Brown's Mountain Summit

This hike is rated INTERMEDIATE.

 

Hike Starts at 5:15 a.m.

This hike will depart 30 minutes after the gate opens during the summer months!  Plan to meet at the trailhead by 0500!

This breathtaking hike is in the new Brown’s Ranch Area of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  You will be amazed at the spectacular desert views.  Saguaros are abundant due to the higher elevation!  This is a chance for you to see unusual desert plants and possibly more wildlife.

The trails are new, well-groomed, and fairly soft. There are some areas of deep sand & dirt that will make you feel like you are trudging at a beach.

We will be heading up Brown’s Mountain, so there will be some quick elevation gain. Breathing might be a little harder for some who have only hiked in central Phoenix, at lower elevations. When we reach BT4, some Group members may choose to ascend Brown’s Summit Spur while less experienced hikers can remain at a wonderful scenic overlook.

Caution: The Summit Spur is steep, narrow, and slippery in spots so there will be some struggling. At the top, you will be rewarded with stunning new views of the North Valley, but you can also see Squaw Peak and part of Camelback Mountain and beyond between two buttes.

But that is only part of the journey! We will still have 2.5 miles to loop around Brown’s Mountain with many, many ups + downs before we get back to the TH. Can you say, “breakfast now!”

Please consider your physical condition and hiking abilities very seriously before submitting your RSVP for this hike. While I very much enjoy introducing new hikes for the Phoenix 2-Hour Beginner Hikers, this is probably not a good option for your “first-time” hike.

This hike will be cross-posted with Trail Mix. We will keep a beginner’s pace, though moderate, and we will take rest breaks for water frequently.

We need to leave ON TIME because of the heat and sun blast.

Bring plenty of water and PLEASE wear a hat or head-covering. We tend to lose the wind this time of year, especially during the mornings so sweat will be abundant. Also consider bringing a bandana, a towel, or other wrap-around cooling cloths.

The City of Scottsdale already has the new maps stocked at the TH, but feel free to print them out in advance from the link below.

 

DISTANCE:  4.2 miles roundtrip


ELEVATION GAIN: Almost 550 feet


TRAIL STYLE: Loop, with one spur and scenic lookout area


DURATION:  2.5 to 3.0 hours


DOGS: Yes, if leashed


FACILITIES: Restrooms and water at the TH; dog fountain also

 

WEBSITE: Trail Map

 

DIRECTIONS: The trailhead address is: 30301 North Alma School Parkway, Scottsdale, Arizona. To get there, take Scottsdale Road or Pima Road north to Dynamite Blvd. Head east on Dynamite. At Alma School Road turn left, and head north. The Google map link will show you where to head north.

(Dynamite changes to Rio Verde Drive at this intersection, so don't get confused.)

Another option is going east on E. Happy Valley Road to N. Alma School Road and then head north.

If you are coming from Fountain Hills, just take Rio Verde Drive.

** The TH is approximately one mile north of Dynamite Blvd. **

You will observe signs that say “No Outlet” and “Dead End”… just keep going! Parking for passenger vehicles is on the left.

Contact me via Meetup if you have questions.

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  • Lisa W.

    Hi Jim,

    So sorry I didn't make this hike! I accidentally set my alarm for 4:30PM instead of AM. Next time I'm so there!

    Lisa

    July 15, 2013

  • Rachel

    I hate to cancel, but I got the chance to hike Cibecue and can't pass that up. Hopefully someone enjoys my spot!!

    July 8, 2013

    • Rachel

      It was a difficult decision, believe me! I think I'm most upset about missing breakfast! ;)

      1 · July 14, 2013

    • BevW

      You were missed, but I hope you had a fabulous time at Cibecue! Looking forward to hiking with you in the near future! :)

      July 15, 2013

  • Theresa O.

    We missed you, Tony! Does this mean we won't see you tomorrow as well? Get better!

    July 13, 2013

    • Tony

      Thanks for the kind words, Theresa. I actually left for the trailhead this morning but realised I was doing something dumb, even by my standards. I was looking forward to this hike, catching up with everyone, and seeing whatever new gear you have brought now you are addicted, as we are. I had hoped to sleep off this infection, but that's not happening, so I'll give my place to someone else. See you all soon.

      1 · July 13, 2013

    • Jim K.

      Theresa, Beverly, and many of our Group will be there for you Tony when we do this hike again! For now, get some good sleep.

      1 · July 13, 2013

  • Ram

    This was a great hike, just like all of Jim's hikes! Breakfast afterwards was delicious at the Pinnacle Peak General Store!

    2 · July 13, 2013

  • Tasheel D.

