Hiking Lenght: 5.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,4000 feet
Hiking Time: 5 hours
After tackling several more accessible and moderate hikes in the Phoenix area, my team and I felt ready to try one a bit more complicated.
Our research indicated that Flatiron Peak via the Siphon Draw trail was the right trail to give us just the challenge we craved.
We’d heard that this hike requires several areas of challenging scrambles to get to the top and that it’s even grown a bit more tricky in recent years due to some rock slides in the area that changed the landscape.
Nevertheless, the Flatiron trail remains one of the more popular day hikes in this area and showcases the Superstition Mountains beautifully.
We’d already enjoyed some views of these mountains with the Wave Cave hike, so we knew that the views from the summit of Flatiron Peak would not disappoint.
Here’s everything we learned from our hike up this challenging trail.
How Do I Get to Flatiron Peak?
Flatiron Mountain is located about an hour outside Phoenix in the Lost Dutchman State Park. If you type this location into your GPS, it will take you directly to the parking lot.
From Phoenix, take AZ-10 East for about 9 miles. Then, take US-60 following the signs for Mesa/Globe. Continue on US-60 E for about 25 miles and then take Exit 196 for AZ-88 E Idaho Road in Apache Junction.
Turn left onto AZ-88 E/S Idaho Road. Follow the road for about 2 miles and turn right onto N Apache Trail.
Continue down the road for about 4.5 miles and then turn right into the entrance to the park, where you will locate the Flatiron parking.
Do You Need a Permit for Siphon Draw Trail?
You do not need a special permit to hike the Siphon Draw Trail, but parking at the Lost Dutchman State Park does require an entry fee.
The cost is $7.00/vehicle on a weekday (for up to 4 adults), $10.00/vehicle on weekends and holidays (from October to May), and $3.00 for extra individuals or bicycles.
Pay the fee at the Visitor Center when you enter. The day-use gates are open from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily. You can also purchase and use an Arizona State Parks annual pass.
Siphon Draw Trailhead
To reach the Flatiron trailhead, start at the parking lot on the trail marked Siphon Draw Trail, a popular and easier trail that leads you to the Flatiron hiking trail.
You’ll find restrooms, water fountains, the Visitor Center, and a small gift shop in the parking area. The rangers there can help you with any questions. You can also purchase drinks and limited snacks at the gift shop.
How Long is Siphon Draw Trail
The Siphon Draw Trail to Flatiron Peak is a 5.8-mile roundtrip to the top and back if you take it up to the top of Flatiron Peak. It will take you at least 5 hours to complete this entire hike.
The next time I return to the area, I plan to stay overnight in the park, as it has a large campground with 135 campsites.
There are also five cabins that visitors can reserve. Dogs are allowed here also. Just make sure always to keep them on a leash when hiking.
As we started on the Siphon Draw trail from the parking lot, it took us on a gradual ascent towards the basin, which has an elevation of 3,1000 feet.
The views during this more accessible part of the hike were lovely, but after you start really climbing, they get better.
After about a mile on the relatively flat trail, you start to gain some elevation. At this point, we were pretty much walking straight up the canyon.
You won’t find any switchbacks on this part of the trail, so plan on making a steep climb. Some locals told us hikers often see some pretty waterfalls during the hike if it’s rained recently.
After gaining 1,000 feet in elevation in about another mile, we reached the Siphon Draw basin.
Many hikers choose to end their trip here, where the official Siphon Draw Trail ends, but we had the goal to complete the entire Flatiron hike and make it to the top.
As we continued the Flatiron trail, we immediately noticed that it grew rockier and steeper. The trail also started to disappear. It is marked with white paint on the rocks, but the markings are not very large, so it is possible to get lost.
Make sure you stay to the left, and it will keep you on the right path.
After working hard on this steep part of the trail, we reached the last and most strenuous part. It required a challenging and vertical scramble using our hands and feet.
At the top, we saw two trails and took the Flat Iron Mesa trail to the right. It was an easy final walk.
We all agreed that the 360-degree views at the top were well worth the effort. We had reached an elevation of 5,057 feet.
The colors of the desert, rock formations, and surrounding Superstition mountains were some of the best scenery we had seen. We also saw some wildlife there, including colorful lizards, birds, and chipmunks.
After resting a little bit and enjoying the result of our hard work, we made our way back down.
Other Hikes Nearby:
- Double Butte Loop Trail in Papago Park
- Pinnacle Peak Trail in Scottsdale
- Lookout Mountain Summit Trail
- Hiking the Shaw Butte Trail
When Is The Best Time To Hike Siphon Draw Trail to Flatiron Peak?
The park is open year-round. However, the best time to complete the Flatiron hike is between October and May. During the summer, the temperatures in the desert can reach well above 100 degrees, making it feel unbearable.
There’s also a higher chance of lightning storms during these summer months.
Hiking Siphon Draw Trail Recommendations
We were definitely glad that we completed this “must-do” Phoenix hike. As experienced hikers, here are our top recommendations for your visit.
- Make sure that you bring enough water with you to complete the hike. The park recommends having a gallon of drinking water per person. If you’re hiking with your dog, ensure they have enough water.
- Wear proper footwear for the trail. You will need sturdy hiking shoes of high quality to make the complex parts of the hike. My team recently tried and reviewed a bunch of wide feet hiking shoes and found a great selection of wide feet hiking shoes and hiking shoes for flat feet.
- We don’t recommend completing this hike alone. Have a partner for safety reasons or in case of emergency.
- Start your hike as early as possible to avoid the hottest part of the day. Remember that it will take you about 5 hours to complete the entire hike. We started just after dawn.
Yes, Flatiron Trail is a very challenging hike to the summit. We recommend that only experienced hikers complete the full trail to the top. Less experienced hikers should be able to complete the Siphon Draw Trail and turn back without continuing to the top.
The elevation of Flatiron Peak is 5,057 feet. You will gain an elevation of over 2400 feet during the hike to the top. Most of this elevation gain occurs during the last mile of the trail.
The Flatiron hike in Arizona is an up-and-back hike that will take you a distance of 5.8 miles roundtrip. The hike’s length and steepness make it very challenging to complete.