Granite Mountain Trail #261 is part of a network of trails serving the Granite Mountain Wilderness. This area is sanctuary for a diversity of wildlife, such as javelina, deer, foxes, as well as snakes, lizards, and a variety of Southwestern birds. 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 city of Prescott, Thumb Butte, Mount Francis, Sierra Prieta, and Watson Lake. This trail goes past peregrine falcon nesting sites on the south flank of Granite Mountain.
The first 2 miles of the trail allow for a fairly quick paced run as you travel westward from the trailhead into the Granite Mountain Wilderness area. Once you reach Blair Pass the very steep rocky series of switchbacks slows your run to a slow trot or fast paced hike as you climb to the summit of Granite Mountain. The westside of Granite Mountain is showing some signs of recovery from the destructive Doce Fire last June, but it will take several more seasons for the full beauty of the granite forest to be restored.
Elevation: 5,596’ (low) – 7,220′ (high)
Length: 8 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Advanced
Directions: Google Maps Driving Directions
Happy Trail Running :-)