Class III “Bushwhack”
Brinkley Point. First off, this is not a beginner’s hike. Although in the beginning it may seem that way. I would consider it a Class III “Bushwhack” (long pants, gloves, hat, boots, map, compass/GPS and over a mile of cross-country trail finding, very steep in some spots) (ropes are not required.. that would be a class IV Bushwhack).
The trail from Box Camp trail head to the turn off for Box Springs it’s nice and easy to follow. Just after the turn off to Box Springs the trail starts to become over grown, it’s not hard to follow, but the vegetation is over running the trail in quite a few places and there are several downed trees that need to be crossed. At the saddle the trail forks, you can’t see the fork but it’s there. If you continue following the trail west you will go to Box Springs. The trail to Brinkley Point follows the ridge line to the south. If you can’t find the trail just follow the ridge line.
For the next mile or so to Brinkley Point the trail is virtually non-existent. Having a map and compass is a must on this part. I also used the “HAZ Tracks” program to keep me going in the right direction. (Thanks Guys). Trees are down and bushes cover the trail. So follow the ridge line and keep an eye out for small sections of trail (about 10 to 20 feet in length) that are in relatively good conditions that appear out of nowhere and vanish into thick brush just as quickly, only to reappear 30 to 50 yards down the ridge. Periodically you should see rock cairns marking the route, I’m not sure if they are following the trail or just marking a general route. Another helpful hint to look for is old trees or stumps that have been sawed off or cut back. From the looks of the trail (or parts of it) I would say that it was a well maintained trail 20+ years ago. At one point the trail goes down a steep ridge/slope to the west. The good thing about it, is that it’s short. Make sure to keep an eye on the ridge line your following, it’s easy to get off track in the thick brush.
The last quarter mile to the Point is fairly easy and has great views in all directions. At the point there is a US Geological Survey Marker (Elevation 7073 ft) and a Trail Registry in a glass jar. You can see Thimble Peak to the south, Cathedral of Rock to the south-west and Lemmon look out to the north. And off in the far distance you can see Baboquivari Peak in the south-west.
At one time this would have been a nice easy trail and a good place to have lunch. It would be nice if the forest service brought it back.
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.