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Brown's, Amethyst & Four Peaks Loop, AZ

Guide 26 Triplogs  2 Topics
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Statistics
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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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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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9  2019-09-19 nancyesan
11  2014-11-15
Four Peaks Mother Lode
chumley
16  2014-11-15
Four Peaks Mother Lode
friendofThunderg
23  2014-11-15
Four Peaks Mother Lode
BiFrost
25  2014-06-30
Four Peaks Mother Lode
friendofThunderg
77  2012-04-13
Brown's Peak
outdoor_lover
3  2011-01-01 Digital_Sherpa
25  2009-04-12 Hikergirl81
Page 1,  2
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 241
Routes 830
Photos 11,832
Trips 4,671 map ( 23,908 miles )
Age 50 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Early Winter
Sun  7:05am - 5:19pm
Official Route
 
4 Alternative
 
Water


In or near
Post Bush Fire Closure Map
view above to determine
2020-10-08 Update
The one percent club
by joebartels

Notice
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.


Overview
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.

Hike
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.

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2004-03-25 joebartels
  • Overview Map Map Close-Up Map
    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.

Permit $$
None


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
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
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