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The Ultimate Guide To Flatiron...Can You Handle It??

For The Hiker That Loves A Challenge!


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by Kim Coates in Arizona, Popular Hikes
February 27, 2018 2 comments


This hike is not for the faint of heart. A little over 6.0 mile hike, with nearly 3,000ft elevation gain, tall rock walls, barely any cairns, loose gravel, and areas where you need to use all 4 limbs…This is deemed as a strenuous or difficult hike..but let me tell you…it is SO WORTH IT!!!


  1. At least 2 liters of water per person
  2. High Energy Snacks and plenty of them: apples, protein bars, nuts, trail mix, granola, even buckwheat pancakes (there’s a story behind that one!)
  3. Good Traction Shoes
  4. Proper Attire – It’s always good to dress in layers, especially when you start your hike early. You want to start your hike early because A. this is a popular trail and tends to get busy on weekends and holidays and B. it’s much easier to hike the strenuous bits when it’s not super hot outside..after all, this is Arizona!

The Beginning:

Start by entering the Lost Dutchman State Park in the Superstition mountain range. Most people, like ourselves, will park here and head to the Siphon Draw Trailhead to begin your hike to the ominous Flatiron! There’s a small fee to get into Lost Dutchman though, about $7.

Starting from the Siphon Draw Trailhead, the route is pretty flat for a little while and then once you see this:

…you know the fun is about to begin! From here it’s a pretty steady elevation upwards, but not too steep yet!

This is the first pretty recognizable landmark you’ll come across on your right side while you’re heading up to Flatiron:

HA!!! And we thought this “mountain” was big!

The further you go up, you may see a trailhead here and there,  but honestly, this trail is not well marked, so it’s great to ask other seasoned hikers if you’re headed in the right direction! Besides the occasional trailhead, you may see white or blue painted dots onto the rocks. A lot of them have been washed away, but they’re still pretty helpful when you come across them!

The next part is pretty awesome because all of a sudden after hiking for quite a bit, you come across this giant WASH, as they call it. You can sometimes find waterfalls, and small puddles of water hanging out here. We have also heard this area tends to be quite slippery in some spots where it was or is wet, so be careful! You can see in the picture below where the black streaks are is where the water typically flows down into this mini canyon:

Once you climb to the top of this mini canyon, you’ll see what looks like a football goal post made of mountain spires, we were recommended by an avid hiker to follow around this fake goal post to the left. Many people get lost on this trail because they make the mistake of following straight towards Flatiron. DON’T DO THIS!!!!

Here, you’ll have to rock scramble a little bit, and you actually won’t be able to see Flatiron for a little while. Once you’ve wrapped around the left of the spires, veer right and ta-da! There’s Flatiron…wayyyyy up there! Don’t be intimidated! Follow the rocky terrain upwards.

Eventually, you’ll come across about a 10ft vertical rock wall that you’ll have to climb up:

It looks intimidating, but it’s actually a lot of fun. As long as you’re using both hands and feet, you’ll be fine! Once you conquer this wall, it’s not much further, I promise! Keep heading up and eventually you’ll see Flatiron on your right side awaiting your arrival!

Once on top of Flatiron…well…

This is the time to sit back, enjoy the sights, and eat that well-deserved lunch you packed!

If you’re like Isaac and I, you can even take an extra adventure once you’re on top of Flatiron…

Go up about another 300 feet towards the mountain spires directly behind Flatiron for a completely different perspective.

You’ll never believe what we saw up there…

Crystals!!! And a ton of them completely built into the mountain. The pic above shows them on the ground. They definitely look loose but it’s like Sword in the Stone and we weren’t the chosen ones.. 🙁

On your way down Flatiron, be extra cautious and put your focus cap on. To me, it seemed more difficult getting down than up. Every once in awhile on the way down, stop and take a look back to see all that you’ve conquered!!!!! YOU’RE A BEAST!!!

  1. Jeff Franklin says:

    I have wanted to do the Flat Iron hike but not sure I want to attempt it after knee surgery!!! But I hear it is a great hike!!!

    1. Kim Coates says:

      It is a FANTASTIC hike! However, you do need some strong knees due to the difficulty of this hike. I would recommend hiking to the wash described in the 5th picture down. A lot of people will hike to at least there and turn around. And believe me, it’s still completely worth it! You might even see a waterfall!

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How to cut your lodging cost by 50% or more while staying in the coolest places in the world

Quit saying I’ve always wanted to do that and travel today within your budget!

100% FREE!!!
Get It Now!