Length: 6 miles
Starting at the Lost Dutchman State Park, the Siphon Draw Trail provides an extremely strenuous climb up the Superstition Mountain. Although the Siphon Draw Trail is quite difficult, the convenient start point and trail's beauty make it very popular (and often quite crowded.)
The first mile of the trail passes through the Lost Dutchman State Park and is extremely well-maintained; this segment of the trail is a luxurious dirt path with well-defined rock borders. However, the trail soon leaves the state park and enters the Superstition Wilderness. While the trail continues with a well-marked route, the path is no long the smooth dirt but instead a series of small loose rocks. The trail climbs higher and higher getting ever more narrow and rough.
Eventually, the trail arrives at a large smooth stone basin, which after a heavy rain will have small streams of water cascading down its sides. To the left of the basin is a large waterfall which marks the official end of the Siphon Draw Trail. Although most people choose this as the turn-around point, a good many continue climbing along the unofficial "trail" towards Flatiron, a large, flat plateau on the top of the Superstition Mountain.
The unofficial trail is quite easy to follow thanks to heavy travel and a series of white spray-painted arrows and dots. Although few route finding skills are required, the difficulty of climbing makes this one of the most challanging trails in the Superstitions. The mile between the waterfall and the top of the mountain gains over 1,500 feet in elevation and is nothing more than a continuous climb up jagged rocks. Although this part is challanging and will get the heart pounding, the rocks do provided a nice climbing surface with plenty of places to clutch as you drag yourself up the mountain.
Finally, after climbing until you think you can go no further, you arrive at a 12-foot rock wall that proves to be the most difficult obstacle yet! Although not impossible this rock wall is by far the most vertical challenge encountered on this trail. Fortunately, immediately on the other side of this wall is the top of the Superstition Mountain and a large flat plateau (and trust me, after climbing for what seems like forever, the flat land will be something to rejoice over!)
The large plateau area to the right of the trail is known as Flatiron, and provides thrilling views of the entire Superstition Wilderness and Phoenix Valley. Flatiron makes a perfect resting point, although I'd advice those with vertigo to stay away from the plateau's steep cliffs! After a well-deserved rest, it is time to retrace your steps down the mountain. Although not as physically exhausting, the route down requires careful footwork and can take considerable time. However, once arriving back at the waterfall and stone basin, the smooth, well-developed trail returns for a speedy exit.
To view more pictures of the Siphon Draw Trail, click here.