Flatiron Via Siphon Draw Trail

HARD 1,367 reviews
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Flatiron Via Siphon Draw Trail is a 6.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Apache Junction, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from September until June. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2933 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

off trail

Bring plenty of water with you as there is none on the trail. Blue and white markers help with navigating.

3 days ago

3 hours and 20 minutes round trip. Bring plenty of water as the temps are starting to climb and you’ll definitely wish you had it. The trail is easy to follow, just look for the white or blue dots, stay to the left on the way up or fall in behind a group. There’s definitely some scrambling but nothing too wild. Wear real trail runners or hiking shoes/boots as you’ll need the traction. I saw several hikers with regular running shoes that were slipping and sliding all over the place ;). This hike is definitely worth the effort, I’ll be back soon.

hiking
3 days ago

Very strenuous hike that can easily take alot longer with a wrong turn on the path. The path is not maintained and markers are sometimes hard to find. Take trek poles if you have them. They help alot on the way down. Alot of climbing involved on the way up, but the pay off is worth it. Beautiful view of all of Mesa/Phoenix area.

hiking
4 days ago

This is a very challenging hike, both up and down, for anyone who normally does moderate hikes and it being a first time! Go slow! Bring lots of water, trail mix, and electrolytes even for a early AM hike. Recommend gloves as you’re scaling boulders; using your hands to climb. And, be prepared to be on your butt a few times on the way down! Yet, what an accomplishment when you reach the top and the views are spectacular! My thighs were burning after the hike and very sore the next day! It’s worth it yet, for me, once was enough!

walking
4 days ago

This is a pleasant hike with great views from the top. The trail is easy to follow all the way to the top and well marked at the bottom in amongst the campgrounds where it’d be easy to get lost.

Access is very easy and the rangers give some handy advice. Arrive early to avoid the heat and the crowds - especially at the weekend!

The scrambling is much commented on, but is still well within the expected remit of an experienced hiker. Taking your time and using your core & balance there are few real ‘climbing’ moves that get in your way... unless you want them to when looking for some fun. A beginner / someone not confident on their feet on steep ground may disagree!

I extended this route back onto the Superstition Ridgeline Trail and did a ‘there and back’ to one of the further tops. It made for ~25km hike. You don’t have to go that far to escape the crowds and be well rewarded for your efforts though!

hiking
5 days ago

The best views anywhere in the Phoenix Valley (yes, even better than Camelback, Piestwa Peak, and the Holbert Trail to Dobbins lookout in South Mountain), but you certainly pay the price to get all the way up to 4,860 ft. to the top. A few connected thoughts:
1. Hiking shoes/boots only. This trail is far too intense and rugged for cross-trainers and/or running shoes
2. Bring a minimum of three large bottles of water. I brought two and ran out about halfway down. This was also when the weather was an unseasonably cool 78 degrees in Mid-April. If you're doing this anytime from May-October, plan on bringing at least three bottles per person.
3. Bring food! Even with such a difficult ascent, I struggled more going down because of the intricate climbing required and spotty footing. You'll definitely want to refuel before going back down.
4. The park rangers will advertise this as a 5-6 hour hike. That's mostly accurate, but experienced, prepared hikers and those in excellent shape can do it much faster. I'd consider myself a pretty experienced hiker (but only in decent shape at best) and I did it in 3:55 (1:40 up, 30 minutes to relax and refuel at the top, then 1:50 back down). I know many who have done it in less than 3:30. However, anyone going for their first time should take it a bit slower. I recommend water/rest breaks right before the "white rock climb," right after, and at least once before you get to the "wall." Probably the same going back down.
Describing the hike:
- The opening ascent is much easier compared to the back half of the climb. However, it is deceptively difficult as you reach arguably the most arduous section: the "white rock climb." You are close to going straight up without any trees or much grip for help. It is really easy to lose balance, so definitely take this slow.
- After you climb over the edge to finish the white rock climb, you'll face a fork. Go right from there.
- Other commenters are right that the white and blue dots help you stay on track, and that staying to the left is important. I've seen several hikers stay right and end up going to the false summit about 2/3 the way up thinking they've finished. The easiest way to avoid this fate is to stay in the "crevice" of the canyon on the way up. Most of the time that means staying left, but at times it means going right. Staying in the crevice and keeping flatiron peak clearly on your right is the best way to stay on track.
- Once you reach the "wall" you have three options. Climb up the face on the right or left, or go far to the left and go around the main tree. I highly recommend the latter. Those of you with much better upper body strength than me can make the climb without too much of an issue, but after roughly 2 hours of intense climbing that requires a full-body workout, going to the left is probably most desirable. From there, it's an easy 5-minute cakewalk to the best views of the Valley!
- Make sure to find markers to remind yourself the route you took on the wall when going back down. The first time I did this hike I forgot where I ascended up and ended up going way too far to the left.

