Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Granite Mountain

I took advantage of the holiday weekend this Sunday to head up to Prescott to hike in the Granite Mountain Wilderness.  Despite living in Arizona for years, I've done very little hiking in the Prescott area - Sedona and Payson have both offered more compelling alternatives.  That said, I've been wanting to see Granite Mountain for some time and the holiday weekend, with its unseasonably cool temperatures, was the perfect opportunity.

The trail itself is marvelous.  Although exposed, it maintains a nice grade all the way up the mountain.  A quick hour is enough to gain Granite Mountain saddle, and from here forward the hike is nice and shady, through tall pines and grassy meadows.  The trail ends at Vista Point, a series of rock slabs looking out over Prescott.  While the view is nothing spectacular, being mostly bush- and chaparral-covered ridgelines, its a worthwhile reward for the hike up.  I'd put the hike at about a 7/10 total.  Nothing spectacular, but the combination of good views, protected wilderness and well-engineered trail add up to a good overall package that is well worth the drive from Phoenix.

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