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Fraser - Randolph LoopGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 05 2014
Hiking10.83 Miles 1,333 AEG
Hiking10.83 Miles   7 Hrs   33 Mns   1.72 mph
1,333 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
1st trip
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We wanted to get a hike in before the heat and before Jack left. We had a Plan B but it wasn't necessary as the weather cooperated very nicely thank you.
Tonto Jr. would get another test of its ability taking the 172 to Woodbury TH. Seemed to do fine and my confidence in the vehicle is building. We arrived ahead of schedule as the drive in was about 10-15 minutes less than the various maps said. The road is in decent enough shape; especially once you turn off from 172 to Woodbury. We did see a roadrunner that had to fly to get out of the way.

We started our hike heading to the JF Trail. I remembered the entry into Randolph from the Cat Claw Revenge event back in March 2009. The hike toward the canyon entry is beautiful too. Kelly spotted a couple javelina but all I saw was their rumps. As we got closer to the canyon we spotted quite a bit of water in the drainage :) . THIS was quite a surprise as we expected to see very little if any water.

As we entered the canyon the fun began with the beautiful Randolph rocks :D . We traversed thru the fairly flat canyon enjoying every turn not knowing what was ahead. Jack spotted some "bling" rocks that were coming from a drainage. We went up the drainage a bit to see and found lots more "mica-laden" rocks.

We eventually came to the fence Lee had mentioned in his hike description. I took the long way to the south rather than go under (actually it was just up the embankment and down). We came to some white smooth rock area and a larger pool where we stopped for a break which was about 1/2 way down the Canyon. On the other side of the pool some frogs were spotted so we enjoyed them for a bit. It was cool to hear them un-plop out of the mud.

We continued down the canyon trying to take it all in.
I did end up twisting my ankle. I have never done that in my limited years of hiking. I was able to walk it off; though it was a bit sore and was sore for a couple days :-({|= . It shakes your confidence a little. However, the scenery made me soon forget the incidental pain. This is one time when looking down is not such a bad thing because the rocks are so pretty and different. I have to say I was quite pleased with Randolph Canyon as it lived up to what I thot it would be and more.

We were delighted to get to the red rock section and explored around here a bit. It really is something and there was lots of water :DANCE: including running water with several pools. And before you knew it we were just to this side of Dripping Springs where we finally got to have lunch. It took us a bit longer than I anticipated to reach this 6 1/2 mile point (about 4 1/2 hours with one snack break). It wasn't like we were in a hurry but I always try to guestimate timing.

Now for Part II of our loop: Fraser Canyon. I was pleasantly surprised at what Fraser Canyon threw out at us. It was actually shaded in parts as we came in and out of the creek/drainage. There was lots of varying size flora including some huge prickly pear and some funky saguaros. There was quite a variance in the rock too and you had great views on both sides :y: .... AND, there was actually a trail from time to time. I would start getting tired but then the canyon would re-charge me with the scenery as I filmed my way up.

We started this section at 2 and were done by 4:20ish. However, it was only 4 1/3 miles with the steepest part being that stupid road ](*,) we opted to hike instead of the trail after JF Ranch. As we got in the ranch area the cairn contents were like works of art; just beautiful as we admired almost everyone that we passed. We did do some rock collecting on this trip. Kelly found this beauty that was bigger than her hand that she lugged up the hill (didn't even slow her down :lol: ) as Jack and I would stop now and then to enjoy the view ;) .

I took a lot of video and was disappointed in how the colorful creek/drainage bed looked more white than color. I guess when I do this type of hiking I need to point my camera more down than up and perhaps that will pick up the color bed. Truly, these canyons have colorful rocks to constantly admire.

Thanks Kelly and Jack for indulging me with this loop. It met expectations plus some. And of course being with you two is always so comfortable for me and always a pleasurable experience despite my getting beat up by the various flora along the way :oplz: .

On a side note: (I have to say I'm quite annoyed with Scout II constantly adding mileage. This trip it showed 11.44 miles but Mapsource/HAZ shows 10.83 after I load the route from Scout II: both Kelly and Jack's GPS's were showing closer to what Mapsource/HAZ did. How can I count on Scout II if I need to make a turn or find a location? I know a lot of you have a 450 and don't complain about the mileage difference so I must have a setting screwed up :oops: :x . Guess I'll keep trying.)

Video of Randolph Canyon:

Video 1 was hung up in youtube's stabilizer for 6 days (seems to be taking longer than normal unless this is the new normal as I was pretty shaky hiking down a creek bed). From Woodbury TH to and on JF Trail into Canyon
Video 2 in the canyon to a little past the stock fence -
Video 3 includes the frogs
Video 4
Video 5 deeper into the canyon
Video 6 the red rock and water area

FRASER CANYON videos, these turned out pretty nice I think as the sun was behind us and so the color was much better:
Fraser 1 -
Fraser 2 - including the Fraser canyon gate
Fraser 3 - including JF Ranch
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
did see some cluster of poppies and desert phlox with occasional hedgehogs blooming.
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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