The hiking club decided that today’s hike would be to a rock formation called The Flatiron. It is part of the Superstition Mountain range that we can see from our RV park, it is the X in this photo.
We had to set the alarm very early this morning, as the club wanted to leave the park before 7:30. Sylvia decided that she was going to take the shorter hike called the ‘Siphon Draw’ that followed the same route as the trip to the Flatiron, just stopping a little short of half-way up the mountain. The start of the hike was not far away, and we were on the trail before 8:00. Here’s the view of the Flatiron from the start of the hike. It’s about 3000 feet up to the top, and about 7 miles round trip.
The start and end of the trail is pretty flat for the first half mile or so, but quickly starts to climb up the hillside. Last year Sylvia and I hiked the lower portion of the trail, called Jacob’s Crosscut, but turned around once the trail started to get steep. The bottom section is pretty wide open, but quickly narrows down for the mountain side portion.
The Flatiron was still a long way away, but getting bigger all the time. The day was partly overcast, which made the hike easier on us, as we really weren’t in full sunlight at any time during the day. The temperature when we started was about 50F, and not much warmer at the top of the mountain, but by the time we were finished it was 79F back at the truck.
The first portion of the trail was not too technical, as it was basically a steep path, but just before we reached an area called Siphon Draw it got very steep and rocky, and we started climbing hand over hand up the hill. The area at the draw was pretty special, as we came out of a narrow craggy section of trail to a smooth water washed hillside that was difficult to climb for different reasons.
The second group of hikers stopped at the draw, about an hour into the hike, and Sylvia was able to catch up and wave me some encouragement.
The area after the draw became even steeper, and we ended up climbing up and later down on all fours (and even fives at some points, as we had to slide down on our bums). The fella in front of me is in his 70’s, and people like Jim are definitely role models for Sylvia and I to look up to. If they can do a climb like this, then surely we can.
It’s starting to look like it’s a long way back to the truck.
But the Flatiron is getting closer.
Then all of a sudden I looked around and there I was at the same level as the Flatiron. It took just over 2.5 hours to reach this level, which I thought was pretty quick. I was quite tired by this time, but elated to think I was near the end of the hike up. I was told then, that we were going to be going higher yet, as there were some other areas to explore after we had a snack.
These pics are from the top of the Flatiron looking various directions, and in the last photo, the X indicates Canyon Vistas RV park. That’s a long way away. I called Sylvia from the top, but she wasn’t back from her hike yet.
Here’s the 21 of us who made the trek, followed by a picture of the 9 First Timers at the Flatiron.
At lunch I found out that the leaders had decided that we were going to climb to the top of the neighbouring Hoodoos, about 350 feet above the Flatiron. It looks very interesting, but was a difficult climb, as we had to go under, around and in some cases through the various formations. Those of us who had shorter legs had quite a bit of difficulty getting over some of the rocks, as they were pretty large, and were worn quite smooth.
The views at the top were spectacular, and we could see for miles in every direction.
After this, it was all down hill from here, and was actually slower than climbing up, as we always had to worry about slipping on the loose rocks. I only ended up on my butt once, and put my hand onto a cactus one other time. I wasn’t the only one to do either of those exciting events.
We all made it back safe and sound, close to 7 hours after we started by the time we got back to the parking lot. We were a tired bunch, but full of smiles and a sense of accomplishment. Would I do it again?….Oh Ya!