This Challenging, Steep Trail In Arizona Rewards Hikers With Unparalleled Views

Towering mesas against the blue Arizona sky. A sheer rock face to scramble up. The whole world sprawling out below you. This is the Flatiron Hike via the Siphon Draw Trail in the Superstition Mountains. Found in Lost Dutchman State Park, one of Arizona's hidden gem parks, this hike is only about 5.5 miles to the top and back out again. However, in that short distance, the trail goes up more than 2,600 feet. Along the way, you'll get to see some fascinating rocky landscapes and when you reach the top, you'll be rewarded for your hard work with a view that stretches miles around in every direction. To get there, however, requires a long, hard climb.


This trek might not be the longest hike you do this year, but it might just be the steepest. From start to finish, you're going to be ascending nonstop. You'll have to scramble your way up piles of larger and larger rocks, navigate a slippery rock basin, and multiple spots where you'll have to be able to haul your own body weight up onto high boulders to be able to continue up to the top.

The hike of a lifetime in Lost Dutchman State Park

Arizona's parks have some iconic and dangerous hiking trails, like Bright Angel in the Grand Canyon, but few can provide open views as wide and impressive as those from the top of Flatiron. While the breathtaking sights are the draw, you'll see beautiful spots all along your journey. The mountains themselves are beautiful, if you're able to catch your breath and look around.


Siphon Draw Trail takes you all the way up to the top of Flatiron, and you should do your best to stay on the trail to avoid going up an even more dangerous route. At one point, you will have to make your way through a rock basin that is often slippery — and that's just the beginning of the difficult section of this hike, because from thereon in, you'll mostly be climbing up loose gravel. You'll certainly have to scramble almost vertical cliff sides of choppy, rugged rock. There are plenty of footholds and places to grab, but this makes for an exhausting journey, especially if you're not used to it.

How to handle Flatiron Hike safely

There are many U.S. national and state park trails that are only for experienced hikers, and the Flatiron Hike is one of them. You'll want to train for it unless you have recently done similarly challenging climbs, and when it is time to attempt it, you're going to want to start early so that the sun is behind the mountains at the beginning. That way you can hike without the hot Arizona sun beating down on you for as long as possible. Just be aware that it will probably be hotter for your return journey, and going back down isn't that much easier than going up.


This is one hike that you'd be wise to take slowly. There will probably be others on the trail around you, but don't let that make you feel rushed. This is hard work in the hot sun, and you do not want to slip. In the past, there have been fatalities in this area from people who overheated while hiking — so pay attention to any signs your body is giving you that you're reaching dangerous levels of exhaustion. You should also be extremely careful if you decide to relax and take photos at the top. 

Tragically, in 2022 a hiker fell attempting to take a photo of the incredible view. If this hike seems like it's too much for you at the moment, it's still worth visiting Lost Dutchman and appreciating the mountains from the ground below.