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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Granite Mountain Loop Trail - MSPN, AZ

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Guide 105 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
Rated
4
4 of 5 by 17
 
2
Statistics
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 4.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,722 feet
Elevation Gain 227 feet
Accumulated Gain 320 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 5.8
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
13  2018-04-07 RowdyandMe
13  2018-03-08
Little Granite Mountain - McDowells
FLYING_FLIVER
18  2018-01-24 jameslcox44
10  2018-01-14
Maricopa Trail - Bartlett Dam to Pemerberton
topohiker
5  2017-11-25
Bootlegger Trail Loop
Oregon_Hiker
6  2017-11-11 cw50must
14  2017-10-31
Cow Poke Trail - MSPN
RowdyandMe
45  2017-03-27 tibber
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 10
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Nov, Mar, Apr → 7 AM
Seasons   Autumn
Sun  6:57am - 5:25pm
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Official Route
 
28 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Granite Mountain Trail - MSPN
0.2 mi away
0.2 mi
38 ft
Saddlehorn Trail - MSPN
0.2 mi away
0.2 mi
31 ft
Little Granite Mountain - McDowells
0.3 mi away
3.4 mi
1,004 ft
Balanced Rock Trail - MSPN
0.6 mi away
1.5 mi
138 ft
Bootlegger Trail - MSPN
0.6 mi away
1.3 mi
163 ft
Turpentine Trail - MSPN
0.6 mi away
2.1 mi
135 ft
Powerline Road #2 - MSPN
Powerline Road #2 - MSPN
0.6 mi away
4.3 mi
Cow Poke Trail - MSPN
1.1 mi away
0.6 mi
112 ft
Dove Valley Trail - MSPN
1.1 mi away
0.3 mi
Coyote Canyon Loop MSP
Coyote Canyon Loop MSP
1.2 mi away
3.6 mi
115 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
a solid loop
by DarthStiller

Likely In-Season!
The Granite Mountain Loop Trail, as its name indicates, is a 4.2 mile loop around Granite Mountain in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The easiest access to this trail is from the Granite Mountain Trailhead, but it can also be easily reached from the Fraesfield Trailhead via the Black Hill Trail. The very short 0.2 mile Granite Mountain Trail serves as the primary connector and starting point of the loop, and this description will start from that junction with the loop trail at the southern end of the loop.


The trail is newly constructed and single track. The vegetation at the start is fairly dense with many palo verdes, teddy bear and buckhorn chollas, and a saguaro forest on the south and east sides of the mountain. There are also several granite boulders strewn about that adds to the more proximate scenery. The trail does a quick and mild ascent and the levels out soon. The views to the east of Four Peaks and Mt. Ord and the Mazatzals further north are nice, although in the morning it’s hard to see with sun behind them. Below you in front of the mountains, views into the development and ranches can be seen. Along this section are junctions with the Saddlehorn and Bootlegger’s Trails, which can take you back to the Granite Mountain Trailhead on the eastern end of the preserve, or connecting to other trails for other loops.

At the northeast end of the loop, there is a short spur connector to a scenic lookout that allows views all the way to the south of the Superstitions and Red Mountain (Mt. McDowell). Looking back directly south, the McDowell Mountains and Tom’s Thumb are prominent on the horizon. Just under a half mile past this is the junction with the Cow Poke Trail, which, like the Saddlehorn and Bootlegger’s Trails, heads east.

Turning left at this junction and heading west across the north face of the mountain, the trail begins to descend and the vegetation thins out somewhat. Views to the north include the Cave Creek area and the western end of the newly expanded preserve area. As you turn south, the powerlines become a prominent feature as well the McDowell Mountains again. To your left, Granite Mountain also becomes a more prominent feature as this side of it is steeper and higher, compared to the more gentle slopes on the east side. If you’re hiking in the morning, this will also provide some shade. At the junction of the Balanced Rock Trail, turn left again and make it back to the starting point, checking out the views to the east again.


DarthStiller
  • MSPN Brown Insert
    area related
    MSPN Brown Insert
  • MSPN Trail List
    area related
    MSPN Trail List
  • MSPN Gate Schedule
    area related
    MSPN Gate Schedule
  • McD Sonoran Preserves - North 2015 - 1
    area related
    McD Sonoran Preserves - North 2015 - 1
  • Axle & West
    area related
    Axle & West
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.

Permit $$
None


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To Granite Mountain Trailhead
31402 N. 136th St Scottsdale, AZ 85262

Parking, Horse Trailer Parking

Drinking water is NOT available.

Follow Fountain Hills Boulevard north out of Fountain Hills to Rio Verde Drive and head west to 136th Street to the Granite Mountain TH.
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 2 h 3 min
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 2 h 8 min
page created by DarthStiller on Feb 18 2014 10:38 am
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