Siphon Draw Trail
One of the major things I wanted to do while in Arizona is to hike in the Superstition Wilderness. Lost Dutchman State Park is in the Superstitions, and since we got the Arizona State Park pass as soon as we got here we’ve been able to do lots of hiking there.
The very first trail we decided to do was Siphon Draw Trail, and to go beyond that to Flatiron. Spoiler alert: we did not make it to Flatiron and I went and bought some trail runners the very next day. Take from that what you will. You’re right.
There are signs pointing you to Siphon Draw Trail from the parking lot. It’s an easy walk to the trailhead, once you get there it starts going up and just keeps going. The first third(ish) is a deceptively gradual-looking incline. I say deceptively because it doesn’t look all that steep, but my heart rate certainly went up. It’s a very rocky trail, not for the weak ankled.
The trail does get a little challenging on the way up, but nothing too bad. There were a couple of places where hands have to be used to get up/down.
I’m not going to lie, I really had no idea what Flatiron or Siphon Draw was when we decided to give it a go. I didn’t even really know that Siphon Draw was a thing. Turns out it’s a really, really cool thing. Towards the end, the trail gets a bit harder to follow, but we had the map downloaded from All Trails and there were plenty of other people around to follow. Then the trail opens up and you are basically in a huge bowl made of stone. When I went there was a trail of water going down the rocks and a narrow but tall and rough-looking waterfall. Truly worth the hike.
The trail to this point was pretty tiring but really fun, so I expected to keep going to Flatiron. I got a little nervous as I got closer and saw that after this point it looks to be extremely steep, all rock, and hands needed but I still intended to go.
Then I started walking on the rock and found that my couple of years old, waterproof, super amazing hiking boots seemed to have little traction left and my feet were slipping on the rocks even when dry. I sat near the bottom of the waterfall, pouted, and tried to decide whether or not I should keep going. I do NOT like to start up a trail and turn around.
While sitting there I was (of course) also people watching. There were a couple of guys that had camped up on Flatiron and were resting before heading the rest of the way down the trail. Obviously, they knew what they were doing if they hiked to the top and camped out there. They started to head back and one of them slipped right near where I was sitting and fell so hard that his walking stick, which was as thick as my forearm and looked to be pretty solid wood, snapped in half.
That was the end of my decision making process, I decided instantly to get back down the mountain while the getting was good. I was disappointed in myself but knew trying to go further would be a wee bit more of a challenge than I was up for at the moment.
I was convinced on this trip to finally break down and get a pair of Altra trail runners. The grippier shoes would have made the smooth rocks a lot less slippery. I’ve since tried them on a number of very wet rocks (and walking up a rocky stream or two) I’d say they would have made a difference. Unfortunately, I’m not going to get back to this trail during this stay in Arizona, but it’s going on my list of have to get back to conquers. It’s actually the only one on that list at the moment.