March 14, 2019

Arizona 2019 Vacation Trip:  Superstition Mountains

Ironview Peak (5024′)

——————– Trip Report Summary ——————–

Region: Superstition Wilderness Area (Arizona)

Starting & Ending Point: Siphon Wash Trailhead (Lost Dutchman State Park)

Way Points: Siphon Draw & Siphon Notch & The Flatiron (hike & scramble via Siphon Draw Trail)

Summit: Ironview Peak (hike & climb via Southwest Slope)

Approximate Stats: 5 miles traveled; 3100 feet gained & lost; 6.5 hours total time.

——————– Full Trip Report ——————–

As part of our Phoenix vacation, Eileen and I journeyed out to the Superstition Wilderness Area, which lies about 50 miles east of the city. We drove to Lost Dutchman State Park and parked at the Siphon Wash Trailhead. Jon, a local airline pilot, joined us for a hike up to The Flatiron.

The western rampart of the Superstition Mountains towers above the desert floor here in a dramatic fashion.

Start Of Siphon Draw Trail

The Siphon Wash Trail winds up a gently sloped outwash for about 2 miles, then abruptly enters a remarkably deep ravine of solid rock.

Hiking Into Siphon Draw
Hiking Into Siphon Draw

The high cliffs on each side of the ravine reveal numerous layers of volcanic rock (mostly rhyolite) that formed 25 million years ago and were later pushed up as a resurgent dome.

Layered Volcanic Rock In Siphon Draw

At the top of the ravine, we crossed over a small notch and began ascending through a steep canyon. Easy trail was interspersed with patches of scree and talus, along with several Class 2-3 cliff bands.

Upper Siphon Draw & The Flatiron
Eiieen In Upper Siphon Draw

Eventually, we came to a final cliff that required about 12 feet of moderately exposed Class 3 scrambling. This is generally considered to be the crux of the ascent.

Eileen At Top Of Siphon Draw
Jon At Top Of Siphon Draw

Just above the 12-foot cliff, we intersected a good trail that led us up to the point of The Flatiron (2.5 hours + 2650 feet from TH). This is not a classic geologic “flatiron” of the type seen in the Colorado Front Range, but it does have a flatiron-shaped top surface and an impressive cliff on the southern side.

Hiking To Top Of The Flatiron
Jim At Top Of The Flatiron

From The Flatiron, we couldn’t help but notice two attractive, hoodoo-adorned knobs closely to our northeast. The higher knob is marked with an elevation of 5024 feet on maps and is locally called Ironview Peak.

Ironview Peak & Southwest Knob

We hiked back across the top of Siphon Draw, then continued hiking and scrambling up through picturesque hoodoos toward Ironview Peak.

Hoodoos On Ironview Peak
Nearing Summit Of Ironview Peak

The summit (3.4 hours + 3050 feet from TH) provided a fine vantage for the Superstition Mountains—including 5057-foot Superstition Peak—and all of the surrounding ranges. Several times, Jon made mention of the unusually favorable visibility.

Superstition Peak From Ironview Peak
Looking Down On The Flatiron

We descended by generally following our up-route except for staying more closely to the invert of the canyon, where the scramble path was better defined. By late afternoon, we were back at the trailhead (2.5 hours from summit) to end a delightful outing.

——————– Route Map / Sketch ——————–

Siphon Draw Trail Map

——————– Photo Gallery (click to enlarge) ——————–