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Brown's Trail #133, AZ

no permit
159 21 1
Guide 21 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
3.1 of 5 by 7
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.04 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,710 feet
Elevation Gain 1,050 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,086 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.66
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3  2019-08-14
4 Peaks 133-253-130-134 Loop
7  2019-05-09
Four Peaks Mini-Mother Lode
7  2019-04-18
Amethyst Peak 7524
12  2018-08-15
Brown's Peak
21  2018-07-18
Amethyst from Lone Pine
10  2017-11-04
Brown's Peak
10  2017-04-17 Daytripper
32  2016-04-09
Amethyst Mine via Brown's Trail
Page 1,  2
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
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Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep
Sun  6:10am - 6:29pm
Official Route
7 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
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Named place Nearby
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    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
    Brown's Trail #133
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    My buddy Andrew showed up in Payson a couple of days ago looking for somewhere to take a few days off on his southbound thru hike of the AZT. He has hiked close to 5000 miles on long trails this year, so he's a little tired! At first he wasn't too keen on doing any hiking on his days off, but eventually I conned him into Brown's Peak with promises of easy hiking and epic views, leaving out the part about the long drive. I dropped a hint or two about the drive to get there, but I kept that part as vague as possible. :sweat:

    We arrived at the Lone Pine TH around 2PM. The road was pretty packed at the bottom because of a volunteer cleanup effort. At the top of the road, we rolled in to a pretty packed TH. I wasn't too sure what to expect for crowds. I thought maybe I was the only one bright enough to drive 4 hrs for a 3 hr hike, but not today I guess. :D

    Brown's Trail is clear of brush and is in great condition all the way to the Saddle. Pink ribbons mark a route from the Saddle to the chute. Loved the chute.

    On top we saw 8 other people. 2 different groups. One of the groups was just finishing up 4321 M.L. The views on top are incredible, another one of those locations where you can see a lot of landmarks in the state. Good to finally see the peaks this close. This hike has a very high reward to work ratio I thought. Andrew agreed, even considering the long drive.

    On the way back down we caught a gorgeous sunset. Lots of purples, orange, pinks because of the cloud coverage. Andrew said it was probably his best sunset all year. Pretty close for me too.
    Brown's Trail #133
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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
    Brown's Trail #133
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    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 :-({|=
    Brown's Trail #133
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    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.
    Brown's Trail #133
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Just another Mother Lode, however, this time with company. A really good time, a couple of guys were making first time runs, and Karl was able to finish the hike that he tore his ACL on not quite a year ago I believe.

    I did the traditional 1-2-3-4 so it was a different experience for me as well. We did not really rush over the peaks and took some extended breaks at the summits, therefore, it was not as strenuous as my Mother Lode run in June. But I enjoyed this hike nearly as much, I was able to fool around with some new routes and was finally able to see portions of the route that I had missed on my first run.

    A little busy on the trail as we neared the trail head, some people camping there as well, most enjoyed a beer and we called it a day. The ride home was interesting to say the least, a little mad max mixed with the old western and a taste of Phoenix.
    Brown's Trail #133
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    "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.
    Brown's Trail #133
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    4 Peaks - Browns to Peak 2
    After some debate Mike and I decided to make the drive and hit Brown's Peak. Although Mike had been up several times before, it was my first chance to experience the infamous chute! It is intimidating on the approach but going up isn't too bad. Coming down is the real eye-opener!

    The plan was to hit Brown's then scout over to peak 2 and that is exactly what we did. There were fun scrambling spots and a few intense climbing spots along the way. When we got up near peak 2, I stopped while Mike finished the summit. We then went back down and up to Brown's again. We had to stop along the way and look back at the climbs we had just completed. Pretty cool!

    Back up on Brown's we suddenly heard a jet, which turned out to be a military fighter jet. It flew up towards the peaks, inverted over the top, rolled and dove back down to the valley where he re-joined another jet, and they were gone! Awesome!!

    Going back down the chute after a tiring hike is pretty intense. Like some other spots we encountered, the exposure is extreme. One little slip could mean big trouble. This was by far the most exposure-filled hike I have ever done, but we took our time, played it safe and had a blast checking it out!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car 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 Nov 23 2012 4:44 am
    3 pack - loud whistle
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