*Don't be deterred, this hike is difficult but immensely rewarding!

6 days ago

pain

hiking
8 days ago

We started on the trail around 6am and it took us roughly 3 hours to complete the accent to flatiron, as we took our time and didn’t want to rush or exhaust ourselves. Going up was a blast which included a wide array of terrain and obstacles such as basins, twisty paths, and plenty of bouldering to keep us motivated. Lots of shade in the mornings and early afternoons so it did get a little cold due to it being breezy and us being sweaty. We were happy to see the sun once we reached the top of the canyon and made our way onto the flat iron. The views were amazing. We had some snacks and noticed 3 different species of small squirrel like rodents all around us. This was one of our favorite things about our trip. They were so fun to watch and we shared our nuts and seeds with them. We took about an hour nap on the flat iron only waking up when the small mischievous rodents would try and steal our snacks right from our sides.
The wind started to pick up very heavily and we noticed far in the distance huge dust clouds. So obviously a dust storm was coming our way. We still continued to explore and walked around the trails that covered the circumference of the top of superstition mountain. My fiancée decided she wanted another nap and I continued to find the summit of superstition which rewarded me with 360 degree views. I highly recommend finding a trail up.
Seeing other people was few and far between so that was an absolute plus! We felt as though we were completely alone most of the time.
Now the descent was a different story and was a little rough. It took us much longer than expected but only because the dust storm had picked up so much that it was literally blowing us over and getting dust, rock, and sand in our eyes, mouths, and nasal cavities. Our visibility reduced drastically so once again we had to just take our time. We wrapped our towels around our faces and that helped a good bit. This is obviously not a common occurrence so I would not hold a dust storm against how lovely this trail is.
Also, just be weary of loose gravel, it is plentiful throughout the trail and can lead to scrapes and slides. I also recommend gloves, they helped a ton coming down.
A lot of people comment about finding the “right” trails, but the truth is there are many routes up and down and no wrong or right way, just do what you’re comfortable doing and you’ll have fun. Chances are you won’t take the same way down as you went up anyways.
Overall, it was long, tough, and dirty, but worth every minute!

hiking
10 days ago

This hike, as well as others in the Superstitions, really showcases the most beautiful, epic parts of the Sonoran Desert. The hike itself was a challenge both up and down. I was on my ass at parts coming back down because it’s so steep and slippery. Gloves would have been nice, got a few nice cuts from doing that. The only issue with this hike is it’s very easy to lose the trail. Says it’s supposed to be marked with blue dots, and it is, but a lot of them are faded and they are few and far between. Hug the mountain to the left as you go up as best as you can or you’re gonna end up on some very sketchy parts where the rocks are tiny and slippery. Somehow, despite my efforts at staying left, I still lost the trail a few times. But the view at the top is incredible and worth the intensity!

hiking
10 days ago

Views are worth every step! Would definitely recommend starting this hike early to avoid being in the sun as much as possible.

There are an infinite amount of combinations for getting up to the flatiron once you're in the canyon. If you are used to Easy/Moderate trails, be aware that this trail isn't as clearly marked and heavily open to interpretation at numerous points. White markings on rocks helped us identify the more utilized routes, but after reviewing my GPS post-hike, we took a completely different way down than the route we went up. Which according to a couple of different parties who do this hike somewhat regularly, that is completely normal.

Additional side note for those used to Easy/Moderate trails: be aware that this trail entails a fair amount of rock climbing/scrambling up loose rock. Now, in my mind, rock climbing is more along the lines of using rope and hanging on for dear life on the edge of cliffs. That's not what this is. Think of this "rock climbing" as more of continuously using all four limbs to hoist yourself up shelf-like boulders, and needing your arms frequently to maintain balance over loose rock. It's really not as difficult/daunting as people made it sound...the reason (I believe) that it can become challenging is the length/duration in which you must continuously overcome these obstacles to continue ascending, AND doing this entire process in reverse when you are starting to lose steam. That said, I wouldn't recommend this trail if you were wanting to JUST use your legs.

We made it up to the flatiron in about 1hr 50mins, stopped off at the flatiron for a bit, and then ascended another 500ft or so to the point above flatiron. If you want those extra views, I would highly recommend the extra work. From this point, you can see Weaver's Needle off in the distance, and have an incredible overall 360 view all around. That said, be aware that there really aren't any definitive paths leading up to this peak, and will require some creativity.

