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Granite Mountain Trail 261, Prescott

(4.5/5 based on 15+ reviews on the web)
Granite Mountain is a 7,628ft mountain located in Yavapai County, Arizona that covers roughly 12 square miles (31 km2). It was once known as Mount Gurley, for the first governor of the Arizona Territory, John A. Gurley. Its southwest face has a sheer granite cliff approximately 500 feet (150 m) high that is one of the best locations for rock climbing in the state of Arizona. It is located in the Granite Mountain Wilderness, which is managed as a part of the Prescott National Forest. The mountain stands at the northern end of the Sierra Prietas, and borders Skull Valley on the west, on the northwest by the Santa Maria Mountains, and east by the Williamson Valley.GeologyGranite Mountain is composed of the Prescott Granodiorite, a 1.7 billion year-old stock intruded into Yavapai schist. Xenoliths of the schist are commonly found in the granodiorite. The gray granodiorite was a popular building stone in early-day Prescott. It was used to build the Yavapai County Courthouse and in many other older buildings around town, including Fort Whipple.EcologyThe biotic communities at Granite Mountain range from montane conifer forest and juniper pinyon woodland, to interior chaparral. Granite Mountain is a nesting site for the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), and the climbing area on the south face is periodically closed to rock climbing, typically from February 1 until July 15 each year.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Easy start along the valley floor before a switchback climb to the top. Excellent views and interesting flaura. There is a meadow area near the peak with plenty boulders for a picnic.  more »
  • Have hiked Granite Mountain Trails many times. This is one of my favorite. There is a nice loop trail that takes 1-2 hours to complete with great mountain views.  more »
  • This hike is moderate, you gain elevation fast once you reach the trail head. The trail is rocky and pretty bare of trees until you get up on the saddle and then there are many trees. Plan on 3 to 4 h...  more »