Maricopa County High Point Trip Report

Date: April 14, 2002
Author: Scott Casterlin

Led a group of nine of us from the local hiking club up Four Peaks (Brown's Peak). It was my third time to the top of this mountain, a landmark in the Phoenix area.

Here're some comments: the El Oso Road (FR 143), climbing up from the east side of the range, is in much, much better shape than the Four Peaks Road (also called FR 143) which approaches from the west off the Beeline Highway (AZ 87). If coming from the Phoenix area, you may want to grin and bear the extra miles to go around to the east side to the El Oso Road off AZ 188. A carefully-driven passenger car could make it this way.

Use the Brown's Peak Trail (not shown on the 1978 Four Peaks topo) from Lone Pine Saddle to Brown's Saddle. The trail, nicely graded, was recently cleared of all downfall from a big 1996 fire in the area and is in very good condition. From Brown's Saddle, where the trail officially ends, walk directly up toward the peak on a lesser trail up to a tight notch leading to a steep gully that was visible from the saddle. Always stay on a hiker-made route. Scramble up the steep gully, often using all four appendages to climb, and turn left at the top of it to get to the peak. Experience with steep rock scrambling helps here. If the gully spooks you, you can return to the saddle down a brushy slope immediately east of the peak. This route may also work for going up, but the brush points downhill! We literally could see much of the entire state from the top.

Allow 3-5 hours round-trip.