get yourself up there. You’ll see there’s a tree limb and it’s really sturdy and supported our weight. It’s technical– because you are going to be rock climbing this thing up. I’m 5’3 and it took me about 3-4 steps and I was up. But you have to figure out where it’s best for you to put your feet and like I said, I really relied on that tree for support (on the left side). We kept seeing people going up and down the right side of the wall, but we were told the left side is easier, although it looks harder.
Once you make it over that wall – it’s like an epiphany! The trail is now a dirt path, no more scrambling and you’re on way to the top! Coming up the left side of that wall, you can get a little discombobulated as to where the trail is, but it’s to your left. Continue following the trail a little bit more and before you know it, you’re on the top looking down!
Lost Dutchman State Park
6109 N. Apache Trail
Apache Junction, AZ 85119
- $7 parking fee
- Begins on Siphon Draw Trailhead and follow to Flat Iron
- 6 Miles round trip
- Difficult – requires scrambling and a little bit of rock climbing up wall
- Plan on hiking for 6 hours
For more pictures of this hike, check out our facebook page