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Brown's Peak
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mini location map2014-04-10
4 by photographer avatarmuskybankr
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Brown's PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 10 2014
Hiking5.20 Miles 2,064 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles   4 Hrs   50 Mns   1.16 mph
2,064 ft AEG      20 Mns Break11 LBS Pack
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Since most of my hiking buddies are snowbirds, as am I, we thought this would be a good day to knock off Brown’s Peak to end our season, seeing that Phoenix was predicting temps in the 90’s. I hadn’t done Brown’s Peak in a couple of years and read Tibber’s triplog to see if they’d moved the mountain or anything. My email list was so sufficiently impressed with this triplog that only one guy signed up and we were both aware that it is possible to fall on a flat rock when you’re least expecting it. This awareness served its purpose so we both came through this relatively physically unscathed; thank you, Tibber, and it is in that spirit of a cautionary tale that I write this. However, we should have more closely followed Teva Joe’s admonition that first timers should be content with reaching the saddle and come back another day to climb the scree chute. The head wall at about 7500 feet, which is easily evaded by squiggling around to the left and up reminded my partner of this admonition and, not wanting to invoke bad karma, voted to squiggle back down. He failed to be impressed by my scrambling around to the left and appearing above him, so karma being what it is, we descended. Back at the saddle, he thought we might use up the few minutes of time we’d saved by exploring the little used trail just below the saddle which is said to connect with #130, the Four Peaks Trail, and returns to the Lone Pine TH. I had done the neighboring trail, Chillicut, #132, a few years ago, which was an overgrown Manzanita monster with downed trees all over the place and no trail at all to speak of but this memory didn’t really surface until we lost what little trail there was and were left to the Manzanitas and thorn bushes. I had worn long hiking pants for the ascent and zipped down to shorts for the short trip down from the saddle. This was a big mistake once we opted for the exploration. For some reason, our orienteering decisions, once we lost the trail, would probably not have won us any prizes. Not really able to see much, we stopped searching for #130 about 400 feet above the trail itself and should not have been surprised we couldn’t find it. Then we were cut off from just following the level topography back around the ridges to the Lone Pine TH by a rather deep drainage so we had to bushwhack some 500 feet in elevation back to the #133, a strenuous mistake for old men in 85 degree weather, fighting our way up a steep grade. So, in addition to flat rocks that smack you in the eye, there are other things to be aware of when hiking in the four peaks.

The 20 miles of bad road coming to the trailhead seemed rougher than usual and the trails up from the saddle more deeply worn. There were a lot of loose rocks in the chute, which you’d expect. Except that there were also some ten and twenty pounders that you might think of using to pull yourself up with but they were also loose and went tumbling down the chute. Not what you’d want to see coming at you. Lupine were in gay profusion all the way to about 6350 feet, when they likewise sensed bad karma above and stopped growing. The mocha frappe grandes put a whipped cream cap on a grand work out and a frustrating day. We’ll try again this fall
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
lupine very robust until 6350', not much else
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