Maricopa County Highpoint Trip Report
Date: December 15, 2006
Author: Andy Martin
The view from the top seemed to cover about half the state, including CoHPs
Graham, Lemmon/Pinal, Humphreys, Baldy, Union, Gila points, and possibly
Harquahala and Greenlee. I think Browns Peak is in the running for "finest"
viewpoint in AZ, with criteria:
We wanted to locate an "all brush" route that avoided any rock climbing or exposure.
you get a great view of the two most popular routes on Browns. They both look pretty exciting.
The "couloir" route follows the huge gully just west of the summit
but we opted for the brush route, which follows a clearly visible line of vegetation in the bottom of a
This route starts at about 6,960 feet elevation, on a flat section of the ridge,
at a large rock fire circle. At this point you leave the main "herd path" and contour east to a
The slope you contour on has seen a big fire, and several large tree trunks are
crossed while making the traverse. Using hand clippers, I was able to clear
some small brush along the use route. These clip marks can be used to identify
the approximate route all the way to the top.
After making the traverse, you ascend the brushy gully to about
The primary difficulty is the steep and loose ground, which is bothersome on the
ascent, and slippery on the descent.
After reaching the landmark shown above we drifted too far north and got cliffed-out about
We dropped down a bit, contoured southeast, and then ascended a fairly open 30 foot wide sloping "ledge" to
At this point we were perhaps 30 feet vertical under the summit, with a class 2+
slightly exposed ridge climb to the summit, which everyone managed to ascend.
On our descent from the tip-top, a couple of us explored a steep brushy gully
that descends due east from the HP. It merges with the main use route after
about a 200-foot descent. This route could be used by those uncomfortable with
the class 2+ ridge climb.
Future parties are encouraged to continue improvements on the "brush" route -
cairns marking the optimal path would be handy, as would more work with hand clippers.
- Counting actual peaks seen from the summit.
Being treeless, Browns has an advantage over Lemmon or Graham.
- Count only AZ peaks. Browns is centrally located.
- For CoHP fanciers, tally the CoHPs seen. For prominence folks,
count 2K peaks: over 20 are visible from Browns' summit.