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I was scheduled on a three day trip to Phoenix with a middle day to myself so I decided to hike the Superstition Ridge. As usual I did most of my research here on SP. I found the trip reports to be helpful so I wanted to give my two cents worth.
My Dad flew out here to hike with me ( he cant stand it when I hike without him, of course that dosnt stop him from bagging Rainier, Shasta, or Half Dome without me) We got up at 530am grabbed a hikers breakfast and headed out to Lost Dutchman State Park to start the day. The sun was just coming up when we locked up the car and headed down the Siphon Draw trail. Everything I read about Siphon Draw was fairly accurate. The first thing I noticed though after the first 1.5 miles were the Cati. They were everywhere. The upper portion of Siphon Draw was steep but nothing scary.
I had read on a different website someone complaining about the paint marks to identify the trail. All I will say is the paint marks are needed. It is easy to lose the trail and I found the paint marks helpful. Keep an eye out for them
Once you gain the saddle, its worth the 5 minutes to hike out to the top of Flatiron. The views on this sunny, clear, 68 degree day were fabulous. My Dad and I took in the views for a few minutes and then headed back the way we came out back to the saddle area to find the ridge trail. We had the ambitious plan of hiking the ridge all the way to Superstition Peak and then we wanted to back track to the saddle before the peak and head down Hieroglyphic Canyon.
The ridge trail was fairly easy to follow and avoided the peaks along the ridge. You could scramble to the summit if you wanted in every case. Small cairns mark most of trail along the ridge and down the upper portion of Hieroglyphic canyon. These were very helpful to keep on track. The views to the North and East were amazing. The Superstition Wilderness is, to borrow a quote from Buzz Aldrin, "Beautiful, Magnificent Desolation". I will give a word of caution though. I found the Cacti to be a problem in several locations all day. They are everywhere and for the most part you can maneuver around them but they do slow you down. All told they probably added 30 to 40 mins to the hike. I would also say you CANNOT do this trail in shorts. Dont even bother, your legs will get ripped up good. I recommend lightweight ripstop nylon type pants that are cool and provide some protection from the plants but wont stop a full on frontal assault.When my Dad and I reached Superstition Peak we had our first problem of the day. The trail leading to the very top section of Hoodoos was easy to follow and started to track around the peak to the east. At this point we though we missed the class 3 scramble to the peak and we exited the trail to find a way to the summit. Needless to say the Cati beat the heck out of us and after about 20 mins we decided we were burning too much daylight and it was time to start down. My recommendation is to attempt the summit from the south. The trail down the upper portion of the canyon was very steep in some places until it joined up with a dry river bed and basically followed the river bed all the way down. All in all it was a great day, the ridge did not dissapoint and the time spend with my dad was great too.
One final note about water. We did this hike in February and we drank all our water and G2 with about 2 miles to go. We each took 3 liters with us and should have taken 4. I would not attempt this hike after May 1 or before Nov 1
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