username
X
password
register
for free!
help
show related photosets
mini location map2019-05-17
20 by photographer avatarkingsnake
photographer avatar
page 1   2
 
Fraser - Randolph LoopGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 17 2019
kingsnake
Hiking11.45 Miles 1,265 AEG
Hiking11.45 Miles   6 Hrs   6 Mns   1.88 mph
1,265 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Since temps were expected to be very comfortable last Friday, I decided to stay in the Valley. (More or less.)

The furthest I had ever been up rocky, bumpy, FR 172 was Pam's New Year climb up Roblas Butte back in 2016: [ photoset ]

I took my time driving up FR 172, enjoying the views, and taking care in what to me were trickier sections. The last thing I wanted was a flat, or to puncture the oil pan, as FR 172 has no cell reception at all. It took me 1h 15m. I started hiking at 8:30 a.m.

The turn off for Coffee Flat Trail #108, down Fraser Canyon, is just before Woodbury Well, and is marked by a cairn. But first I explored the well. It has a windmill, but it no longer operates the pump, which is now solar-powered. At the base of the windmill was an elevated rubber pipe end, which was giving a steady flow of clear water. Two adjacent large plastic tanks sound like they were both full. (I knocked.) A spring box was dry, but a cattle tank was close to full. There were a number of well-licked salt blocks laying about. 🐄

Coffee Flat Trail #108 would have been a great hike had it not been for the INSANE amount of foxtail on it, particularly below JF Ranch. I'm not joking when I say sometimes the trail disappeared in the foxtail. I suppose I should have followed recommendations and hiked the canyon bottom, but I wanted to lay down an accurate track. 🙄

Fraser Canyon gets pretty tight for the next two miles, past Whetrock Canyon and Musk Hog Canyon, to Dripping Spring. There’s a decent amount of shade, and lots saguaro on the canyon slopes. Near Whetstone Spring, I found an mine adit that went in less than 50 ft.

I took a break at Dripping Spring, contemplating my foxtail riddled shoes & socks. I decided it would take too long to de-foxtail them, and that the existing infestation might somewhat innoculate me against further foxtails I might accumulate in Randolph Canyon. 🤔

After my break, I started up Red Tanks Trail #107, which passed by some pools and pretty purple boulders & slick rock. Along the way, I encountered a gila monster — the first one I’ve seen in the wild since I hiked from the Bronco Trailhead to Cave Creek in 2016.

After a ½ mile, Red Tanks Trail #107 heads north while Randolph Canyon continues northeast. I thought at first I might have found a use trail, but it quickly disappeared. I really did not want to fight catclaw for four miles, so I stuck to the rocky canyon bottom. That got old quick.

Though Randolph Canyon only climbs 500 ft. in the 3.5 miles to JF Trail #106, it felt like I was climbing stairs the whole way. My leg muscles got so tired, I briefly considered turning back, and even had non-sensical thoughts like “drop pack” and “cross country would be easier”. Both would have been bad news. I had to gut it out.

A few minutes before I reached Randolph Spring, I came within 5 ft. of a wetern diamondback sunning itself on a pink boulder. Naturally, I jumped back, but he never did rattle me, or even coil. 😅

Despite mostly staying in the rocky bottom of Randolph Canyon, I still accumulated scads more foxtail, as I occasionally had to work my way around an obstacle, trying to keep my stabby feet dry. (I eventually gave up staying dry.)

Two and a ½ miles up Randolph Canyon, I was dead tired. Naturally, that is when I encountered a 2-3 ft. high fence, across the wash. I’ve seen read that there is a gate in the brush on the side of the wash. Not knowing it at the time, I wondered how I could lift my weary legs over the fence, as there was no room to low crawl it. Even if there was, I did not have the energy to get back to my feet. After contemplating my options for a few minutes, I settled for stepping on the fence, depressing it enough that I was (barely) able to lift my other leg over it.

Finally, after nearly seven hours, I came to JF Trail #106. Though there is a cairn, the trail is faint. If you miss it, and really enjoy rock hopping, JF Trail #106 crosses Randolph Canyon a second time, in another half mile. I opted to climb the 150 ft. out of the canyon, stopping several times along the way for 10 seconds here and 15 seconds there. I was spent. 🚑

About halfway between the Woodbury Well and the trailhead, I got rattled by a second western diamondback*, on the left side of the jeep trail. Surprised, I did the hokey pokey back step. After gathering my senses, I walked around him.
* I almost ran over two more western diamondbacks on my drive back down FR 172! 🐍
I returned to the Woodbury Trailhead at 4:10 p.m., after nearly eight hours of hiking. (I might have taken even more time, if I was not concerned about getting back to pavement before dark.) Cold beer never tasted so good!

In summary, I liked Fraser Canyon, but downgraded it a star due to all the foxtail. Randolph Canyon blew chunks.

Drive to Woodbury TH: https://vimeo.com/490162864
Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/490169304
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Desert Marigold, Ocotillo, Cholla, Flat Top Buckwheat, Desert Lavender, Sacred Datura, Prickly Pear Cactus, New Mexico Thistle, Saguaro, Salt Cedar and -- of course -- Brittlebush.

dry Fraser Canyon Dry Dry
Some water here & there, but not comparable to Randolph Canyon.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Randolph Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Pools, and flow from trickle to audible pour, both above & below Randolph Spring. Some of the pools decent size. Some with algae, some crystal clear.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
1 archive
HAZ Member
kingsnake's
531 Photosets

  2019-09-20
  2019-09-13
  2019-09-07
  2019-08-30
  2019-08-01
  2019-07-31
  2019-07-19
  2019-07-12
  2019-06-28
  2019-06-13
  2019-05-31
  2019-05-17
  2019-05-10
  2019-05-03
  2019-05-02
  2019-04-20
  2019-04-06
  2019-03-29
  2019-03-22
  2019-03-21
1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6,  7,  8 ... 27  
help comment issue

end of page marker
20% off various HAZ shirts & sale tagged merchandise