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Willow Creek Loop North - Granite Basin, AZ

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Guide 10 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott NW
3 of 5 by 3
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 4.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,196 feet
Elevation Gain 1 feet
Accumulated Gain 530 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.15
Interest Ruins & Historic
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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10  2016-10-16
Willow Trail #347
10  2015-04-18
Willow Trail #347
25  2015-04-04
Granite Mtn 7185 & 7626 via Williamson Valley
8  2014-05-11
Willow Trail #347
8  2013-09-29
Willow Trail #347
Author MEWhiteman
author avatar Guides 40
Routes 91
Photos 790
Trips 351 map ( 2,703 miles )
Age 75 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Nov, Mar → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:14am - 6:34pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Short Trip to the Ruins
by MEWhiteman

This hike is in the northeast section of the Granite Basin Recreation Area and provides access to trails #345 and #347 without paying a fee. It includes a pasture, some hills and rocks and Native American ruins. It is easy hiking through a nice area and can be combined with the Willow Creek Loop (#347 & #345), for a longer hike. All junctions of named and numbered trails are marked.

The trail begins at the southwest corner of the parking area. I've described the hike in the clockwise direction, though you could hike the loop in either direction. At the junction of the Willow Creek Trail (#347) and the Tin Trough Springs Trail (#308), N34 39.403 W112 31.114, keep to the trail on the left, #347. Follow this for 1.25 miles through a pasture area on the right and in back of houses on the left to a gate and the junction of trail #347 and the Mint Wash Trail (#345). Go through the gate and continue on trail #347 for 0.28 miles to a spur trail on the left at N34 38.309 W112 31.294. Take this trail 0.16 miles to the Janet Site with Native American ruins. Be careful not to disturb anything while exploring this hilltop area.

Return to trail #347 by the spur trail and then back to the gate via #347. Be sure to pass through the gate to reach the junction of trails #347 and #345. There is a junction of these trails just before you reach the gate, but this end of trail #345 takes you to Granite Basin Lake rather than back to the trailhead where you left your car. So pass through the gate and at the junction of trails #347 and #345 go left. Hike 1.25 miles over a hilly area with Granite Mountain to the west (left if you hike the loop clockwise). There are two unmarked trails coming in from the east as you hike which I think are part of a side trail the follows the top of the hill, but I didn't explore them and so don't know for sure. The junction of trails #345 and #308 that you need to return to the trailhead is well marked at N34 39.278 W112 31.948. Turn right here and follow a wide, smooth trail 1.0 mile back to the trailhead. When I did this in late September, the fields were yellow with wildflowers. Gorgeous!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2012-09-28 MEWhiteman
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Willow Creek Loop North - Granite Basin
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Beautiful day for a hike before the storm came in early this morning. We set out from the parking lot at 1:00 in the afternoon and did the hike clockwise. Almost missed the trail for the ruins because I wasn't paying much attention. I'd never been to the ruins and they were pretty neat, though the wind got pretty chilly up top the hill, and I was carrying my baby. Finished the loop and back to the cars about 3:15. I enjoyed the hike and the view of Granite Mountain. I'm ready to go explore the rest of the trails out there! Short and sweet little trip.
    Willow Creek Loop North - Granite Basin
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Granite Mtn 7185 & 7626 via Williamson Valley
    On the way to meet Ray and until the sun began to rise, the Blood Moon was the focal point in the sky. Quite a ghostly red glow.

    I did the Granite Mountain Trail and 7626 a few years back with the Turtle, but didn't get to see much through the rain and at times, zero visibility. I wanted to see what I missed the first time, plus add some other trails I'd never been on before.

    We started from the Williamson Valley Parkway TH on the Willow Trail #347. The eastern most portion of this trail is just a means to get to the better stuff and allowed us to cruise and warm up from the 36 degree starting temperature. It starts getting a bit roller coastery after you pass the Mint Wash Traill. We took a short side trip to check out the large set of ruins on top of a mound, next to the trail. It had some pretty tall walls in areas. The Willow Trail led us to, Chimbley Water Trail #348 and then to the West Water Trail #351, that took us to the Granite Basin Area. Both of these trail were in great shape and were in tall pines for the most part.

    The Granite Mountain Trail #261 follows one of the flowing small creeks that feeds the Granite Basin for 1.5 miles to Blair Pass. The burn from 2 years ago becomes visible just before here. The burn extends to the West, North and East up Granite Mountain.
    The climb starts at Blair Pass. We took #261 to it's end and enjoyed the views to the South.

    Next it was off trail up to Peak 7626'. We found a cairned route that took us up a little more direct than the last time. It worked out quite well. We passed a group of 4 that were on their way down from 7626. We checked the top for Fliver Disks and the Peak Register. We found one triangulation marker and 2? triangle peak markers, 30' apart. The wind was blowing 40+ mph , so we signed the Register and started down.

    The Mint Wash Trail #345 was another pleasant surprise. This trail starts right behind the Granite Basin Dam and follows a pretty little flowing creek until you meet back up with the Willow Trail intersection. It then climbs out of the creek area and gives you some great views of the riparian area below.

    A fun day with some perfect weather (after it warmed up).

    Thanks for joining me and driving Ray!

    Granite Mountain Views :next: ... A7Ng

    Permit $$

    Prescott Forest
    Prescott National Forest Pass

    Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    When entering Prescott stay right on SR89 which is Sheldon St. Follow Sheldon St. to the 'T' intersection at Montezuma St. and turn right. Montezuma turns into Whipple which turns into Iron Springs Rd. (St Rt 10). Continue on this road for 2.9 miles from the turn from Sheldon St. and turn right on Williamson Valley Road (WVR). Continue on WVR for 6.5 miles to the Williamson Valley Trailhead and Park and Ride. There is plenty of parking here as well as a bathroom.
    page created by MEWhiteman on Sep 27 2012 10:16 pm
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