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Name: Redfield Canyon Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: (based on two votes)
Type: 4WD Difficulty: (Easy 4WD)
Time: 4 - 6 hours (this trail only) Region: SE Arizona
Length: 22 miles from the trailhead. From the start of Redington Rd, it is approximately 30 miles of dirt road (rated a 2 out of 10) to get to the trailhead. Elevation gain/loss/change: +2093 / -2118 ft / -25 ft (one way)
Type: Modified loop Avg Elevation: 3800 ft
Best time to go: fall, spring, winter Fees: NA
Fitness rating: Low Educational Merit: Low
Danger/fear rating: Low Scenic Beauty: High
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: November, 2009
Short Description: An easy 4WD trail that winds its way above scenic Redfield Canyon
Geocaches: There's not many geocaches in this area (more for Jackson Cabin Trail, but you need to go on that adventure to reach them - or make a long hike). Here's one that you can reach along Redington Rd along the way. The Jeep "Strangler"
References / Contact Information: None at this time
Points of interest: Redfield Canyon. A small adobe ranch at Bradberry
Special Considerations: : Remote trail. I wouldn’t expect to see many other people. Make sure you fill up on gas on your way to the trail
How to get there: From Tucson, drive east on Tanque Verde road until the pavement turns to dirt at Redington Rd. (Waypoint RR1). See Chiva Falls trail for more information on this. Follow Redington Rd. up through the pass and down the other side (Waypoints RR1 – RR12). There will be numerous roads on your left and right leading to old ranches. Keep on the main road. The waypoints are spaced out on Redington Rd. to help guide you to the trailhead. Around waypoint RR9, my topo software says Redington Rd. turns into N. San Pedro Rd. Where did Redington Rd. go? I have no idea, but don’t worry, you’ll be on it again soon. Bear left on N. San Pedro Rd. At waypoint RR10, keep going straight. Do not take the private property road to the right. At waypoint RR11, take a sharp right toward the south and the town of Redington. A left here will take you to San Manuel (which I will describe later). Now you’re back on Redington Rd. Strange. Anyway, going south on Redington Rd. follow the road for 5 miles (going through Waypoint RR12) until you reach waypoint START. This is the trailhead. Put your truck into 4WD and take a left. Click here for directions.

Trail Description

I call this trail Redfield Canyon, due to its proximity to the canyon. I do not know if it has an “official” name. The trail is near the SMALL town of Redington which is about 30 miles east of Tucson as the crow flies. Redington is so small I don’t even think it has a gas station or store (so don’t count on filling up there). The trail is reached from Tucson by driving along Redington Rd, over Redington Pass and down into the San Pedro River valley (or through San Manuel).

Note: The GPS coordinates are split into groups. The RR designation refers to Redington Rd and the number designation, the trail. The trail GPS waypoints are in increments of five. I used to have waypoints between these, but they were fairly redundant. Mileage is only provided from trail itself.

This trail looks like its been bulldozed within the past five years. The first part is bumpy with a lot of those pesky softball sized rocks strewn along the trail. The last half is very smooth and we consistently hit 25 mph on some of the straight, flat parts. Can be a little brushy on the first section of the trail.

General Information and History

Redington has a notorious history. A pair of brothers named Henry and Lem Redfield moved to the area in the 1870s. Then, in 1883, a stagecoach was robed as it made its way from Florence to Globe.

Sheriff Doran investigated the robbery which netted the thieves about $1,000 in gold and $2,000 in silver (a lot of money in those days). A man was also killed in the holdup.

Sheriff Doran discovered that the Redfield brothers matched the description of the robbers and took a posse out to the Redfield Ranch. Upon their arrival, they found the shotgun used in the robbery and a mail sack that was on the stagecoach. Upon further investigation, Doran found out that the Lem was the mastermind behind a number of other unsolved crimes in the area. Lem was arrested and carted off to jail by the sheriff.

The people of Florence wanted swift justice, but the Sheriff insisted they follow the due process of the law. The people could not be refused (they thought that Lem could buy his way out of a conviction since he was a rich man) and when Sheriff Doran left the jailhouse briefly, an angry mob stormed in and lynched Lem Redfield.

When the post office was established in 1879, the name Redington was selected (instead of the first choice of Redfield).

In the late 1800s, early 1900s, ranchers used to raise cattle and horses in Redfield Canyon. It is also interesting note that it appears as though you might be able to reach Jackson Cabin from this trail (I have only seen that my Topo map shows an old road connecting the two trails, but I have not verified these are passable or not gated off). I would recommend if you want visit Jackson Cabin, you take the trail in as shown in the Jackson Cabin Trail Adventure.

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The Trail

The first part of the trail weaves through a wash and one of the largest jumping cholla forests I’ve even seen. This is NOT the time to find a secluded place to go to the bathroom (from personal experience). You will follow the southern edge of Redfield Canyon for a few miles.

Redfield Canyon is extremely scenic and there are spots which you can overlook parts of the tall narrow cliffs. Very nice.

At waypoint CAMP, there’s a large cattle pond and a nice place to camp. After waypoint 025, the trail goes up and down some small hills like a slow motion roller coaster. The scenery and trail in this area is awesome! At waypoint 035, take a short left to the old Bradberry ranch and windmill (waypoint BRAD). Please leave everything as you find it for others to enjoy.

The rolling hills continue for a while until you reach some long, flat areas and a fun wash to drive through. Finally, near the end of the trail, there are a few gates you must open and close and private drives on either side. Keep on the main road and at waypoint END, you’re back on Redington Rd. only a few miles south of where your adventure began. 

You can make the return trip the same (through Redington Pass) or you can go out north through San Manuel. I like going through San Manuel because the scenery is different and living on the northwest side of town, it’s shorter (takes about 30 - 60 minutes off the driving time). Retrace the road back to RR11. Go straight instead of turning left. Follow the main road to San Manuel (waypoints RR12 – RR17) making sure you take a left at RR15 and a right at RR16. Go through San Manuel and take SR 77 south (left) back to Tucson.

I enjoyed the last half of the trip the best. Lot’s of interesting scenery and varying geology.

Have fun and be safe!

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Member Comment

No through trail to Jackson Cabin

April 23, 2013: Hey Matt, just wanted to add a comment to your Redfield Canyon review. Locals around here actually refer to this as the Bradberry Loop. My comment is; you referenced to a possible trail connecting Redfield to Jackson Cabin. This trail may have connected many years ago but as of today is only a foot path that is not clearly marked or well beaten down. Very beautiful canyon, but extremely remote and would not recommend to an inexperieced hiker, bring plenty of water.

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