Maricopa County Highpoint Trip Report

Browns Peak

Date: September 10, 2008
Author: Andy Martin

Participants: Scott Cockrell, John and Renata Collard, Lisa Ann Hale,
Andy Martin, John and Kathy Mitchler, Patrick Thornley, Jim Wells

The weather for this hike started a bit dicey, with light monsoon rain as I drove through Globe at 7:30 AM. The rising sun illuminated a bright double rainbow and the top of Browns peak was socked in.

Fortunately, conditions cleared by the time we reached the trailhead at 9:30. We drove in on the El Oso road, which was in pretty decent shape, though it is a mountain road, with steep drop offs and no guardrails.

The group made good time from the 5700-foot start to the saddle at 6860 feet, where we took a break and surveyed the route ahead, a steep 800-foot climb.

Shortly after the saddle we contoured east into a brushy gully and followed this to the summit. Footing was slicker than normal due to recent rains but the clouds overhead provided welcome shade on what could have been a hot hike. Our fearless leader managed to lose the use route a time or two but not as badly as on the December 2006 trip, where substantial backtracking was needed.

We topped out about noon and enjoyed lunch. Clouds and haze limited the views to about 30 miles in most directions which was unfortunate, as this peak normally provides one of the best viewpoints in Arizona.

The summit photo shows the intrepid crew with Highpointers banner #299. From left to right in background: John M., Kathy, Jim, Scott, Renata, John C., Patrick, Lisa in the foreground.

I left some of Jack Longacre's cremation ashes at the top and mentioned that Jack played a role in the CoHP hobby. He ran some of the first CoHP state lists in the Highpointers newsletter, which introduced the idea to a large and receptive audience. In addition, the way that Jack founded and grew the Highpointers Club, with many volunteers helping out, serves as a good model for any group of hobbyists.

After lunch, we headed back down the brushy gully and managed the descent with only a few acrobatic pirouettes in the slick sections. It was nice to get back on the trail near saddle 6860 feet and we were back to the trailhead by about 2:30 or so.