“BEEEP BEEP BEEP!!!!!” Rach rolled over and groggily turned off the noisy alarm blaring from her phone.
It was 5:15 am and we had planned on making the hour long journey out to Lost Dutchman State Park to catch the sunrise. I yawned and quickly got dressed so I could make some coffee and pack the cameras while Rach got ready.
By 5:50 we were sipping coffee and headed east. An hour later we arrived at the park office of Lost Dutchman State Park. We paid the $7 entrance fee, parked the car, and grabbed our cameras in search of the most opportune spot to capture the beauty of the sunrise. We quickly found a trail that led to a few rock formations, set up our tripods, and watched in awe as the sky turned from navy to purple to orange and the dark outlines of saguaro cacti that littered the rolling hills were illuminated in the soft morning light. We spent the next hour wandering around the trails that snaked in the shadow of the few massive peaks and offer beautiful hiking within the park.
After a while we found ourselves on the Siphon Draw Trail that led to the summit of the most prodigious peak in the park: Flatiron Peak. Initially, we had only intended to hike a short distance on the trail because we had neglected to pack our food and water. However, with each corner we rounded we found it harder and harder to turn back. The trail followed a deep basin between two shear peaks. We found ourselves surrounded by steep walls of reddened rock and resilient shrubbery that grew from nearly impossible cracks and crevices. After a couple steep climbs and after a complete stranger offered us a much needed bottle of water we made it halfway to the summit. The rest of the trail was covered in sharp uneven rocks and was significantly steeper than the pathway thus far. Rach and I looked at each other and looked at the heavy cameras and tripods in our hands. Though we longed for the miles and miles of landscape to be seen from the pinnacle of the trail we decided it would be wiser to hike back to our car and save summiting Flatiron Peak for a day when we had adequate food and water with us and had packs for our cameras.
We sulkily made the hike back to the car and took one last look at the sharp rock top of Flatiron Peak before driving back to Phoenix. As bummed as we felt about not making it to the top we now have a wonderful excuse to go back and experience the beauty of Lost Dutchman State Park in the future.