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Amethyst Trail #253, AZ

no permit
12 20 2
Guide 20 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
3.1 of 5 by 8
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 2.31 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,809 feet
Elevation Gain 1,149 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,348 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5+ hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.8
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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3  2019-08-14
4 Peaks 133-253-130-134 Loop
7  2019-04-18
Amethyst Peak 7524
21  2018-07-18
Amethyst from Lone Pine
32  2016-04-09
Amethyst Mine via Brown's Trail
10  2015-11-01
Amethyst Mine via Brown's Trail
9  2015-05-25
Four Peaks Mother Lode
16  2015-02-22
Brown's Peak
11  2014-11-15
Four Peaks Mother Lode
Page 1,  2,  3
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep
Sun  6:13am - 6:24pm
Official Route
9 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!

Author Full Detail Guide
This trail doesn't appear to be maintained. Utilizing the Official Route an avid hiker should fair well.

Amethyst Mine
The Amethyst Mine is located on private land which is posted and fenced. Due to continued vandalism and on-site safety hazards, the property owners are denying entry onto their property. Legal action will be taken against all trespassers.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.


    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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 Reviews
    Amethyst Trail #253
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    Noticed lots of wet looking clouds hanging about on Four Peaks on the way in this morning. Only two cars in the lot when we arrived at 8AM. Headed up Brown's Trail through the continuously passing clouds. Missed a turn and dead ended, called the attempt on Brown's Peak as we were there to hike Amethyst Trail. Eventually found the Amethyst Trail and followed it until the end at the mine gate. Returned to Brown's Trail and then followed Amethyst down to 4 Peaks Trail and back to the parking lot. Amethyst to the mine was easy enough to follow and just a bit grown over. Amethyst from Brown's Trail down to 4 Peaks Trail was hit or miss. On a well defined trail one minute and completely lost then next. I couldn't believe how quick and completely the trail disappeared. I think it would have been easier to follow going up instead of going down. Lots of bushwacking and leg shredding. Fun day. Perfect temps. Awesome hiking through clouds!

    Prickly Pear in bloom, lots of snap dragon
    Amethyst Trail #253
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    Time to hit the Amethyst Mine, sure glad we did, vista's are amazing, looking down on Saguaro Lake and Burro Cove which we had just done previously was awesome. Trail was well defined,(came upon some bear fresh scat so we were extra cautious) got to the mine gate took some pictures and had lunch and returned. I would go to this area more if it wasn't such chore :-({|=
    Amethyst Trail #253
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    What a nice way to cap off an eventful Memorial weekend. My 5th trip log of the weekend would be the Mother Lode.

    I met a group on Brown's Peak and one of them asked if I had ever head of anyone doing all four peak, I said actually...
    The rest of the M.L. was complete solitude. I was a little slow, probably related to the routes I chose, but also a little fatigued for some reason. I could not make up my mind all day. I had two routes to use, my first route when I had no idea what I was doing, or my route with Karl that included some stuff I was not crazy about doing alone. I just did not have the usual zeal for climbing, so the majority of the day involved retreating across the bottom of the peaks. A safer route, but not good for time and I found myself in trouble a few times trying to scurry down, when I should have maintained my usual route across the ridges.

    I Had a legitimate fall coming down final peak. I was trying to get cute hopping across the rocks to avoid dropping down into the bush and had about a seven foot fall down a couple of quick ledges. No injuries, but it got my attention. I saw three Arizona Blacks, which only makes one laugh, just another thing to contend with when doing the M.L.
    Amethyst Trail #253
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    Hiked some hills. I think there were four of them. Good people. Spectacular weather with mother nature putting on a theatrical show with the clouds. My first time doing 1-2-3-4. I still think 4-3-2-1 is my preference. I have to remind myself to do this more than once a year. Lately I seem to break my truck on HAZ trips. Oh well. Seems worth it.

    Video here:

    Amethyst Trail #253
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    "wow that escalated quickly!"

    So Four Peaks was on my radar after reading JJ's recent trip log. That led to a causal conversation with John at Boulders on Sunday about why neither one of us have hit that high point, some how that escalated into me knocking out the Mother Lode!

