Granite Mountain Trail #261

Granite Mountain Trail #261

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
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Happy Trail Running :-)

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Mount Francis

Mount Francis

Mount Francis is a 7,110 feet (2,167 m) mountain which is part of the Sierra Prieta mountain range. The Sierra Prieta’s are a 14-mi (23 km), long mountain range in central-northwest Arizona. Mount Francis is the highest peak in the south which borders the Bradshaw Mountains.

To run to the summit of Mount Francis start at the Aspen creek Trail #48. After 2.7 miles turn right on to the East Copper Trail #260. Follow trail 260 until reaching the Mount Francis access road which will lead to the radio towers at the top.

The accent to the summit covers 4 miles of very steep technical trail. In the winter large portions of the shade cover sections of Aspen Creek trail are covered in snow. The trail climbs up over several smaller ridges as you move from the northern trail head around the eastern side to access the service road on the southwest side of Mount Francis.

Mount Francis provides amazing panoramic views of Bradshaw Mountains, Prescott, Granite Dells, San Francisco Peaks, Granite Mountain, and Skull Valley.

Elevation: 6,409’ (low) – 7,110′ (high)
Length: 8 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Advanced

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Happy Trail Running :-)

Cold Springs Trail #393

Cold Springs Trail #393

Cold Springs Trail #393 in the Prescott National Forest climbs steeply from its trailhead on Copper Basin Road to a ridge toward Thumb Butte and the Sierra Prieta Overlook. On this run the trail still had a large amount of snow, but the warm high altitude sun of the day has started to melt most of the snow. The melting snow made the trail much more technical due to the ice and mud, but a lot of fun!

Elevation: 6,223’ (low) – 6,507′ (high)
Length: 3 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Moderate

Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
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Happy Trail Running :-)

Season of the trail

Season of the trail

One of amazing things of living in a small mountain community filled with endless trails is with the change of each season a new trail is born. Now that winter is here the rocky very technical trails of the summer are reborn into amazingly fast trails that feel more like skiing than trail running. One such trail is the Centennial Trail.

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Happy Trail Running :-)

Aspen Creek Trail

Aspen Creek Trail

Now that I have ran the majority of the Mile High Trail System trails I have been having fun combining the trails to make more interesting runs. One of my frequent trail runs combines Aspen Creek Trail and Butte Creek Trail.

Aspen Creek Trail is a very technical one mile trail that follows a portion of Aspen Creek while paralleling the Hassayampa golf course. Like the Butte Creek Trail this trail is a very technical trail run with large boulders and sharp rocks to navigate as you make your accent up toward Hassayampa Village Ln. Once you reach the road you make a short decent toward Stricklin Park to connect to the Butte Creek Trail.

Elevation: 5500’ (low) – 5600’ (high)
Length: 2 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Advanced

I live in west Prescott (1 mile from Aspen Creek Trail) so overall from my home these two trails are a nice 7 mile round trip run.

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Happy Trail Running :)