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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 trailhead 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 overgrown. It’s not hard to follow, but the vegetation overruns the trail in quite a few places, and several downed trees 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 ridgeline to the south. If you can’t find the trail, follow the ridgeline.
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 ridgeline 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 the 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 ridgeline your following; it’s easy to get off track in the thick brush.
The last quarter mile to the Point is relatively easy and has excellent 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 lookout to the north. And off in the far distance, you can see Baboquivari Peak in the southwest.
At one time, this would have been a nice easy trail and an excellent place to have lunch. It would be nice if the forest service brought it back.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.