    Nothing was really ideal about this Mother Lode trip either. I didn't even leave Boulders until 10, and it was not until about 11:30 p.m. that the idea of the Mother Lode even crossed my mind while searching for driving directions and a route up to Brown's Peak. I thought why not just download a route and play it by ear? But whose route? I knew well enough not to touch anything done by Dave 1, Joe, Bob P, or J.J. ;)

    I noticed that Chumley had taken Claire on his last Mother Lode trip so I figured that route was probably more in my wheel house and sadly more conducive to my skill set and conservative nature. After all, I would be going solo. Lets be real though, I upped the ante a tad bit on Chumley's route, found a few more "direct" approaches ;)

    Again nothing was ideal about the planning for this little hike, I jotted down on a 3" by 5" note card "4321 classic" "1234 hard" some driving directions on the back and the names of the peaks by number, that was the extent of my planning. However, to be honest at that point I was pretty much reserved to just finally knock out Brown's Peak.

    Even when morning hit I was still just committed to Browns Peak, slept in a little, went to the gym and did not even finish up until nearly 6:30, came home ate a quick little breakfast and really did not rush to leave town. In hindsight, could have probably did without the 5 a.m gym run, there were no shortages of opportunities to work other muscles besides the legs on this hike.

    Didn't even start hiking until 9! Sacrilege for the last day of June in AZ! However, thanks in part to my usual early morning caffeine buzz, I thought why not? Although, in hindsight it would have probably been prudent to let someone know where and what I was doing before sister's peak, when I finally got the bright idea to at least shoot Chumley a quick text.

    I don't know if I always took the right route, but I made it! The hike was awesome, just a nice little test of nerves, strength, stamina etc. It also had a little twist at the end.

    I ran into two guys on way back to TH, and their exact first words to me were, "hey, we are a little loss." When I came across them they were down to one water source between the two of them and measuring shadows in an attempt to determine the cardinal directions. They had violated a very basic rule that whenever I bring up people scoff and laugh at me. A map is nearly useless for the most part if you can not identify any of your cardinal directions, last I check paper maps do not orient their self. I don't want to make light of their situation, but they were close to the TH. However, they were preparing to head back to the fork heading towards Amethyst Mine, as they were sure that is where they went wrong. I told them, "look you two are grown men, so I wont lecture you, but I am going to hike probably a 1000 miles this year, and you will never catch me out hiking without at the very least my compass and GPS and preferably a map if possible." They totally got it and were relieved to join me for final stretch back to TH. Although, a comical situation to most of us, this is how tragedies happen, so if I don't show up, these two guys with about 20 oz of water would have hiked all the way back to the mining area, probably turned around again and who knows what may have happened from there. When we got to the car they told me their goal was to knock out at least three of the peaks, to give a perspective they started ten minutes after me and did Brown's Peak plus about 300 feet towards his brother before they wisely backed off. In fact, the one guy said, "hey did you find you had to climb to hit all those peaks today, because we were climbing!?" I replied, "a little" ;)

    After Action Review (AAR):

    One thing I did well: Route finding, I don't remember ever having to back track, although, when I post my route it may say different.

    One thing I need to improve on: Communication! probably does not hurt to let someone know where I am at for these type of hikes.

    One thing I can sustain: Pace was solid, granted I had a route as guide, but was still able to knock out the Mother Lode in under seven hours, seems respectable from the trip logs I read.

    Consumed before hike: 1 scoop of NO Explode, 1 NOS Energy drink and a bowl of Kix, Just a little 600mg caffeine buzz to start your day.

    Consumed During hike: 80 oz of water, 20 oz of Gatorade, two Fig Newtons, a Rice Crispy Treat and three peanut butter crackers, no time to eat when you are climbing all day.

    Final Notes: I always have a soundtrack in my head for my hikes, usually a song I am too embarrassed to admit was stuck in my head, and I silently and even aloud sometimes usually recite the one chorus I know over and over, Well for this hike that song was "Mother" by Danzig, I thought very appropriate.

    Just a great way to end my most productive month of hiking as a HAZ member, from Grand Canyon to the top of Humphreys, Bear Wallow, Blue Range, Pacheta, some peaks and high points around Prescott and a nice little grand finale..The Mother Lode.

    HAZ Appreciation:Thank you Janelle for route, Chumley said you can thank Janelle for that route, so thank you.
    Amethyst Trail #253
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    The Veta Madre
    Bob kindly posted the 10 year anniversary of my first Mother Lode. I'd been looking forward to this one for some time. Cold weather and fresh snow put "The Veta Madre" into uncertainty. The committed manned up and the show went on.

    We met three days before the hike or maybe it was 4:30am... shortest day of the year so do what ya gotta do. Karl delivered us safely to the evil empire of patchy kryptonite ( eskimos call it snow ).

