Arizona’s Superstition Mountains, located less than an hour’s drive away from both Phoenix and Scottsdale are a great destination for a day hike. Plan to start in Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction. Most of the trails in the park take you into the Superstition Wilderness and Tonto National Forest in short order.
We had planned to hike the Siphon Draw Trail. Although it starts off on level ground via the Discovery Interpretative Trail in no time you start to gain some altitude. All told there is a gain of 1000 feet over two miles one way.
The trail offers scenic vistas over the desert but as you hike higher the scene in front of you becomes particularly interesting. If we’d had more time and enthusiasm on the day we hiked we could have continued from the end of the maintained Siphon Draw Trail to the top of the Flatiron – a hike that would be a total of 6 miles round trip. The final mile to the top of the Flatiron is steep with an elevation gain of another 1000 feet. You need a solid 5-6 hours to hike to the top of the Flatiron and back.
We elected to vary our return and chose to hike the Jacob’s Crosscut Trail to the Treasure Loop Trail. Both were much easier than the Siphon Draw Trail and very pretty with some flowers blooming even in late December. It would be a spectacular area to visit in the spring.
There is an entrance fee of $6 per vehicle to Lost Dutchman State Park. It’s also possible to camp.
The Superstition Mountains offer the possibility of much more than just day hikes. Several companies offer hikes including a 4 day backpacking trip with REI and then you don’t have to retrace your steps. After looking at their trip description – which includes hikes past the Miner’s Needle and a traverse of the Boulder Canyon Trail with views of the Weaver’s Needle, I am thinking that one winter John and I need to do a whole lot more exploring.
Other posts related to Arizona you might like:
- Hiking Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona
- A Visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home – Taliesin West in Scottsdale
- A Stellar Hike in the Dragoon Mountains of Southeast
- A Downloadable Guide to Hiking in the Grand Canyon
- A Snowy Hike in Beautiful Chiricahua National Monument
- Hiking Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale, Arizona