Location: Monadnocks Conservation Park
Distance: 1.2km return
Trail Marker: Unmarked but flagging tape
Duration: 1 - 2 hours
Cost: $0, free entry
Date Hiked: 4th July 2018
Kml Map File: Available via the Walk GPS website here.
After a first failed attempt at the Mount Randall Trail on my own, I managed to convince Dave and Sophie to come exploring with me as I wanted to include this mountain in a Three Summit group hike. The trail is unmarked and by DBCDA standards it's not an official trail. I was looking for some new experiences and come across it on the Walk GPS website which does a lot of offtrack walking. Not really my thing as I hate the idea of trampling through the bush but I did attempt the walk as per Walk GPS instructions, however their version starts you off on Albany Hwy and straight up your walking through bush on a non-existent trail. On the day I tried it I parked the car, crossed the road and saw that there was absolutely no trail, it was also quite warm(end of summer) and I was concerned about snakes and getting lost so I ended up walking Mount Cooke instead.
Second time around I decided to just do a section of their loop walk. I could access it from the Bibbulmun Track, Monadnocks Hut, head straight up and then back down again. For walkers doing the Bibbulmun Track, it makes a great little side walk.
We parked at the bottom of Herold Rd and walked up to where the Bibbulmun Track crosses, turned left and made our way along the Bibbulmun to Monadnocks Hut.
It was the perfect time to be out in the Darling Range as we were well in to Fungi season and boy was there a lot of variety of Fungi on the track.
Now despite having pretty good instructions from Walk GPS, it still took us ages to find the start of the walk as it's kind of hidden but basically the start is behind the tent sites. I am not going to provide exact instructions as I don't want to responsible for people getting lost haha so head to the Walk GPS website and download the info from there. You will need to sign up to gain access but it's only $12.99 for a whole year. So after wasting about half an hour looking for the start, I noticed a slight indent in the bush roughly in the direction mentioned, made our way over and sure enough the wide open granite section that marks the start was there so we walked along and then found the pink flagging tape which is kind of the trail marker for this walk. From here the trail varies from narrow, slightly overgrown sections to wide open sheok forests ascending up to Mount Randall.
Tall Jarrah Trees and more unique Fungi lined the way.
And there was some amazing granite boulders to explore and check out.
I found this section of the trail to be pretty well used but where we were a little confused the flagging tape was there to guide us along. The ascent up was quite gradual, nothing too challenging. Got a little concerned as we neared the top as the trail seemed to want to go through some pretty dense bush. I had to double check the cheat notes and we seemed to be on the right track so made a left turn through the thick scrub and came out at the bottom of the granite that leads up to the elusive Fang Rock.
Turning left at Fang Rock the trail leads out to the ridge running around the top of Mount Randall, and provides what I believe to be the most beautiful views in the Darling Range. Many say that when they are on Mount Cooke, Vincent or Cuthbert but the views from Mount Randall take in the views of those three mountains mentioned as well as the greater Darling Range and that's why I think Mount Randall offers the best views.
From this lookout we turned up towards the summit and walked through a little more bush with a bit of rock scrambling before coming out to more wide granite where you are treated to spectacular views to both the east and west.
I seem to have lost a few pics of this area unfortunately but you'll know it when you see it.
Walking across the granite once again we were a little confused but after a bit of exploring found that the trail descends down between some narrow rocks.
Unlike other mountains where a rock cairn is quite often the summit marker, Mount Randall doesn't have one but on his Six Summit Challenge, The Life of Py unofficially marked the summit as being the rusty old tower that has blown off its original location and now rests in between the rocks.
Walkers will need to climb over or under in Sophies case.
There is quite a lot of beautiful big boulders to explore so don't be afraid to take your time and check out what is around. We found some pretty unique findings like a section of large boulder that has split off from its base creating a clean break and the opportunity to lay back and look up at the sky. There is also a really cool face in one of the rocks. Can you see it in the pics below?
The trail loops around back to Fang rock and we took the opportunity to immerse ourselves in nature, sat down and enjoyed a hot cup of tea and some biscuits absorbing in the amazing views.
Not sure if this is the Fang Rock Walk GPS talks about but this marks the end of the summit loop anyway and from here walkers follow the same track they walked up on.
Just be careful and pay attention heading down. I found it looked completely different and had to look at my GPS numerous times to make sure I was still on the same track, and I was, it just didn't look like it at times.
Once we had reach the bottom, Monadnocks Hut we spent some time exploring the hut and surrounding areas. It really is quite a nice hut, perfectly situated with beautiful views into the surrounding forest. From the hut we followed the Bibbulmun Track back out to the the wide vehicle track on Herold Rd and walked down back to our car. If you are walking along the Bibbulmun Track make sure you allow time to explore this little side trail.
Hopefully this post inspires you to visit and if so, we would love to hear your thoughts on the trail. Please feel free to tag us in your adventures.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we walk, the traditional lands of the Whadjuk people & wish to acknowledge them as traditional owners paying respects to their Elders, past & present, and Elders from other communities who may be here today.