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.
dogs on leash
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.
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!!
March 14, 2017
1 hr 10 minutes from 87 to parking F 150 in 2 wheel dr. No issues but defiantly need the clearance
4 hr round trip to the summit with our party of 9
Ages 55 to 75.
Definitely need some climbing skills for the last part of the chute to the summit. High quality hand holds so No one had a problem descending
Great views from the top
Some of the reviews state they would recommend a 4x4. If you are coming in from the four peaks road you definitely need a 4-wheel drive vehicle. We had a jeep and it was 2wd and it got stuck a few times and the roads were very tough on the car.
The hike was nice. Snow make the conditions tougher and the trail is hard to follow at times. There is no signage. You have to be good with climbing and heights to make it to the top. One hiker noticed fresh bear tracks so be careful and come prepared.
We took the other road out towards Roosevelt lake. Roads were in better shape but still rough. Put us out almost to Payson so drive was a lot longer.
Attempted the summit halfway through a 150-mile solo dirtbike ride at 2:30PM. I consider myself an experienced, regular hiker (no mountaineering experience) but couldn't reach the summit safely. Temperature wasn't an issue, but snow/ice-covered scree led to no sure footing. Evening and freezing temps were approaching, forming some falling scree as I ascended 1/3 way up the chute. I turned around at that point, but I'm sure a pair of crampons and an earlier start would have gotten me to the top. Without snow/ice, I'd consider this no more difficult than the Cholla or Echo Canyon trails in town, but its potential for death should not be forgotten.
Beautiful hike and view, though, with a clear view of Humphrey's Peak 115mi to the north. The hike also showcases breathtaking evidence of the 1996 Lone Fire. The hike from the parking lot to the saddle and camp is easy for a family and a perfect opportunity for parents to teach children the importance of fire safety.
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!
great hike but rough drive to th. worth it
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.
Awesome hike and views both of saguaro and Roosevelt lake . The end can feel a little sketchy during high winds.
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.
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;) )