When I traveled to Arizona to complete the Six Pack of Peaks Winter Challenge, the first hike I did was Flatiron. Whoa! In my opinion.. talk about starting with the hardest one first.
I arrived at the trailhead just after 7:00 a.m. to get an early start on the day.
I’d only been to the Superstition Wilderness once before and loved it then.. just like I loved my arrival this time.
Since it was mid-April, at the lower elevation, there were TONS of yellow flowers in bloom. So, so gorgeous.
For about the first hour, I saw two hikers behind me (I don’t think they were going all the way, since I saw them once and never again), and then one other gentleman (Bart). Bart lives at the base of the hills, and was a good conversationalist. While we didn’t hike together per say, he offered some good advice about a few turns and whatnot, and where to veer.
I’ll say one thing: I’m SUPER GLAD I had my gloves on Picacho, but wow, I wish I had them here. I didn’t expect there to be so much bouldering. That’s definitely what took the most time – figuring out which way to go, and then figuring out how to get up. I’m thankful for Bart, and a small group of hikers that I saw – it was nice to be able to “follow” someone, as the bouldering wasn’t well marked on the way up (on the way down, I saw a lot of the blue X’s marked on the rocks).
I enjoyed the views about half way up the most – when the lighting was just perfect, and the views were amazing. The overall TOP wasn’t that mesmerizing to me – nice place for a little snack.
The effort in going UP was the most rewarding.
I’ll say that I think I came down a different way than I went up. On the way up, there was a “wall” that I had to navigate that was very tough. I didn’t see that wall on the way down. The way down, as much as I don’t like going down (slipping on loose gravel, etc.), seemed much easier. Not sure what I did “wrong” on the way up.
All that aside – Flatiron was CHALLENGING. I really didn’t expect all that bouldering. The day after, I really felt it in my arms! Whew!