Browns Peak via Brown's Trail

HARD 62 reviews
#7 of 93 trails in

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

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1952 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

snow

hiking
1 day ago

This is a excellent and challenging hike, due to the technical climb the last 1/4 mile to the summit. You are required to climb almost vertical rock face and at times make your own path through the chute & on to the summit, there is little margin for error here. BUT if you enjoy climbing and a good workout the view is 100% worth it. Watch out for cactus in the foot and handle holds! Take your time navigating the summit, there are no trail markings and its easy to get lost trying to find your way back down. Few nice areas to camp along the way up.
You can get to the trail head two ways, Off AZ 87 via FSR 143 (Cline Cabin Rd) or off AZ 188 via El Oso Rd. The FSR 143 route will take you almost an hour to hit the trail head, a 4x4 vehicle with some clearance is recommended. (A sedan on this road would be a nightmare). I've read traveling from El Oso Rd is a little more manageable. Don't forget to enjoy the ride in, Tonto's scenery is absolutely breathtaking and always wild.

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful views, super smooth trail until just past the saddle. Easy to lose the trail at ths top but worth finding it.

hiking
22 days ago

What a journey! It was quite a drive out there. I took 88 to 188. 88 is a lot of dirt road. Some of it is single-lane. But it's good scenery. It goes by Canyon Lake. Lots of windy road. And I'm glad I had my 4x4 for the drive from 188 to the trailhead. That certainly made it easier, I'm sure.

The hike was pretty easy for most of it. The first 2 miles is just a steady little incline. There was some bush and trees overgrowth on the path. So wear pants if you're worried about getting your legs scratched up (I wore shorts...wasn't too bad. I got a few scrapes). Once you get to the Y where the trail splits, you start climbing. Not so bad at first. Then it gets steeper and trickier. From this point, it's an extremely difficult and dangerous hike. It's mainly dangerous because of the loose gravel and stones. Very easy to slip (especially coming down!). It reminds me of Flatrock, as in you go straight up the wash until it ends. But unlike Flatrock (where you turn right at the top), here you start climbing up the left just before the very top of the wash. It's really easy to miss it. I passed it and spent 10 minutes looking around trying to find the trail. I should have taken pics to post. But you get GPS through the app for most of the trail (although I still couldn't find it for awhile). When I did find it, it's a short, sketchy climb to the top. Amazing view! It's quite an awesome hike! I just wish it was better marked. Maybe someone can take some spray paint and mark the trail a bit.

As I said, lots of loose rock. Be extremely careful coming down! And look out for people above and below you as rocks skid down the wash a lot!

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely not a beginner trail, it is easy to get lost up here so go with a gps if your land nav skills are lacking. I came across 2 lost hikers up near the sumit last time. They yelled to me from the next ridge over stating they were lost. I was able to use a whistle to guide them to my position and was able to help them back down to the parking lot from there. They got lucky because I was the only other soul on the mountain. Anyway, Just a fair warning that this terrain is rugged and unforgiving and extremely remote. Bring plenty of water! With all of that said this is the best trail to hike in the area. It's challenging enough and the views are to die for!!

hiking
1 month ago

Intense but wonderful! I would rate this hike as difficult because of both terrain and elevation. Word of caution, I have personally hiked this as late as April and had snow and ice at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic hike! Take El Oso Rd in and out of Four Peaks, the other way in off the 87 is rough. Otherwise, great views, well worth the hike.

2 months ago

This one was one of my favorite hikes. Even if you only make it to the saddle and not the peak, you are in for a treat. If you are able, I strongly recommend you climb to the peak. It is a pretty decent climb to the peak, so if you are not found of having little foot space and grasping onto rocks I wouldn't recommend going that far. (I posted pics that show the climb) But from the peak, the beauty of Arizona's landscape comes in masses and is almost overwelming. This is a sight that I will never forget. IF YOU GET THE CHANCE, HIKE THIS!!!

Ps. I recommended taking the back road from 188. The road is all dirt but very compacted compared to the other suggested.