    With thermal pants under pants, two pairs of socks, three shirts, balaclava and goretex waffle stompers it wasn't too bad. Well save the howling wind. Bruce lent me his secondary windbreaker and Bob lent me his secondary set of warm ski gloves. I never got cold in the terms of what I expected... kill me now type of screaming cold if you are wondering.

    We made excellent slow time to the saddle. Luckily everyone seemed fine with taking it easy so we wouldn't sweat then freeze. ( lesson learned on Jacinto )

    Up in the chute it wasn't the worst case scenario with solid ice. It was light snow and slippery rock. Bruce and Karl didn't want to risk it. I think Bruce's decision was highly influenced by his wet feet. I'm sure many of us can relate to that feeling.

    We took the defunct #253 ending on #130 on the way back. Blue skies opened up for awhile. Then we heard birds flying low through the brush chirping up a storm. In the past this has played out to a storm rolling in. Sure enough the skies darkened up and it was snowing on our last leg of the hike.

    Interestingly it was more fun today than torture for a change. For the first time I can sort of understand how this type of experience is intriguing. Might even consider our experience today as... lucky. AutoRotate, Hodlofski and the Walrus missed out!

    Carried 3 quarts water, maybe consumed 4 ounces

    Karl isn't having the greatest luck with Mother. The third time will surely be the charm. Hope to be there when he meets that victory!
    Amethyst Trail #253
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    The Veta Madre
    The Plan
    My first Brown's Peak summit and Mother Lode.

    The Setup
    The weather during the first part of the week was perfect.
    Then rains hit the Valley, Thursday Night into Friday. Snow was forecast for Four Peaks.
    Since this is the shortest daylight of the year we met at 4:30 in the Valley, for a 6:30a hike start.

    The Cast
    Karl - Bifrost
    Bob - BobP
    Joe Bartels as the Beaver
    Me - Coanbru

    The Drive
    Karl was nice enough to drive. Turning on Four Peaks Road for the 20 mile drive in, and after about 5 miles in, we were socked in by clouds the rest of the way to the TH. Sometimes visibility was down to 10'. No snow was seen until we almost reached the TH at 5,700'.

    The Hike
    It took awhile to get everyone motivated enough to get out of the warmth of the truck.
    Everyone was trying to figure out how much clothing to bring. The wind is blowing, the clouds are zipping past, and being a person that wears glasses, this is about as bad as it gets. (It gets worse).

    Temp at the beginning of the hike is 32 degrees with a wind. The more elevation we start gaining on our march to the top, the cooler it gets. The talk begins about maybe we just do Brown's today. We start our climb up the chute with snow about 8" deep. It's now down to 26 degrees and the wind is blowing like a biznatch. Note to self.... If you intend to do anymore hikes like this, at least get some waterproof trail shoes and some bring warmer gloves.

    Getting to the first up climb over exposed rock (covered in ice), and I knew it was over for me. Bob and Joe did their best to offer up options that went up, but for me the smart thing was to put my tail between my legs and retreat.

    On the way down we hit the Amethyst Trail (More or less) to the Four Peaks Trail to make a mini loop. We had trouble finding the Amethyst Trail in spots. On the Amethyst, we literally got our first views of the day with Roosevelt Lake coming into view. The clouds were pretty incredible. The Four Peaks Trail was a smooth cake walk back to the TH where Karl had Barley Pops on ice for us.

    Thanks for setting this one up Bubby..... good to see you again.
    Great meeting Karl for the first time. I see more hikes in the future.
    Joe-Joe.. a blast as always. Thanks for the Orange Topper.

    Short Video :next:
    Amethyst Trail #253
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    I've been itching to get back on the Mother Lode in the past few months after my successful introduction last spring (thanks Janelle!) A few people have been trying to get me to take them, and it frequently comes up in hiking conversations about it at Boulders. Not entirely confident that I could nail the route as well as Janelle when she had done it 6 or 7 times over the span of a couple of months, I decided to risk it and lead my first ML!

    Claire had done half of it two years ago with Liz, but they got tripped up on their route and there wasn't enough daylight so they hadn't finished it. Turns out she had Saturday free and asked to go, so I put off another hike I had planned, excited to do the ML.

    Everything went fine, if not a little bit slower than my first trip due to a few places where I didn't remember the best route. We never got too far off track, and ended up finding the way without having to do any backtracking, which was nice. My 4/30/12 GPS track was amazingly accurate and incredibly helpful at times. I do recommend that track to anybody looking for a good guide to follow. (You still need to find your own route at times, but it is a real helper).

