Running / Hiking / Climbing at the Lost Dutchman

>> Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Last Wednesday, while Pharmie and I were visiting my grandparents in Arizona, we stole their van for the day and drove to the Lost Dutchman State Park. We wanted to climb as far up the Superstition Mountains as we could.

We packed a backpack with a lot of water, food, some band-aids, and sunscreen. We started by lathering up once we got to the park:

The start of the trails.

Me with a cacti.

Starting to head up.

As we got farther along, the trail got rougher...

...and rougher...

...and rougher...

...and rougher...

...and rougher.

There were 2 giant boulders just off the trail that were just barely not touching. I crawled under one:

Close up.

Looking up the “trail.”

We came to a narrow little ledge that we had to climb along:

Pharmie’s afraid of heights, so she hugged the wall pretty tight (and put on her “scared face”):

We came to a steep clearing of some smooth rock. At this point, we had climbed about 1,500 feet. In the middle of this photo, off in the VERY distance, you can see the top of the Flatiron:

Tiny waterfall and pool.

At that point, it got steep. As in STEEP steep. The trail was labeled as “difficult,” but we didn’t really know what that meant. Afterwards, we learned that it meant the trail wasn’t maintained after the point where we stood, and it went from “hiking” to “full-fledged mountain climbing.” Here’s Pharmie climbing up, and in the distance you can see the narrow ledge we traversed 20 minutes before:

Climbing up...

...and up some more.

We got to the top of the next peak, and Pharmie called it quits. She wasn’t sure she could go any farther up and then get back down. So I didn’t want to be stuck farther up the mountain with someone having a panic attack. We had a great climb, so we snapped a few photos before heading down. Here’s me at the top:

Us at the top

Looking down the way we came (see the tiny homes 2,200 feet below off in the distance?)

Looking up to the top of the Flatiron (to the right)

So going up is the easy part. Climbing down is tricky. Pharmie was sore for a few days because she had to “crab walk” her way down some of the mountain:


We stopped back at those 2 huge boulders:

And of COURSE I had to get a picture of “Steve in a Speedo” in his Speedo as we climbed down:


We made it up the mountain in 1:30, but it took us 2:00 to get back down. But we finally made it back to flat earth:

We ran back to the van and dropped off the backpack. Then we hit the trails for a little run. We took a trail that kept us out of the mountains, running just below them:

I was getting SWEATY!

Above “Green Boulder”

Running down

You can see Green Boulder, the rocks that we were above 2 photos up, behind us

Final stretch back towards the van

All in all, we were out there for about 5 hours. What a GREAT day in Arizona!! I wanna go back!!


Anonymous,  6:25 AM, January 12, 2010  

What beautiful scenery!!

Big Daddy Diesel 6:43 AM, January 12, 2010  

If you want, next time check out Camelback mountain for hiking and South mountain for some fun mountain biking.

teacherwoman 7:07 AM, January 12, 2010  

Fun times, huh?! I can't wait to go back there and climb higher than I did the last time. Coming back down is definitely harder than going up, fo sho!

Great pics!

CoachLiz 7:41 AM, January 12, 2010  

Cool adventure! It looked like you had some great temperatures and good weather. Did you see any desert critters?

Kim 8:16 AM, January 12, 2010  

you and pharmie have so much fun together! so adventurous!

Anonymous,  8:38 AM, January 12, 2010  

Looks like you both had an awesome trip and a hike/climb. I would've made it up, but coming down is mentally challenging for me. I think it is cause I can see where I may fall. :(

Julie 8:48 AM, January 12, 2010  

Great pictures, thanks for sharing:)

Carolina John 8:55 AM, January 12, 2010  

Dang, Pharmie's showing off the guns! watch out, one of those might go off at anytime.

and i can't believe you weren't making phallic gestures at that cactus. really, i expected more out of you.

Anonymous,  9:43 AM, January 12, 2010  

Looks like a beautiful place to hike/run/explore. Thanks for posting the pics!

Jennifer 10:13 AM, January 12, 2010  

I have been there! It is a magical place.. It sure is harder on the way down, don't ya think? Thanks for the great photos.

Jumper 2.0 7:44 PM, January 12, 2010  

I think there should be a blogger get-together next year. RnR Arizona and then the next day Camelback or Superstition!

Sara 9:26 AM, January 13, 2010  

Check out Pharmie's guns in the sunscreen photo. Way to go chica!

RunningLaur 9:38 AM, January 13, 2010  

So glad you could go to Lost Dutchman! Your photos of the hike are great as well!

VCK 2:06 PM, January 13, 2010  

Is it just me, or does that last cactus photo look like it's flipping the camera off? Just sayin'.

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