2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

Very difficult for a first timer(or maybe it was just for me lol), but very fun and worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

The view from the peak cannot be beat! On a clear day you can see all the way to Mt. Humphrey's! Like other's have said, the actual hike isn't really that hard - the first 4/5 of it are very moderate, more like a walk in the woods. However, the last 1/5 of the hike is pretty much a technical climb. I absolutely loved this part because I love climbing, but be aware if you aren't prepared for a very steep albeit short technical climb to reach the actual peak. Dogs will not make it to the peak due to the steepness of the last bit. My boyfriend and I joked that the hardest part of this hike was actually the drive to the trailhead! We took the route from Phoenix that you'll get if you click "directions" on all trails and map from Phx., Even though we had a high clearance truck, we struggled. It is 18 miles of off-roading. If you have access to an ATV or some other off-roading vehicle, that would be the best vehicle to take to this trail. However, after the hike we took the "back way" out because we didn't want to tackle the off-roading again. The "back way" is only about 10 miles of dirt road, and its actual dirt road, not off-roading. It adds an additional 50 miles to your trip, but is actually about the same in terms of time because most of the drive is highway. Next time I do this hike, I'll definitely take the back way both in and out unless I can get my hands on a dirt bike or ATV! The entrance to the dirt road that brings you in the back way is right before mile marker 255 along Hwy 188. Follow the dirt road for about 10 miles and you will find the trailhead!

hiking
3 months ago

I love coming up Browns. It's a great way to see the entire valley (both sides) from a vantage point that isn't crowded. The drive to the parking lot is long and I would say probably requires a 4x4 of some kind. The trail is easy until the very end. I would recommend not getting caught in the dark (I did once and it was a pain getting back down). It's an all day adventure with the drive from Phoenix but totally worth it!

3 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

A great hike and climb. Starts out very moderate -- quite deceiving compared to the rock climbing you'll do at the end! Amazing view, and would be even better on a clear day. Would recommend bringing some gloves or an extra layer of clothing as it gets cooler as you go up.

hiking
4 months ago

4 Peaks/Brown's Peak. if you get there from Rd87, it is about 20 miles off road to the parking spot. The road was pretty ok for RWD truck.Try come from 188 it is 10miles less on off road. parking offers access to all 4 Peaks which starts as one Brown's peak trail at first. Climbing requires some level of skills. amazing view to and from the summits.

hiking
4 months ago

I don't have a high clearance vehicle so was skeptical about taking the route from Phoenix. I found these directions that talk about going around the mountain and coming to the trailhead from the east and it worked out great. http://www.toddshikingguide.com/Hikes/Arizona/Tonto/Tonto4.htm Still had about a 40 minute drive on a dirt road once you turn in off route 188 but it wasn't bad. My Hyundai Accent made it just fine as long as you take it slow. A lot of ATV's come flying around the corners so keep a lookout.

I did this hike solo last week. Weather was great and although there was snow all along the side of the mountain it was not cold at all on top. The first two miles were pretty easy and mainly just a steady incline. Once you get to the fire pit is where the scrambling really begins. Very steep and pretty narrow at times but for the most part you can always tell where to put your hands etc. A lot of loose rocks so if you're hiking with people make sure to pay attention of falling rocks. Coming down wasn't too bad as long as you go slow although I did go far off trail at one point by not paying attention. Agree with the statement below that it is not as physically exhausting at Flat Iron however a lot more technical climbing. How I described it to someone at the trailhead was - for those who have climbed Flat Iron and remember that last steep climb straight up before you get to the top.... That's what Brown's Peak is like for the last 1/4 to 1/2 mile.

hiking
4 months ago

Spectacular views! Hike was definitely a challenge but doable. Despite the loose rock (scree) everyone warns of in the chute, there were still solid places to grab hold of with both your hands and feet. I feel that Flatiron was more difficult as far as physical exertion goes, and this was more difficult in the technical sense with regard to climbing (but again totally doable). Totally worth it!!

hiking
4 months ago