    As we climbed Amethyst there were three guys climbing up Sister (by what looks like a crazy route). I got a few photos, and you can barely even see them when I zoom in! Really puts it into perspective!

    We got tired and slower after Brother and managed to get to Browns just before sunset. A quick celebratory beer and we headed down the chute while there was still light. From the bottom of the chute to the saddle we hiked in moonlight as the red sky disappeared to the west. A leisurely stroll by headlamp back to the TH punctuated the day where we both felt exhausted but with that great sense of accomplishment you just can't get on a normal hike.

    I hurt today. I forgot what an absolute :pk: -kicker that hike is. :stretch: And I can't wait to do it again! : rambo :

    Three very cool 360 photos from each of the peaks 4-3-2. The Browns one got washed out because the sun was too low in the sky:

    1 liter of plain water
    1.5 liters of vitamin water
    3 slices of pizza, half a sandwich, some jelly beans, and a hop knot :)

    7:10 start
    8:20 saddle
    9:20 mine
    10:40 Amethyst Peak (4)
    11:00 leave
    12:20 Sister Peak (3)
    12:35 leave
    1:30 saddle (2-3)
    1:40 leave
    3:25 Brother Peak (2)
    3:45 leave
    5:20 Browns (1)
    6:20 saddle
    6:30 leave
    7:25 TH
    For perspective on how this works, my GPS recorded just 2:56 of "moving" time, and 9:19 "stopped". I assure you we were actually moving most of the time it thought we were stopped!
    Amethyst Trail #253
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    Great weekend for an overnight trip along Four Peaks. Found some bear sign but no bears. Upper 50's early morning and upper 70's to low 80's during the day. Great night for seeing LOTS of stars! Great to see the forest coming back as well. Trail 253 has been overgrown for awhile but it looks like someone made some attempt to clear the trail up to about the 6400 foot level. I added my own touches of cairns and posts to guide the way through some of the down timber.
    Amethyst Trail #253
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    Great weather for a hike. Hiked from Lone Pine T.H. to Amethyst Trail that connects with Browns Peak Summit Trail. Found trail for the last 0.5 mile or so to Browns Peak trail difficult to follow. Checked for water just above Jacks Spring where I usually find water but didnt see any. Camped overnight near junction of Amethyst Trail #253 and Arizona Trail. A little chilly towards morning but not too bad as the night stayed breezy.

    Permit $$
    no fees or permits reported

    if incorrect tell us about it

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To Lone Pine Trailhead
    From Scottsdale follow Shea Blvd East to its terminus at SR87. Turn Left onto SR87. Follow SR87(this is the Beeline) to the Four Peaks Turnoff which is FR143. FR143 is well marked. Follow FR143 for about 19 miles of sheer hell in a car to the Mazatzal Divide. Turn right here onto FR648 and follow about 2 miles to the trailhead.

    From Mesa by CannondaleKid ( 2018-07-20 )
    From Red Mountain 202 & AZ 87/Country Club Dr
    5.0 miles = AZ 87/Gilbert Road intersection
    11.7 miles = AZ 87/Shea Boulevard intersection
    13.7 miles = AZ 87/Fort McDowell (Casino) Road intersection
    21.9 miles = AZ 87/Bush Highway overpass
    26.7 miles = AZ 87/Four Peaks Road (FR 143) Turn RIGHT

    From AZ 87/Beeline Highway & FR 143/Four Peaks Rd
    0.81 miles = Four Peaks Recreational Parking Lot Continue straight
    1.43 miles = Secondary Recreational Parking Lot Continue straight
    2.08 miles = Recreational Parking Lot at Forest Road 401 Bear LEFT
    3.38 miles = Forest Road 11 (Great Western Trail) 90-degree RIGHT turn
    4.05 miles = Forest Road 1521 90-degree curve LEFT
    10.87 miles = Forest Road 143A (Cline TH) Sharp 160-degree RIGHT turn
    14.98 miles = Mud Spring TH Bear LEFT and continue
    17.75 miles = Cattle Guard/Forest Road 648 Sharp 180-degree RIGHT turn
    19.10 miles = Lone Pine Trailhead End of FR 648

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 60.6 mi - about 2 hours 2 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 159 mi - about 3 hours 21 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 161 mi - about 3 hours 15 mins
    page created by joebartels on Jun 16 2012 2:05 am
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