On Saturday, August 8th, 9 Motorolans and friends met at Denny’s
on a clear and unusually cool, Phoenix morning for a trek up to Prescott and
Granite Mountain. After a search for the trailhead, we parked and met Russ
Kuhn, his son, and Joyce Parish. We got the park ranger to take a few group
shots for the cameras in the group and headed out at 10:00.
The trail meanders through pine trees at the start and over a few dry
(fortunately!) washes. In between several pine trees, we could see our
destination: the top of Granite Mountain Seeing the rocks through the
trees reminded a few of us of our hike and camping in the Chiricahuas.
About 1.5 miles in, the trail leaves the pine trees and around the west
side of Granite Mountain Here the trail runs through manzanita bush, pinyon,
and century plants. The terrain was a little rocky in places, but the trail
was clear and easy stepping.
15 minutes later, we begin up the switchbacks that took us up to the saddle
just below Granite Mountain From here we could see why rock climbers love
Granite Mountain A sheer rock wall some 500 feet above the surrounding rock
and desert valley floor. As we headed up the switchbacks, we were afforded
great views of the valley to the west, Sugarloaf and Little Granite
Mountains, to the south, and the Prescott area to the South and East.
We reached the saddle as our group had scattered along the trail.
We waited for most to reach before the last mile up to the summit.
Just above the saddle, we entered a small pine forest, which provided
some welcome shade and cool breezes.