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Amethyst Mine via Brown's Trail, AZ

Guide 48 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  3.4 of 5 
no permit
1 Active
379 48 4
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,696 feet
Elevation Gain 1,171 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,950 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.95
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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9  2019-10-26 Nightstalker
30  2019-10-08 LosDosSloFolks
7  2018-11-25 adv_trev
21  2018-07-18
Amethyst from Lone Pine
8  2017-04-22 TeamBillyGoat
32  2016-04-09 Nightstalker
10  2015-11-01 hikingaz2
9  2015-05-25
Four Peaks Mother Lode
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 241
Routes 829
Photos 12,070
Trips 4,849 map ( 24,809 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, May, Sep, Oct → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:15am - 7:39pm
Official Route
9 Alternative

Warning the 2020 Bush Fire damaged most of the Four Peak Wilderness after almost recovering from the 1996 Lone Pine Fire.
The Hunt for Purple April
by joebartels

Lone Pine Trailhead - 2.2 miles on Brown's Trail 133 to Amethyst Trail 235, 1.4 miles to private property gate at the mine

This trail doesn't cater to destination enthusiast. However, being one of maybe three short hikes in the wilderness it does get used regularly. The views, though distant, are pretty good. So... from the trailhead head up Brown's Trail #133.

Follow trail #133 to Brown's Saddle just as mentioned in the Brown's Peak Hike. The final push up to Brown's Saddle is technically on the Amethyst Trail. In reality the true origin of the Amethyst Trail is off of the Four Peaks Trail. The junction isn't marked and has changed slightly since the fire of 1996. It really doesn't matter, as you won't stray off course. At Brown's Saddle continue on the Amethyst Trail. Just over the saddle it's brushy but soon opens up. The trail is easy to follow to the mine with one exception. An approximately 100 foot drop is encountered along the way. It's steep and loose. There are a couple "on the edge" sections but nothing extreme.

A few patches of pines survived the '96 blaze. Although short lived, you get really nice moments of pines against the steep rise. Once again the views are pretty good, but you probably won't be itchin' to get back soon. When the trail eases to a wide ledge the end is near. A short distance around the turn and you come to a gate. It's welded, radiator hose clamped, cemented, chained, and barbed wired to keep intruders out. Can you get around it? Yes, and pretty easy, but it's still private property. As dad says, locks keep honest people honest. If you haven't figured it out, this is your turn around point.

The mine itself, known as the Four Peaks Lode, dates back to the 18th century. The difficult terrain has presented access issues since the vein was first discovered. Present day access is by helicopter. The 20 acre parcel is completely surrounded by the Four Peaks Wilderness. The mine has changed ownership many times in the past century alone. It's been an on & off operation. Operations would cease altogether if it wasn't for one thing. This vein of manganese tinted quartz is among the best quality in the world! No kidding!

Forget the forest-service-sign stating it's 1 mile to Amethyst Trail & identically 1 mile to Brown's Saddle. This is very incorrect. I say "very" because even a direct line from the trailhead to the saddle is at least 1.25 miles.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2003-04-12 joebartels
    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.

    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
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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