    Absolutely great hike, really enjoyed the views and the group!

    2 · July 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was a great hike with even better people. The scenery was gorgeous and the view spectacular. :). Thanks Jim and Beverly....can't wait for the next outing. Great leadership from these two, I agree.

    2 · July 13, 2013

  • Jim K.

    Whow, everybody, whow! A fantastic, healthy hike followed by a fantastic, healthy breakfast! What a great morning it was. I was super-pleased to meet some new folks this morning, and to see some old – I mean, recurring – faces.

    I cannot imagine sweating any more profusely than I did THIS morning; however, there was that illusion of ‘cool’ [wet] air at the beginning of the hike. Did you feel it too? I really appreciate that everyone was on time. Thank you. That is truly remarkable. And some who could not make it called, texted or sent e-mail – conscientious people here in this Group!

    Thanks for the positive feedback on the hike. We’ll do it again pretty soon, I think. Mucho appreciation goes to Beverly, as always, for her determined assistance on our hikes.

    1 · July 13, 2013

  • Chuck

    Very nice hike. Jim again demonstrated superir leadership. Especially enjoyed being part of a group of so many friendly hikers and dogs.

    1 · July 13, 2013

  • John J

    What a niceark Brown's Ranch is. Can't wait to explore some more trails. Thanks Jim and Beverly for all you do!

    2 · July 13, 2013

  • Jim K.

    This is a wonderful scenic part of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

    July 13, 2013

  • Theresa O.

    Beautiful hike with great company! Thanks, as always, Jim!

    2 · July 13, 2013

  • Tony

    I'm really, really, sorry, but I'm running a fever and have to back out.

    July 13, 2013

  • Lisa W.

    Sounds like fun! I'll be there!

    1 · July 11, 2013

    • Jim K.

      Boots and socks! Our destiny!

      July 11, 2013

    • BevW

      Glad you're joining us, Lisa! Looking forward to hiking & breakfasting with you!

      July 12, 2013

  • Becca

    Plans changed and I am definitely going to have to do this hike next time.

    July 9, 2013

    • Jim K.

      I was looking forward to seeing you on this hike, Rebecca. Enjoy your weekend!

      1 · July 11, 2013

    • Becca

      Have a good hike, Jim. See you on the trail next time!

      1 · July 11, 2013

  • Karen

    I'm going to wait for the next hike as I've not been hiking in a while and want to start slow.

    July 9, 2013

    • Jim K.

      Good idea, Karen. There are other beginner hikes to consider.

      July 9, 2013

  • Galina

    Going to miss this hike, will be in CA. Have fun!!

    July 9, 2013

  • Jim K.

    Well now! This morning there was a good breeze going and late this afternoon there is a fine, strong wind. Now let’s wish for BOTH for Saturday morning ~ and some beneficial cloud cover ~ and we will have a fantastic hike!

    1 · July 9, 2013

  • Jo

    Hoping a spot opens up. Haven't done a hike in a while and looking to meet new people. ;).

    1 · July 8, 2013

  • Tasheel D.

    If a spot opens up, would be like to join this group. Would be me and the puppy.

    July 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to meeting all of you and sharing this hike.

    July 5, 2013

    • Jim K.

      We look forward to meeting you as well, Patrick.

      July 6, 2013

  • Cindy Smith E.

    What type of shoes to you recommend?

    July 5, 2013

    • Jim K.

      Cindy, I cannot recommend any specific type or brand of hiking shoe or boot. Please go to "PAGES" on this site and read "What to expect on a hike". There is a link to REI within this page titled "how to pick a good shoe". You will find all the information useful.

      Generally, I strongly recommend sturdy hiking boots for ALL hikes. I notice that you have signed up for the Lookout Mountain Circumference Trail Hike. Great! Although a short & easy hike, it is very rocky and full of stones so doing this hike in tennis shoes would not be wise. Some of my other hikes are on much softer trails, although these hikes are more difficult.

      Feel free to write me directly if you need more information. Thanks!

      July 5, 2013

  • Jim K.

    Mmm… I am anticipating another delicious breakfast with perfect orange juice on this date!

    1 · July 4, 2013

    • BevW

      Planning on it this time!

      1 · July 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Oops, probably should wait for the next one, just remembered I am not available that day.

    July 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I hope you do another one soon. I have a good friend coming in from out of town and will be at home that morning. :-)

      July 4, 2013

    • Jim K.

      I will, but I need to work on it to be fair to all...

      July 4, 2013

  • Rachel

    You betcha, I'll be there!!

    2 · July 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Should be an AMAZING hike!

    July 4, 2013

  • Karen

    I have been wanting to do this hike!

    1 · July 4, 2013

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