MAY 4, 2013; SATURDAY
RSVP DEADLINE; May 3, 2013 @ 5:00 p.m.
Facilitator: David A.
Length: 5 miles +/-
Rating: MODERATELY DIFFICULT (because of the steep climb on the final ascent to the Peak); First portion of the hike is rated EASY.
Elevation Gain: 1,957 feet
Price: $1.00 per person, and share gas expense.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY.
Meet-up Location and Time: I will be at the Home Depot on Power and McKellips (a little south of the 202), in northeast Mesa, south end of the parking lot, in the center. Be there before 7:00 a.m. to leave promptly at 7:05 a.m.
Alternate suggested meet-up location: I-17 and Bell Rd., Fry’s parking lot, on west side. PLEASE STATE IN YOUR RSVP, WHERE YOU WILL MEET.
Brown’s Peak, in the Tonto Natl. Forest, is the highest point in Maricopa County, at 7,657 feet, with terrific 360 degree views. It is the highest of the “Four Peaks” visible from much of the valley. Some have called it “the Everest of Maricopa County”.
This hike can be broken into two phases:
1. The trail starts out with an easy, gradual incline gaining about 1,200 feet in 2 miles. We pass through beautiful forest and great views.
2. The remainder of the outbound portion, is steep, rocky, exhilarating, boulder hopping, and climbing. Some find it scary. Some do not. Fear of heights has prevented many hardy hikers from making it to the top.
But you don’t have to make it to the top. It’s all good. It’s about the journey. You are also welcome to come out and challenge yourself and see what you can do on that day. This is a good hike for such things.
Light gloves are recommended.
SPECIAL TECHNIQUE USED: In the final approach to the Peak, we come to “The Chute”. A special technique should be used here, to prevent hikers above you from setting loose rocks that accelerate, careen, and rebound wildly as they fly down the chute towards you. These rocks really can pick up speed, and this could be deadly.
To deal with this, we will go up the chute in groups of 3-4 only, with these small groups staying within 15 feet of each other, so the rocks don’t have time to accelerate before they hit someone. The rest of the group waits below, until the upper group clears the chute.
You may also choose to hike only to the saddle (right before it gets very steep), and picnic and enjoy the considerable views and frequent breeze. A camping pad would be nice to sit or lay on. It is sunny. That portion of the hike is rated “easy”. The photo in this write-up was taken from the saddle, after hiking the easy part.
We will drive there via Beeline Hwy. (AZ 87) to AZ 188 (along Roosevelt Lake) to El Oso Rd. (graded dirt road). Street cars should be fine on this road if you drive with some caution.
Instead of visiting a restaurant afterwards, bring some prepared picnic-type food, and some to share if you wish (optional), maybe a folding chair, for a tailgate party after the hike, before we descend back into the heat.
It will be less hot than in the valley. Check the weather report, for that area, before hiking. The peak is a lighting hazard if any should be in the area.
Bring rain gear, water, food, sunscreen, hat, sturdy footgear, gloves, and happiness.
Maybe food to share, and a folding chair.
This hike could be cancelled if lightning/storms are in the area.
There are no facilities or water at the trailhead. No dogs if attempting the peak.
Email, as needed, to discuss whether this hike is for you, or any other issues.