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Tip of the day

Understand and protect your sleeping bag's temperature rating! 
Remember, these are low-end, assisted ratings. 

1) You will need an insulated sleeping pad and some clothing layers to keep comfortable down to your bag's temperature rating.

2) Learn how to properly close and cinch your bag around your body to retain heat.

3) Store your bag by hanging it  - not crammed in the stuff sack. This keeps the fill from getting compressed and losing its insulating power.



Featured Trail

Brown's Peak/Amethyst/Four Peaks Loop - Arizona

Rating: Difficult

If you're looking for a scenic day hike close to the Phoenix area with AWESOME views, this is a great choice. It's a popular trail so you won't be alone.

The area burned a number of years ago but, except for some bare trees poking through the vegetation, you would never know. The growth on this trail is thick and recovering quite well. Juniper, oak, and lot's of manzanita line the trail and cover the mountain. The trail skirts the ridge to the northwest of Brown's Peak to the Brown's Peak saddle - where it meets the Amethyst trail.  Alone the way you get some fantastic views - south beyond the Phoenix metro area and north to Roosevelt lake and the Sierra Ancha mountains.

Summiting Brown's Peak involves climbing the prominent cleft in the mountain (can't miss it) - not for the unfit or trepidacious.  

You actually meet the Amethyst trail just before you reach Brown's Saddle (look for the sign for Brown's Trail - your only hint of the junction). You can choose to turn left onto the Amethyst trail and follow the ridge down to it's junction with the Four Peaks trail or, choose to return via the Brown's trail.

WARNING: The portion of Amethyst between Brown's and Four Peaks trails is NOT maintain (in spite of what you may read on other sites). It's definitely doable but be prepared for tough route finding and bush-whacking. 

Whether you do this as a turn-around or the loop the distance is 4 - 4.5 miles.     

Full Trail Report...

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