|when||Trip Report : February 25, 2017|
Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park is Arizona’s newest
State Park, first opened to the public on November 30, 2016, and dedicated
to the 19 members of the elite Granite Mountain Hotshots wildland fire crew,
who perished on June 30, 2013, while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.
Rather than being one of our typical scenic and fun hikes, this three mile trek to an observation area overlooking the newly-dedicated memorial site for the Hotshots crew will be more on a somber and thought-provoking note. A recent article in the Arizona Republic described this hike as “A walk in their shoes.”
And that’s essentially what we’ll be attempting today as we retrace, with the greatest degree of respect possible, the footsteps of the Granite Mountain Hotshots on that fateful day in June, 2013, as they made a desperate last stand against a raging inferno with violently shifting tornado-like winds that hopelessly trapped the crew, cutting off all possible escape routes in their final moments together.
From the start to the end of the trail, 19 polished black granite plaques cemented to some of the large boulders that line the trail provide a brief story of each of the Hotshots who perished in the Yarnell Hill Fire. After reaching the observation deck which overlooks the memorial site below and the town of Yarnell to the east, we’ll take a short rest break before descending 400 feet on the 3/4-mile long Journey Trail to the memorial site itself. Here, four large bench seats and 19 gabions, one for each of the Hotshots, surround the memorial site. A memorial flagpole stands at one end.
• Sturdy hiking boots
• At least 3 liters of water
• Rain poncho
• Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
• Lunch or snacks
|EC||+-2000' elevation change|
|elevations||4,700 feet at the trailhead to 5,900 feet at the observation area|
|rating||"B-" Rate yourself as a hiker.|
|cost||Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
|meet||7:30 AM in the Fry’s parking lot on the SW corner of I-17 & Bell Road. Park behind Denny’s, near the entrance to the Deer Valley Park & Ride. We’ll leave promptly at 7:45 AM. Our goal is to reach the trailhead parking area before 9:00 AM.|
|Schedule of Events||Arizona Trailblazers Home Page|
|updated February 27, 2017||© Copyright 2017, Arizona Trailblazers. All rights reserved.|