On my first day in Arizona this year, I met Sonal for the first time on the top of Squaw Peak (new name is Piestewa Peak) early in the morning. It was still dark. We connected immediately and decided to hike together on the weekend. She suggested to climb up to the top of Flatiron mountain, part of the Superstition Mountain Range near Phoenix.

We started at 6 am. In the pitch dark night, the moon was just a curved silver line. Under the starry sky, only a dim silhouette of the jagged mountain range was visible, An owl hooted in the distance. However, soon the form of the mountain became visible.

 

 

 

 

Soon the path was leading into a solid rock basin with a little pond in the shady corner. From there, no path was visible anymore. It was a climb over boulders and rocks, through crevices and tunnels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, I could pull myself up by the trunk of a Palo Verde tree and had to be careful not to touch the branches- they have sharp needles. Somewhere, I touched a Pricklybear cactus with my pants- ouch! Little needles were sticking into my right leg.

After several hours hike, we approached the top.

 

 

 

 

Jeff and Lisa, native Americans from the Navajo tribe, were leading us through a wild terrain of boulders and rocks to the highest point of the mountain (5040 feet).

 

 

 

 

 

From there, we had a view to Apache Lake and Canyon Lake, into the Superstition Wilderness and to the big Valley of the Sun, Phoenix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The three mile climb down was more difficult than the climb up. There were a lot of young people coming up the trail now, some of them came with their dogs.  Sometimes, the dog was not brave enough to climb up the nearly vertical slope. One dog wore shoes.

 

 

 

Overall, we hiked 6 miles and came back happy and tired in early afternoon.

 

View back to the Superstition Mountains with the Flatiron Mountain top.