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Granite Mountain Day Hike
July 8, 1998
by Jeannie Van Lew

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.

hikers hikers
King of the mountain!

We rounded the south face of the mountain where the trail is about 3 feet wide with a nice drop off! Saw what appeared to be Indian Paintbrush plants along the way too. As the trail reached the summit, we met up with Kim Hackbarth and Barb Brackett who had gotten an early start. They stopped along with a few others at this point. Here the brush gets rather thick and you have to boulder climb to get to the actual summit.

A few of us ventured through the brush and climbed most of the way up. Dan and Rudy, with their rock climbing experience, made it to the top. About 5 or 6 of us stopped just short, sitting on a nice rock ledge for lunch. At about 1pm, we began our trek back to the trailhead and our cars.

We were warned that the weather forecast called for afternoon showers. A few clouds did start to form to the east, nice big white cumulus clouds that made for some nice photo-ops, but nothing more. The skies were clear and the temps nice and WARM in the upper 80s (reached 88). We all made it back to the cars and cold water before heading back home.

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updated August 27, 2019