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Brown's, Amethyst & Four Peaks Loop, AZ

Guide 27 Triplogs  2 Topics
  3.8 of 5 
no permit
314 27 2
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 4.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,700 feet
Elevation Gain 1,154 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,260 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 10.4
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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23  2021-06-10 david_allen_3
9  2019-09-19 nancyesan
11  2014-11-15
Four Peaks Mother Lode
16  2014-11-15
Four Peaks Mother Lode
23  2014-11-15
Four Peaks Mother Lode
25  2014-06-30
Four Peaks Mother Lode
77  2012-04-13
Brown's Peak
3  2011-01-01 Digital_Sherpa
Page 1,  2
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 841
Photos 12,826
Trips 5,236 map ( 26,564 miles )
Age 52 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Early Winter
Sun  5:38am - 7:25pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 Three 200550.4 mi*
🔥 2020 Bush Fire193.5k
🔥 2014 Browns Fire6.6 mi*
🔥 2005 Three Fire15.4k
🔥 2005 Edge Complex Fire72.3k
🔥 1996 Lone Fire65.1k
🔥 1970 Soldier Fire13.9 mi*
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

The one percent club
by joebartels

Go counter-clockwise as Amethyst is not well maintained, and it's easier to go down. Use the Official Route on our app or your GPS device for the best results.

Brown's Trail #133 is, without a doubt, the most used trail in the Four Peaks Wilderness. It's a direct route to the popular landmark Brown's Peak. What's interesting is it's newer than the rest. I've heard people call it a short cut to Brown's Saddle over the alternative Four Peaks Trail/Amethyst combo. Although true, it's barely true at maybe a tenth of a mile shorter.

In the past, I've hiked Four Peaks Trail over to Amethyst Trail and then pushed up. Either I was having a bad day, or that's one mean push up the Amethyst Trail to Brown's Saddle. I knew in mind but finally recorded that Brown's Trail is cut better with switchbacks.

A counter-clockwise approach is the way to go starting on Brown's Trail #133. Upon reaching the Amethyst junction (1.85 miles), head up to Brown's Saddle. It's only five minutes out of the loop, so I included the side tour in the trail data.

The return is down, and I do mean down, the Amethyst Trail to Four Peaks Trail then over to Lone Pine Saddle Trailhead. It's been years since I've hiked the Amethyst Trail. The good news is it's a trail now. I last hiked this trail after the Lone Pine Fire. The scorched landscape was indistinct and difficult to follow. The trees were mostly standing, though burned. Now, nearly eight years after the fire, bushes are growing, and most dead trees have fallen. The trail is easy to follow, but as suspected, it's steep with few switchbacks. At one point, you think you're leaving the burn area, but it returns soon. Either the fire altered path, or this was a direct hit of some fire protection.

Upon reaching the Four Peaks Trail junction, take a left and head back to the trailhead. The hike immediately changes to a pleasant stroll. Fire damage is patchy. Scraggly oak provides some nice shady sections of trail, though short-lived. What makes this trail sweet in my mind are the drainages you cross on the route. On this trip, nearly two weeks after snowmelt, the water running down was light. You will be rewarded if you time it right. On my first trip, I encountered what seemed like a river roaring down the mountain in three separate drainages. I'll never forget that feeling of excitement.

I encountered several red and bluebirds, a roadrunner, countless dancing blue skippers, a pack of four or five deer, and a beaver on this trip. Okay, it wasn't a beaver as there isn't a river anywhere near, but it sure looked like a beaver!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2004-03-25 joebartels
  • Overview Map Map Close-Up Map
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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
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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