TL;DR
Views are incredible, recommend putting in the extra effort to go above flatiron, would not recommend if you aren't up for using all 4 limbs and a half-day commitment.

hiking
11 days ago

Challenging for SURE! only made it as far as the Siphon. The rock formation and the views are breathtaking! Satisfying journey!

hiking
14 days ago

A hard hike/climb. The first part is relatively flat compared to the second part from the basin onward. So if you are exhausted upon reaching the basin just know you have 1,700 more feet of climbing boulders almost straight up. Go in the morning before 10am, although there is shade from trees.

So the whole stay left thing is a little vague if it’s your first time. After the basin there are two directions to choose from. Right is Siphon Draw. Two groups ahead of me chose the left unnamed trail specifically because of the stay left advice. Not sure if you can make it that way. As you work your way up the draw stay left as some trails will take you right. Then just before reaching the saddle there is a wall of rocks, but just left is a path.

I had 4 liters of water and used all of it, but I also started later at 9am. Overall not really my kind of trail. Glad I didn’t give up but won’t do it again.

rock climbing
15 days ago

This trail had a nice variety. I saw wildflowers and butterflies, lizards, birds, and squirrels, and even my first rattler that I spotted crossing the trail about 3 feet ahead of me. It was a just a lil guy, maybe 2 feet long. This trail starts out on flat dirt then becomes more of a hike as the terrain becomes more rocky but before you even reach flat iron, it is purely mountain climbing. There were times where the climb was scary af. I had several panic attacks and cried like 3 times. Not a trail for those with a fear of heights and anxiety/panic disorders. It's really easy to get off trail towards the end. I stayed left and was still lost. Hence why I had to do dangerous and scary stuff. While this is a challenging and difficult trail, I wouldn't say it's only for the experienced. This was the most difficult trail I've done yet and I was pretty out of shape but I still did it. It took us 5 1/2 hours total. Bring a minimum of a litre of water, a hat, first aid kit, and sunscreen at the very least.

16 days ago

Very physically challenging and beautiful. After Siphon draw you will be doing nothing but rock climbing.

hiking
19 days ago

Challenging as always. Make sure to be aware of those above you as they could knock rocks loose and could hit you.

hiking
19 days ago

Definitely the hardest hike I have done. I really wouldn't call this a hike though. I think it is a Mountain Climb. Lots of scrambling up and back down. A full body workout for sure. The views along the way and on the top are amazing and the feeling when you are done is definitely one of accomplishment. Great way to end the month :)

hiking
19 days ago

This is a pretty strenuous hike but I am not an experienced hiker at all and was able to do it. Bring sunscreen and lots of water because I ran out. The "12 foot wall" every one talks about at the end is not really much, if you go on the left side theres basically steps up to Flatiron. I also got off trail for about two miles, as it is pretty hard to see the markers for the trail. All in all, it was worth it to see the view at the top of Flatiron.

hiking
20 days ago

Amazing hike. Took about 4 hours from truck to truck. Definitely a great leg workout. Recommend starting early, depending on what time of your you go.

21 days ago

My best hike ever so far.

hiking
21 days ago

Great hike. Very steep up and down. Views are breathtaking. Start early. It gets hot very fast.

hiking
21 days ago

Awesome hike!

hiking
22 days ago

This is a difficult but great hike. I did not go to the top due to time, but I’ll be back.

24 days ago

Hard but so fun.

hiking
24 days ago

It was very hard and tough but a rewarding experience. When you reach the flatiron, go around to the left. The amazing view will take your breath away.

24 days ago

Going to need a raised toilet seat for the next three days but 100% worth it.

25 days ago

The trail was amazing, as were the views at the top! By far the most challenging trail I’ve done so far. Only complaint was that once you begin to climb, the trail becomes a little difficult to follow and if you get off by accident like we did, it makes for some very perilous climbing.

26 days ago

Great hike, great view, my uncle fell and broke a rock in half... that rock had it coming.

26 days ago

Toughest hike we have done. Both in and out. Scrambling the last 3/4 going up. Loved it, but it takes its toll if you are not in great shape. Very windy at top. Not going to blow you off mountain, but gets chilly. I will feel this for a day or two.

27 days ago

So challenging, but worth it! The views were amazing!

28 days ago

This is a very challenging hike but patience can go a long way in scaling this tough climb. We had to get creative and I found the last 12-foot climb a bit daunting. Looking around at my options, I noticed on the left side that it can be scaled quickly, though. There are plenty of foot and hand holds. If you have the determination, this is a rewarding hike — the views and sense of accomplishment are worth the day-long effort to get up and down.

hiking
28 days ago

Great hike with Fantastic views of the valley

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