HIKE – SIPHON DRAW (Superstitions)



A fairly easy canyon cuts into the face of the Superstition Mountains.  We can expect wildflowers and the trail passes the abandoned 1886 Palmer mine before we encounter “the crying dinosaur”


Siphon Draw is aptly named for its ability to "drain off" (i.e. siphon) water from a large area on Superstition Mountain. Just a light amount of precipitation will result in water being siphoned into the canyon draw and flow over the slick rock.


This hike is somewhat unique in that in less than 2 miles it traverses a State Park (Lost Dutchman), a National Forest (Tonto), and a Wilderness Area (Superstition) while urban views of the Greater Phoenix Area are always at hand.


More information including photos and a map here:



Our hikes are generally at a pace conducive to social banter of interest to heathens, and allowing for time for photography of the local geology and wildlife. However, since this is an out-n-back trail route, hikers may choose their own pace and distance.  We will all turn around and return at a predetermined, agreed upon time or, using walkie talkies, at whatever time we otherwise unanimously agree upon while on the trail. Expect this hike to last 3-4 hours



Distance:     3.9 miles

Time:            3-4 hrs.

Difficulty:    moderate

Trail:             packed dirt ad crushed gravel and rocky  

Trailhead  Elevation:   2080 ft.

Elevation  gain:     up to 1113 ft.

Parking:       lot with facilities nearby

Tailhead GPS:  33° 27’ 13”  -111° 28’ 48”

Entry fees:   $6/car

Dogs:            OK on leash



Always carry and drink plenty of water! 

Sunscreen and insect repellent is advised.

Supportive footwear is also advisable.


Although rain is not forecast as of Tuesday,

 have light rain gear available (we may hike in light drizzle)

…. Temperatures in the low 60’s are forecast


SAFETY FIRST… we have no medical provisions.

Hike at your own risk.


How to find us:  Meet at trailhead parking lot (directions below)… If lost, late, etc. call cell[masked]-5945.


TO GET THERE: Follow freeway 60 east to exit 196, AZ-88 E/Idaho Rd. Turn left onto S Idaho Rd and at 2.3 miles take slight right onto AZ-88 E/​N Apache Trail.  Travel 4.9 miles and turn right into the Lost Dutchman State Park entrance and (after paying entrance fee) go another .03 miles and take the first right.  Drive 0.8 mile to the parking lot on your right. There should be signage guiding you to Siphon Draw Trailhead.

If parking is overflowing, check out either the Cholla or Saguaro day-use parking areas.
The Discovery Trail heads south from the day-use area towards the campgrounds and Siphon Draw Trail #53. There are interpretive signs along this trail providing information about flora and fauna native to the area. There are strategically placed bird feeders and water ponds to attract wildlife. This trail undulates into a couple of washes and passes the campground amphitheater just before it connects with the old Siphon Draw TH at 0.5 mi.

Google says the trail head is 35 minutes from the 60 & 101

Google says the trail head is 45 minutes from the I-10 & 51

Google says the trail head is about an hour from the I-17 & 101



Carpooling can save gas  and entry fees ($6/car) but also enhance the social experience.

If you’d like to carpool, you must contact others for arrangements. 

You could email members or post comments on this announcement page.


Following the hike: We will reconvene for rehydration and food , possibly at the Mammoth Steakhouse & Saloon at the nearby Goldfield Ghost Town



HISTORY & LEGENDS… The first mining claim in the Superstitions was the Buckhorn Claim, now known as the Palmer Mine. It was staked by W. A. Kimball in 1886.  Around 1900 copper and gold were shipped from this mine.  Dr. Ralph Palmer was a physician for the Roosevelt Dam construction site[masked] and Mayor of Mesa in 1912.  During this time he became interested in gold mining.  After Kimball’s death, a group of businessmen and Dr. Palmer acquired the Buckhorn mine in 1917 and discovered small pockets of gold ore.  In 1926 Dr. Palmer purchased the mine from his partners. In 1947 the shaft was extended down from 215 ft. to 265 ft.  Unfortunately only small traces of gold were found.  Palmer died in 1954.  The Barkley Cattle company used the shaft as a water well 1950-1962.   The area has been re-vegetated and one cannot look into the shaft.

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  • Scott R.

    Once again, I pushed my limitations and lived. (see Casey's pix)

    1 · March 11, 2013

    • Tammy

      You are crazy. You better not let Frankie and Johnny see those photos.

      1 · March 11, 2013

    • Scott R.

      Thank you Tammy and Casey for spotting me.

      March 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    That was amazing! And yet another place I had never seen before.

    1 · March 11, 2013

  • Sabrina

    Had a good good time. It was nice meeting everyone! :)

    March 10, 2013

  • Amanda C.

    Wonderful hike and a good workout. The waterfall at the top was more than worth it!

    March 10, 2013

  • Nathan J.

    5 stars what great bunch of people

    March 10, 2013

  • Sherry

    have to work :( next time

    March 10, 2013

  • Casey

    We may be lucky, this rain will have all the waterfalls in Siphon Draw running. Hope it doesn't get too wet as traction deteriorates.

    March 9, 2013

  • Jack S.

    Could you pick me up at the You fit ?

    March 8, 2013

  • Larry K.

    nearby museun has a huge parking area. good place to meet up

    March 8, 2013

  • Jodi

    I'm a maybe. Scott....is there room in your van for me?

    March 6, 2013

  • Andy W.

    My sister-in-law Mary will be with me for this one!

    March 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Scott: I'm going to ride my bike out. Can I store my bike in your van and hitch a ride partway back towards Tempe?

    March 5, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yep, QR on the front and rear.

      March 5, 2013

    • Scott R.


      March 5, 2013

  • Merle L.

    still not strong enough

    March 5, 2013

  • Abid

    live in Tempe (Broadway/Priest) and would like to car pool. Either someone else's vehicle or mine.... I have a truck that can sit 2 easily, 4 in some discomfort....

    March 5, 2013

  • Abid

    great hike! looking forward to it.

    March 5, 2013

  • Amanda C.

    I'll have Patrick with me.

    March 5, 2013

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