There are three distinct topographic zones within the area: The craggy summits of the peaks, the complex series of ridges and drainages below the peaks, and the area of bluffs and short deep gorges bordering Apache and Canyon Reservoirs.
Elevations vary from 1,600 feet near Mormon Flat Dam to 7,657 feet at the summit of Brown's Peak, the northern-most and highest of the four peaks.
Four Peaks Wilderness was established in 1984, and contains approximately 60,740 acres with a major mountain rising up in its center from the desert foothills. The Four Peaks themselves are visible for many miles, and the rapid change in elevation produces interesting plant combinations. The Peaks are located in the southern end of the Mazatzal mountain range, in eastern Maricopa County and western Gila County. It lies about 20 air-miles northeast of Apache Junction, looking down on Roosevelt Reservoir to the east, and Apache Reservoir to the south.
Those with an interest in geology find much to study in this area. The main bulk of the peaks consists of Precambrian granites and schists, clearly exposed along Buckhorn Ridge and in Boulder and Cottonwood Canyons. A cap of deformed shale and quartzite, also of Precambrian age, forms the sheer face of the peaks themselves. Farther to the south, the Painted Cliffs are composed of volcanic tuffs and ash flows of the Cenezoic age. They were deposited during the same time period as similar formations in the nearby Superstition Wilderness. The time differential between the formation of these volcanic formations and the underlying Precambrian strata is estimated at two to three billion years. The peaks themselves are visible for long distances in all directions, and are well known landmarks in central Arizona.
|Range/Region:||Southwest Basins and Ranges|
|Best months for climbing:||Feb, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov|
|Nearest major airport:||Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl|
|Convenient Center:||Fountain Hills/Mesa/Scottsdale|
Download any of the following KML maps for use in the full screen Google Earth application: Southwest Basins and Ranges, Intermountain West, or North America. For more information, see our Google Earth page.
There are 2 trip reports for Four Peaks.
- Log #16836 - by
Steven Cross on July 09, 2003Attemped to do all four of the Four Peaks. Started with the Southernmost and only had time to do 2 of them. Did this with members from Hikearizona.com. This hike was hell.
- Log #16837 - by
Steven Cross on July 10, 2003Hike up the scree chute in the snow. Very intense in the snow, but fun. Great climb and one of the best around Phoenix.