OverviewSierra Club’s Desert Peak Section list. The mountain was named for Charles G. Brown, an early resident of Brownsville. The town of Brownsville is known today as Tecopa since it was renamed in 1877 for Chief Tecopa, a spiritual leader of the local Pauite people. Brownsville was established by William D. Brown and Robert D. Brown, early prospectors of the Resting Springs area. The Brown brothers struck it rich in 1875 with their prospect which they named Balance and quickly founded the Balance Consolidated Gold and Silver Mining Company.
Anticipating a localized gold rush the Brown Brothers quickly established Browsnville, and just as expected, 400 prospectors soon inhabited the town. Charles G. Brown initially lived in Brownsville which coincidentally carried the same last name as his, before moving on to Greenwater and then Shoshone where he became the sheriff. He was an influential member of the community and later served as a California state senator for 25 years. The general store in Shoshone, as well as Highway 127 and Brown Peak are all named after him.
The first recorded ascent of Brown Peak was made in 1949 by a survey party. However, this is almost certainly not the first ascent of the peak. The whole area was widely explored by prospectors and native people also likely ventured here on hunting trips well before recorded history. The mountain is not exceptionally high or difficult to climb and makes for a great view point. These factors combined are suggestive of earlier ascents.
The standard west route up the peak starts on the Deadmans Pass road west of the peak and ascends 1950 feet in 3 miles. It is a class 2 route however there is class 3 potential without exposure depending on your route-finding choices.
Standard West Route Description
Below Brown Peak you should see a blackish mound which will be the first thing you come to after crossing the open desert. Aim for the right side of this gentle mound and pass south of it going over a small pass and then drop down into the main wash west of the peak. Chalcedony geodes can be found here.
From the head of the wash ascend a gully northward or along the left side of it to a small pass just east of Point 3820. Turn east and ascend a slabby ramp to another pass at 3950 feet, south of Point 4210. From this pass you should be looking at the northwest face of Brown Peak.
The broad slope below the west ridge encompasses two lighter colored ribs of rock divided by a depression. Ascend left rib to access the west ridge at 4500 feet. You might find bits of agate in or above the lighter colored rock. Scramble up the west ridge to the summit plateau where the Evelyn benchmark and register are located.