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Granite Mountain Trail #261

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.6 (9) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Climb from the Granite Basin Recreation Area up to Blair Pass and into the heart of Granite Mountain Wilderness.


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Map Key

7.9

Miles

12.7

KM

83%

Runnable

7,099' 2,164 m

High

5,598' 1,706 m

Low

1,559' 475 m

Up

1,559' 475 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

24%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Spring · Views · Wildlife

Motor vehicles and the use of mechanized equipment, including bicycles, are prohibited. Please refrain from using horses when trail is wet. Dogs must be on leashes. Please clean up after your pets. This trail goes past peregrine falcon nesting sites on the south flank of Granite Mountain. Please stay on the trail during nesting season, from February 1st through July 31st.

Overview

A short distance past the trailhead, the trail travels upward through open chaparral and boulders before climbing steeply into pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pine forest. There are a number of remarkable vistas that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding topography.

Need to Know

From its intersection with Willow Creek Road, travel northwest on Iron Springs Road for 3 miles. Turn right onto Granite Basin Road and proceed 3.5 miles to the Metate Parking Area on the left. There is parking for 20 vehicles. Road conditions are paved.

Water available at parking area. Surface water should be treated.

$5 for day use parking (Wednesdays are free).

Visitors are asked to be alert and stay on existing trails when recreating on Granite Mountain as the area recovers from the Doce Fire of 2013. Soil erosion has occurred on portions of the trails, thus exposing more rock, and cross-country travel increases the possibility of encountering rolling rocks, stump and root holes, falling trees, and loose soils from rains.

Runner Notes

Gorgeous run on a solid trail. The climb up to Blair Pass is a technical section with steep grades and a few bouldered steps that may require slowing your pace uphill and downhill.

Description

The trail starts off mild with mostly flat or gently sloping sections. Decomposed granite makes up the path under your feet. After the fork with Little Granite Mountain Trail #37, the trail steepens to a series of switchbacks up to Blair Pass. At the pass, continue following the trail up and to the right. Here, the trail disappears a few times as you work your way over granite sections, but a careful eye will spot the trail as it continues ahead. The trail ends at an rocky outcropping overlook with an epic view. High winds up here!

Flora & Fauna

You may see javelina, deer, and foxes along the trail, as well as snakes, lizards, and a variety of Southwestern birds.

History & Background

Designated by Congress in 1984, this Granite Mountain Wilderness area encompasses over 9,000 acres. Despite its proximity to the city of Prescott, visitors find opportunities for solitude and physical challenge in a remote setting.

Contacts

Shared By:

Holly Snow Canada

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 9 votes

#1637

Overall
  4.6 from 9 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
22%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#74

in Arizona

#1,637

Overall
83 Views Last Month
1,782 Since Apr 11, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
25%
25%
50%
0%

Photos

View of Granite Mountain from the drive to the trailhead
Apr 12, 2018 near Williamson, AZ

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Check-Ins

Aug 8, 2020
Brandon Sheahan
Awesome late afternoon trail run... 8.1mi — 2h 12m
Aug 2, 2018
Hunter S
4mi
May 13, 2018
Indy Siedentopf