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Brown's Peak Loop via Alder Saddle
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mini location map2010-06-19
13 by photographer avatarTough_Boots
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Brown's Peak Loop via Alder SaddlePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 19 2010
Tough_Boots
Hiking9.50 Miles 2,801 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles   7 Hrs      1.36 mph
2,801 ft AEG
 
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Get ready for a laugh cuz this whole day was a total mess and we got beat by Alder Saddle big time. If you want a full belly laugh, I'll let you take a look at my GPS data.

It started off rough just getting to the TH. My ruck overheated about 3/4 of the way up El Oso and I had to pull over for about 45 minutes to let it cool down. Luckily it restarted fine and didn't seem to have any troubles the rest of the way. We wanted to do Brown's Peak and I'd never gone up Alder Saddle before so I figured a little bushwacking adventure would be a good time. The Four Peaks trail was beautiful as always-- really nice views of Roosevelt Lake and a good breeze most of the way.

We made it to Alder Saddle Trail and it became a bushwack within probably 100 feet. That trail is completely overgrown off and on for about a third of it. I'm not talking about short brush but over your head overgrown. You can barely make out the trail coming from the Four Peaks trail direction but coming back from the other way, its almost impossible to find in places. At times, it does open up nicely for short stretches, though. I would imagine that if there's not some maintenance done on this trail by the end of summer, Tonto is allowing it to be reclaimed by nature and taking it off the maps. The trail is completely gone way before HAZ's trip description describes.

Once the trail ends, it becomes less of a bushwack and more of a bulldoze. Seven foot tall brush and thick as can be-- my arms are completely cut up for proof. We tried a whole array of routes and after being stuck in cages of brush and falling through countless rotten logs and spider nests, Nothing was getting done and it seemed as if we were getting nowhere (probably because we weren't). In hindsight, I have a couple ideas but that didn't help me yesterday. We were beat and amongst our laughter finally admitted defeat. It was fun, though. We made our way back to the trail which was no easy task either and eventually after losing the Alder trail off and on, got back to the Four Peaks trail.

Planning this trip, I new that Four Peaks trail was an easy way in and then getting up Alder Saddle to Brown's Peak and over would be a major grunt. I also planned for getting back to the TH from the other side of Brown's being an easy downhill end to a tough trail. Well, we didn't make it that far and coming back on the Four Peaks trail was brutal at times especially following our bushwack and bulldozing mess. We finally got back to the TH and couldn't be happier to be there. Though we only did 9.5 miles total, it turned out to be one of my rougher hiking experiences and my arms are a cut up and stinging mess.

My lesson for this hike: when doing a bushwack and the most recent triplogs for that hike are over two years old-- be ready for anything!
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243 Photosets

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