Not the Usual Way
The destination of dozens of hikers from Phoenix each day and a hike I have completed 7-8times, to the Flat Iron in the Superstition Wilderness. BUT.... recently I heard there was a back way from the north side, off trail and rugged so my kind of hike.
I followed a dirt road, reached the 1st Water trail head and following a gpx route, struck out among a beautiful Sonoran landscape. Still so green but that will change soon. The red line above shows the route I was to take.
To the north is 4 Peaks Mountain as I ascend and head toward the Canyon of the Waterfalls, the jumping off point to the off trail portion of the route.
I really like these steep slick rock sections. The route goes to the left of that rock formation but I knew an alternative was....
....a fun alternative through the middle. Enough toe and hand holds to climb through it and fun as usual.
Having climbed through the notch, I continue up and enter the awesome....
....Canyon of Waterfalls. Doesn't it appear the mountain is giving me a big "F**k You" with that hoodoo in the middle? Hah I climbed through this obstruction and ....
...through others, very fun stuff.
I looked back and admired what I had come through. The gpx route took me into this jumble of huge rock slabs and I probed, reversed course, probed again but finally.....
....emerged onto this ridge, which I would mostly follow higher....
....and how bout that!!!! I ran into some cairns, confirming others had been this way before. I decided that....
....going through that jumble of rock (shown by the red line above) had just been a mistake. I doubt anyone had ever been through that mess and I just had not zoomed onto the route enough to see I had gotten off the route.
But hey! At last I reached the top!!! I was so relieved. I headed along....
....a rim, located the Flat Iron, descended that trail (cause I was not going to go back the way I had come), reached....
....the Jacob's Crosscut Trail, reacquired cell phone reception so I could catch a call from a woman about a horse (it's comforting to see that cell signal light up), hiked for a while and with great relief, reached the parking area and jumped into my car. Nine miles, most very rugged and fun.
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