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Peak 4618 - Fraser Benchmark
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mini location map2016-01-24
31 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Peak 4618 - Fraser BenchmarkGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 24 2016
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking6.00 Miles 2,136 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   6 Hrs   33 Mns   0.92 mph
2,136 ft AEG
 
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friendofThundergod
tibber
trekkin_gecko
The plan for this hike got started by ssk44 after he spotted an arch on the east side of Fraser Peak from the top of Roblas Butte on Dec 26, 2015. He provided us a proposed route he had plotted on Google Earth which we followed to the arch and ended up also probably being a better route to Fraser Peak than the current official route. Thanks, Eric. There would be five of us on this hike plus three dogs. I was the only one of the group who had been to Fraser Peak before (2 years ago) and unfortunately due to a problem with selective memory I had forgotten a couple of key things. Like how rough the last 1.4 miles of road to the TH at Quail spring can be and that the official track has some sections which are a real pumpkin.

Trekkin Gecko, Tibber and I arrived at the trail head at Quail Spring after having an unexpected (due to my selective memory) opportunity to test the 4x4 capabilities of my FJ and to confirm that its modest suspension lift had been well worth the investment. When we stopped to survey the area for a suitable parking spot, FOTG who had been following us in his Xterra walked up to our car and started whining about the road being so rough that they were going to turn back if we had to drive any further - the dogs had been complaining. Well, that was too bad, but I did feel sorry for the dogs.

The hike starts up Millsite Canyon on an old 4x4 road which we followed for 2 miles before starting the off-trail scramble up the hill side following ssk44's planning track. It was a steep climb with some route finding to avoid all the prickly stuff and to bypass rock outcroppings. FOTG, Jackie, the Gecko and the three dogs soon left Tibber and I behind due to our incessant picture taking and also being considerable slower on the steep hill. The going got a little easier once we topped the initial climb to the ridge line. Finding a small bonus arch along the way was nice and the views were fantastic. We reached a viewpoint directly across a small drainage from Fraser Arch but climbing up to the arch was out of the question. Probably better suited to someone with technical climbing skills and gear. After stopping for a photo shoot, Tibber and I reconnected with the rest of the group just below the summit. By that time they had already been to the arch, summitted Fraser Peak and were on their way back down.

Tibber and I continued on up to Fraser Peak after the break guided by Trekkin Gecko. FOTG, Jackie and the dogs headed back down taking the route they had come up. At the summit we discussed which route to take back to the car. Again my selective memory kicked in and I suggested that the official route back was not as steep though being a little longer. So off we went and had only gone about 200 yards when we discovered that this route had sections that were at least as steep if not steeper than the route we had taken up to the peak. And to make matters worse, descending down the drainage towards Eagle Spring got us into some nasty cats claw that required some re-routing. There was no whining, at least not that I heard (I also have selective hearing), but all agreed that the ssk44 route was definitely a better way to go. There was however a major plus to taking this route. On the way down the ridgeline Trekkin Gecko was about 200 yards ahead of us and out of sight over a small rise when Tibber and I heard her yell. We looked up just in time to see six beautiful large bighorn rams headed our way closely followed by the Gecko. My camera was turned off and by the time I got it fired up the rams were gone but the Gecko got a couple of great photos and hopefully, Tibber did too.

We made it back to the car by our 3:00 pm planned departure time where we enjoyed snacks and cold drinks thanks to Tibber. It had been another beautiful and rewarding day in the Superstitions.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
Geology
Geology
Natural Arch
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