register help

Four Peaks Mother Lode, AZ

no permit
892 112 18
Guide 112 Triplogs  18 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
4.7 of 5 by 30
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 5 of 5
Route Finding 5 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 7.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,695 feet
Elevation Gain 1,957 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,060 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 7-12 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 28.1
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
8  2018-03-31
Four Peaks Mother Lode Attempt
8  2016-04-30 uphill_junkie
19  2016-04-30 BiFrost
5  2015-10-24 DennisWilliams
9  2015-05-25 friendofThunderg
9  2015-03-28 DennisWilliams
18  2014-11-29 DennisWilliams
11  2014-11-15 chumley
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 8
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
Expand Map
Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov → 6 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:07am - 6:35pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Gems few aquire
by HAZ_Hikebot

Summary space is reserved. Triplogs tell the story well.

Warning: Extreme outing, majority of trek is off trail scrambling to class four ( class three if you choose wisely ) that requires nerves of steel.

Trail data is likely inaccurate. It's unlikely the same route will be taken twice until you get to know the peaks on a personal basis.

For clarification peaks are noted on site as
North to South:
Brown's Peak 7657(1)
Brother Peak 7642(2)
Sister Peak 7572(3)
Amethyst Peak 7524(4)

The name "Four Peaks Mother Lode" was created by joe bartels in 2003. 4-3-2-1 is the classic approach. 1-2-3-4 is a pumpkin.

The term MLDV - "Mother Lode Dos Veces" created by joe bartels in 2009. Meaning over the peaks and back (7 summits) 1-2-3-4-3-2-1. A reverse MLDV is 4-3-2-1-2-3-4

View this graph of the route going backwards starting at (4).

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a difficult hike. Arrive fit and prepared or this could get ugly.

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

2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
  • description related image
    guide related
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 of 49 deeper Triplog Reviews
Four Peaks Mother Lode
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
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.
Four Peaks Mother Lode
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
After pestering BiFrost for the past 6 months to put together a redemption hike on Four Peaks, the day finally arrived. An almost perfect day for hiking, great weather for the most part and couldn't have asked for a better group.

Pictures and videos from the other partners don't do this hike justice. There are some days that the way the clouds interact with the mountain you are on turn an ordinary hike into something special. Plus to know that only a handful of people got watch nature's talent show with you is a good feeling. Glad that I live in Arizona on a day like yesterday.

If you are a fan of off trail adventures, peak bagging, scrambling, exposure, getting poked and prodded by various sharp flora, scree and a long day on the trail, then this is the hike for you.
Four Peaks Mother Lode
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Karl completed the ML without incident along with James and Kyle knocking out their first too! The clouds put on a fabulous show for a good five hours. On 3 we spotted another group scrambling down the SSE side of 2 in addition to multiple groups at various times on Browns. Dos Veces needs some love. Thanks Karl for putting this one together.

Carried 3 quarts, used almost 1.
Four Peaks Mother Lode
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5

Finally got to knock this one out. I was definitely the slow one of the group and this hike is a monster-- but not anywhere as bad as I had thought. I was expecting a grueling day full of near death experiences but it wasn't like that at all :D

Thanks for putting this together, Karl!
Four Peaks Mother Lode
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
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:

Four Peaks Mother Lode
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
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.
Four Peaks Mother Lode
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
"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.
Four Peaks Mother Lode
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
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!
Four Peaks Mother Lode
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Been itching to figure out the backwards Z and run the knife ridge on 2. With a two hour earlier start than Mike and I did on Wednesday the temps were a scary six degrees warmer. After a couple ideas we set out for the ol' standard and decided to run the ridge out on 2 north to south.

The peregrine falcons Mike and I dealt with on Wed were back in action. Luckily not so much to the extreme so moments of silence were enjoyed.

From 2 we followed it south coming across a knife edge that was a first for both of us. Which was more fun than scary. Further on we realized we'd checked out the upper Z with juliachaos & Dave1. Last time Dave down climbed a segment and we went on his word to forget it. I needed to see it for myself. It ramps up and around to the top of the bZ. What starts out as a good 3-4 foot ledge quickly dwindles down to a crack. I followed it up just a few yards taking some video. Soon I was shaking uncontrollably yet having a great time too.

There is no way to top out on the backwards Z from this side unless you are into sideways crack climbing with ridiculous exposure. Perhaps one last check on the other side is in order before swearing it off. Moving on we dropped down onto the upper Z where we were greeted by a small snake. Glad we didn't run it in the opposite direction as that would be some surprise at the end! Heading down the angled upper Z we reminisced ( our hike with Steve Forbes' son ) how little we enjoy going DOWN it. To add fuel to the fire our exit was ridiculous.

Back on solid ground we opted for juggy routes on 3 before gnatfest on 4. It was good to meet face to face with the sheer heart pounding power of fear again.
Four Peaks Mother Lode
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
I had just gotten back from a party when Joe pulled up 4 minutes late/r. It took us forever to get to the trailhead mostly due to the slow driving and the fact he wanted to change the oil in his truck. It was humid at the start, middle and end but the temps weren't too bad. We took our time up to Browns's and then sauntered over to peak two. The route from two to three was my favorite route ever in this my 9th time. Joe finished his 11th today. I had one pretty scary moment with an overhang drop with dangily feet. Joe opted not to laugh because moments before he was in a scary position himself. All day long, I heard Isis this and Isis that.... he made it sound like he received a throphy or something. ;) Always fun hiking with Joe, eventhough all he did all day was talk about himself and how much he knows about gems from Siberia and Alan Thick and Elmo and Woodchuck(you know Snoop Dog's friend)and songs about Saturday and how many boats are on Roosevelt Lake and Sycamore trees and the Partridge family and Denny songs and a host of other important issues.

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
help comment issue

end of page marker