Sunday, January 19, 2014

Birthday Hike in the Superstitions

Today is my birthday.  Woo Hoo.  Not being a big celebrator but knowing that sometimes one has to allow others to celebrate your birthday (wise advice from Hunter Black years ago), I consented to a birthday hike up in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix but conveniently located just above our campsite at Lost Dutchman Mine State Park.

looking up at Superstitions and flatiron from our campsite

We had hike most of the other trails in the area over past week, none of which were particularly hard but they got us in shape.  Today we elected to head up the Siphon Draw trail which ultimately takes you up to the top of Flatiron peak. 2400 ft elevation.

the first section of hike was 2 miles with 1000 ft elevation gain to the basin.  then another mile straight up 1800 more feet.  whew.  We trudged up the draw mid morning passing some early birds who were already coming down while allowing many others to pass us as we were the old farts on the trail.  Didn't really see anyone older than we are. (almost medicare eligible).

at the bottom of the draw.  you can see Flatiron in far distance

The upper reaches of draw opens up into a basin of slick rock, our original destination.  We rested a while and drank water.  We had our hiking poles but did not bring lunch so we had not planned to try the final mile to the Flatiron.  

Still in Basin here

looking out from where we stopped for water

However we did decide to try going a little farther so we headed up the basin slick rock to find a chute of scree.  Hmm.  not very fun here.  Young kids scrambled up and down it.  Some fast some cautiously.  I looked to my left and saw a trail which i followed. OK, this looks possible.  Keep camera in pocket as you need to keep your balance here.

Turns out it circumvents most of the chute so I called back to Sraddha who followed me up a couple hundred feet more. total of perhaps 350 elevation beyond our original goal  Pretty soon we were up at the top of the chute looking out into the valley and campground below.  

THis is far enough.  We went past our original goal but not too far to feel overdoing it.  Bodies take longer to recover.  The path down was treacherous, however we had our hiking poles which saved us several times from slipping and falling.  We did it.  Feeling more confident in our conditioning and abilities we continued down to bottom satisfied of our day.

We stopped here.  good hike for old farts.  We were the oldest on the trail

Pano of where we stopped

Celebrated with some Buttermilk Pie.  (actually the day before but who is counting?)

buttermilk pie

Location:E Mining Camp St,Apache Junction,United States

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