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Brownie Tank - AZNG Mascot, AZ

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48 1 1
Guide 1 Triplog  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
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Statistics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 5.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,442 feet
Elevation Gain 597 feet
Accumulated Gain 848 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.59
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
26  2014-11-11 kingsnake
5  2011-02-14 sventre
Author sventre
author avatar Guides 13
Routes 67
Photos 403
Trips 61 map ( 272 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Nov, Jan → Early
Seasons   Early Winter to Late Spring
Sun  6:14am - 6:23pm
Official Route
 
3 Alternative
 
Water
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Find the flagstaff
by sventre

Background
While floating on Saguaro Lake a few weeks ago I happened to note the flagstaff of what I have since been told is the mascot of an AZ National Guard Unit. It sits high on a bluff, east of Bagley Flat and overlooking the northern banks of the river. My goal was to find that desert oddity from a point beginning at the Rolls. The accompanying GPS route can be driven and/or hiked, as you prefer and it will get you within 1/4 mile of the final location (33.56492N, 111.46762W). Begin at the Four Peaks turnoff from SR87.

Hike
I decided to drive the greater portion of the route, through the winding sandy trails and up along the ridge line heading south toward the lake. You will encounter a number of service road markers along the way, but maintain a southerly heading when faced with an option. After driving along the ridge for some time and enjoying the 360 views, it was time to dismount and make my way the rest of the trip on foot.

I began hiking from a point approximately 2 miles north of the river. Brownie Tank was visible far below, but as you can tell from the accompanying photos it falls far short of the "small reservoir for fishing in Maricopa County" described on certain websites. Indeed, any fish that may have been there are long since gone, as is the water.

Continuing south from the Tank, I decided to first mount Peak 2074. The climb, while steep and loose footing at points, is relatively straightforward. Unfortunately, there was a considerable amount of cholla covering the ground this day, and so carrying my hiking buddy was the only viable option. Reaching the top of the peak presented terrific views of Cottonwood Creek, the river and the distant southern Supes; but, my intended goal was nowhere in sight. I decided to head west across the flat top of 2074, and after a short distance finally caught a glimpse of the flagstaff. As luck would have it, descending 2074 and regaining a nearly equivalent elevation on the peak to the southwest was going to be more of a challenge than I was expecting-- I decided that carrying the dog most of that way was not something I would do today.

This was a highly desirable alternative to hiking the lengthy sand and gravel of Cottonwood Creek for those wanting to reach the river from the north. The views are splendid and there is relatively easy access to the Creek from Brownie Tank, allowing for much less trudging to get to the river.

I was able to reach the point from which I began the hike without the necessity of engaging 4WD. Descending into Brownie Tank, however, may require 4WD upon exiting. There is an alternate jeep trail heading northwest from Brownie Tank which may allow for 2WD high clearance, but I didn't have a chance to investigate. For these reasons, I am posting this as 4WD necessary.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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2011-02-14 sventre
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Review
    Brownie Tank - AZNG Mascot
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Picked up Stephen at the Lowes on Higley & 60, then headed up Power Rd / Bush Hwy to the Beeline. Only saw one cop on Bush! While FR 143 did not have ruts, it was heavily washboarded. That's as far as I would go in a car. FR 1343 had ruts and dips, but is not bad as long as you go slow. Our problem was the low-lying sun right in my eyes. 8) The glare was so bad, I would not have been able to see oncoming traffic (luckily there was none), and did not see several ruts which I hit at the wrong angle and/or a bit too fast. (Despite going slow.) :doh: The worst dip was just west of the corral near the FR 1343 / FR 13 intersection. I crowned my SUV going down it (glare = bad angle), and on the way back (no glare) spun tires first time, before backing off, then making it up no problem second time. I combat parked just past the FR 1813 intersection on FR 13, after scouting a hundred yards ahead on foot, and deciding that was far enough. :stop: Stephen did not have a problem with an extra 5 miles (round trip) walking, so off we went.

    It was a good decision. The jeep trail gets quite rocky in spots, even more rutted, with larger drop offs, as you head south on FR 1829. I would not go past our "trailhead" without 4WD, high clearance and at least some skill -- especially on the portion between the official "trailhead" and Brownie Tank.

    The walk itself was a jeep trail walk, :| though the surrounding bluffs, canyons and mountains kept it from being too much drudgery. I had an alternate jeep trail (FR 1345) on my GPS as a possible option / for variety, but we ended up skipping it both ways.

    I was quite surprised to see a roadside memorial way out there. (Stephen spotted it, as I was road staring / avoiding further knee injury, as I usually do.) Obituary: http://www.messingermortuary.com/html/o ... _id=188733

    The Hill 2074 bluff is fairly brushy, but only about 250 feet, so we made it up sharpish. Despite wandering all over the hill top, and even over the far edge, we never did see the mascot. Great views, but quite disappointing nontheless, as I was under the impression it was on the bluff. Stephen thought he saw something at 33.565028 / -111.467803, but after walking the extra miles, and looking at the intervening half mile of terrain, we decided we had gone far enough. Your best bet to see the mascot is a boat, but if it is where we think it is, then the mouth of Cottonwood Creek would put you only 200 yards from the cliff, rather than 800 yards like we were, so at least within crappy camera zoom range. :D

    The hike back was quite warm. Not only is there no shade on the hike, but the air temp felt much warmer than 81. :sweat: (Indeed, back at my car, I got a reading of an even 90.) Like I told Stephen, it's not a hike you want to do in July! :o

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    SR87 (Beeline Highway) north from PHX Metro area or Mesa. Continue north past Bush Highway approximately 4 miles to turnoff for Four Peaks (Cline Cabin Road, FR 402). GPS Route begins at this point.
    page created by sventre on Feb 14 2011 4:06 pm
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