Browns Peak via Brown's Trail

HARD 25 reviews
#7 of 84 trails in

Browns Peak via Brown's Trail is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tortilla Flat, AZ that features a great forest setting and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.1 miles 1982 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

views

scramble

snow

1 month ago

2 months ago

camping
5 months ago

One of my best experiences as a beginner hiker.

This trail was probably the second hardest one I've done. I do feel like Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback Mountain is a little harder. All the boulder climbing on this trail was fun to me and not too challenging. This was accomplished in the month of May 2016.

We drove up there later in the day considering it was last minute planning. My boyfriend has been up there once before and is an avid hiker. I had yet to have the pleasure of climbing The Four Peaks Mountain. The Bronco got through the dirt road pretty well (Phoenix 18 mile side), wouldn't recommend a car, Absolutely gorgeous hike up to the camp grounds passing fresh lavender fields and pine trees as well as a botanical type garden. The sun started to come down pretty fast and had to set up camp at the second campground. We set up the tent and a fire gathering all the dry brush and wood we could find. The stars were breath taking as well as some bright city lights coming from the south end. I would recommend a zero degree sleeping back considering it got super clothes and we were layered, We woke up the next morning right next to Browns Peak!!! Such a neat thing to do. We continued on our journey with NO MORE WATER lol (there was some down in the truck but not worth the trek back up). Was totally doable and fun. Using muscles you usually wouldn't but still having total control. Once you get over a handful of big accomplishments and you get through the scree chute the view is impeccable. See it for yourself.

I would one day love to summit ALL FOUR PEAKS!!

Definitely need to plan your route, bring enough water and snacks for up top and a first aid kit (always). Wouldn't recommend bringing any pets and always tell someone where you went! Happy hiking!

6 months ago

great hike but rough drive to th. worth it

6 months ago

Alright, so I'm going to start with what I didn't expect...the drive to the trail head. There are two routes, we chose the way closest to Phoenix. This is an 18+ mile dirt road that's narrow at times and take an hour in a half to drive. I would highly recommend a high clearance truck.

The hike itself was amazing. ⅔ of it seems like a stroll in the woods, but the last ⅓ (the chute) is where the fun begins. Once you get to this part, IT IS NOT DOG FRIENDLY. The chute is at least a 70 degree angle with some 10ft 90 degree angle climbs. Make sure you have the ability to come down before you go up. High winds add a degree of difficulty, too.

All-in-all, it's well worth the trip. I would not recommend this to new hikers or people who aren't okay with scrambling.

6 months ago

7 months ago

Awesome hike and views both of saguaro and Roosevelt lake . The end can feel a little sketchy during high winds.

hiking
7 months ago

Spectacular hike yesterday April 23. Was a bit windy at the top but enjoyed the spectacular views and cooler weather. Was disappointed that some fellow hikers left their trash at the top. I took down a couple of water bottles but there is still more up there. Just a reminder to haul out what you haul in and keep our beautiful open land the way it was when you found it.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail with great views at the top. Spring flowers were really nice too. A bit technical at the top (watch out for a hidden cactus in handholds). Tricky to keep to the right route coming down, in order to miss taking the scree slope down.

About 20 miles of dirt road to get there, which in itself is great fun (especially as I was driving the fastest car on earth - a rental car;) )

hiking
7 months ago

This is a short moderate hike that will get the heart rate up a little and even more if you drop down on the back side and come back up and over for a 1.5 hour hike. Great views from the top of Brown's Peak.

hiking
8 months ago

Excellent to spend the night camping then hike in the morning.

8 months ago

Great, cool, views

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike even when its covered in snow.

11 months ago

hiking
1 year ago

This was my favorite hike when I lived in AZ. It was a great way to get out of the city and get some views that aren't full of plants that want to kill you (not that I don't like cacti, this was just a good change of pace.) Even in late April there was snow just above the saddle which made for some nice off-trail excursions. The views of the lake and the valley are great.

hiking
1 year ago

Loved the hike! The Kia Soul made it just fine!

hiking
1 year ago

Not strenuous, but definitely the most dangerous and technical of any summit hike I have done out of the 17 hikes so far this year. Not for the faint of heart or beginners. Epic view from the top! The trail leading to and from the major peak is pleasant but easy to lose sight of the trail at times. The drive to lone pine saddle trailhead is 19 miles of 13 mph driving over narrow, curvy, hilly, bumpy dirt road from the beeline highway turnoff. At least 7 inches of vehicle ground clearance is recommended!

hiking
2 years ago

Love this hike! My buddy and I went to do the Mother Load, but he got sick, so we just did Brown's Peak. We did it in early January, so there was still a lot of ice and snow on the trail. We camped at the trail head and did a night expedition to the saddle, with a full moon (and if you're already familiar with the trail) is pretty spectacular. We started early the next morning. The first couple miles were standard fare with beautiful views of Roosevelt Lake. About half mile from the saddle we encountered some ice, but my Merrel's treked me through like a champ. The wind was blowing a gale at the saddle, but we worked our way up to the scree chute and the wind subsided. The scree chute is what truly makes this trail. It's like free climbing a honey comb, there's a million spots to hold onto. There's one spot that's kinda tricky, where you almost have to climb back out over the chute and then zig zag your way around. You'll figure it out when you come to the "how the hell am I supposed to climb over that" moment. After that It's pretty easy, If your go to the false saddle near the top, don't fret, just back track a little and go up! Sipping bourbon on top of a mountain is the best way to sip bourbon. Enjoy!

hiking
3 years ago

This is a fantastic hike with amazing views! At the trail head, the signs are a bit ambiguous as to which trail is which. In order to get to Brown's Peak with the shorter, steeper hike, take the trail on the right. The first mile and a half (or a little more) is pretty straight forward: follow the path and keep breathing. I would rate this portion of the trail as easy. The final ascent to the peak is definitely not easy, but manageable without gear; there are plenty of good hand holds. The climb takes as much mental fortitude as it does physical stamina. In my opinion, the trip down was easier than going up, but to each his own. Depending on the time of year you do this hike, there could be numerous butterflies and lady buys waiting for you at the top. The squirrels are also very friendly and not afraid to beg for handouts. In general, as another reviewer said, from Phoenix this will be an all day event. You should plan on at least a two hour drive to get to the trail head. Our hike was about 4-5 hours, but we took a pretty languid pace and hung out at the top for a while. In general, highly recommended.

hiking
3 years ago

Brown's Peak Trail is a great diversion from the heat of the desert floor below. Beware, from Phoenix, it will be an all day affair. The 18 mile route on Forest Road 143 from the Beeline Highway is a picturesque way to begin the day. The hike itself is a fairly moderate climb through ponderosa forest (recovering from the fire in 1996) Brown's Saddle. That's where the fun begins. The scramble up from the saddle is certainly memorable. The goal is to make it to the scree chute and then clamber to the top. About 3/4 of the way up the chute is a rock wall approximately 15 feet high that requires some technical climbing. There is a community rope (not necessary to use) to provide some mental reinforcement. The handholds are strong. There was still some snow when we went, and I think we would have turned around had there been ice. After that wall, it's another quick scramble to the top of Maricopa County. The views are amazing. We could barely make out the snow capped summit of Humphrey's Peak north of Flag. The climb down is equally (if not more difficultly) challenging as you can see how steep the ascent is up the chute. Highly recommended hike.