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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.

Little Granite Mountain Loop, AZ

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Guide 23 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott W
3.6 of 5 by 10
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,633 feet
Elevation Gain 884 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,193 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.97
Backpack Yes & Possibly Connect
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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12  2019-08-05 rayhuston
35  2018-09-17 RowdyandMe
6  2016-02-20
Granite Mountain Peak 7626
18  2015-06-22 ads99
20  2015-05-03 Droog
12  2014-09-27 bballard
4  2014-08-10 Hiking_Fool
5  2013-04-28 mazatzal
Page 1,  2
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   May, Jun, Aug, Sep → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:12am - 6:39pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Woods and views
by MEWhiteman

Likely In-Season!
This hike is a pleasant loop hike of 6.7 miles, half in shaded forest and half in open scrub with great views to the west. The hike utilizes the Clark Spring Trail #40, Little Granite Mountain Trail #37 and Granite Mountain Trail #261 trails in the Granite Basin Recreation Area to circumnavigate Little Granite Mountain in Prescott. The latter two trails have been described on Hike Arizona, but not the Clark Springs Trail.

Clark Spring Trail #40 now has more switchbacks, adds 0.3 mi to the loop.

We began this hike at the Metate Trailhead in the Granite Basin Recreation Area. Begin on the Granite Mountain Trail #261 across the street from the parking area by the trailhead driveway (N34 36.936 W112 33.078). Follow this for 0.2 miles to the junction with the Balancing Rock Trail #349 (N34 37.048 W112 33.094). Turn left here and follow for 0.15 miles to the intersection with the Clark Springs Trail (#40) (N34 36.964 W112 33.201). Turn right here. The trail begins on a dirt road but quickly turns left off the road at N34 36.974 W112 33.217.

The trail begins a steady climb of 850 feet with few switchbacks to the saddle between Little Granite Mountain and Two Rock Mountain. This is through shaded forest with mature pine and oak trees. The trail passes Clark Spring at about 1.2 miles from the beginning of trail #40, but we missed it on our hike as we weren't looking for it. The Clark Springs Trail ends at its intersection with the Little Granite Mountain Trail (#37) (N34 36.028 W112 34.472). You pass through a gate at this intersection. Turn right on the Little Granite Mountain trail (#37) and climb the last 100 feet to the highest point on the hike. Beginning here and for the next mile there are great views to the west. Over this distance you are going downhill, a pleasant break from the uphill on the prior trail. We found this trail somewhat eroded as there appears to have been heavy rains in the area prior to our hike (Sep '09). This area was mostly scrub.

At 1.6 miles on trail #37 you reach the junction with Upper Pasture Trail #38 (N34 36.984 W112 34.920) to the left and White Rock Spring Trail #39 to the right. Go right towards White Rock Spring Trail #39. Approximately 2.8 miles from the Clark Spring Trail #40 there is heavy wooden gate. Go through the gate and turn right on the Granite Mountain Trail #261 to return to the trailhead. Its about 1.7 miles back to your car from here through shaded forest with only minor ups and downs. When you reach the intersection with trail #349, you retrace your steps from the beginning of the hike to return to the trailhead.

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.

2009-09-03 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
    Little Granite Mountain Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Splendid hike. I chose to do this in a CCW direction. It was a tad warm at the SW corner of the loop, a 500 foot ascent to a saddle before dropping down and returning to the trailhead. That ascent required a break on an otherwise easy and enjoyable hike. The trails are in excellent condition.

    Since I can't seem to do the big hikes anymore, I'm staying in Prescott for two more days so I can get a couple more "little" hikes in. I also wanted some monsoon action; I have not been disappointed. We had a deluge of rain with a nice show of lightning.

    Fun day.
    Little Granite Mountain Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I took a friend on a nice, leisurely hike today. The temps were pleasant and the views nice. We found just enough water for Lily to cool her paws and get a cold drink whenever the clouds would disappear and let the sun out. We stopped for smoothies at Rebek's on the way home. It was a diamond day.
    Little Granite Mountain Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    The plan was to do the loop clockwise and then take the Granite Mountain trail up to the overlook-- not the true summit again. The day was pretty easy and pleasant but maybe a little warmer than expected. I stopped to give Lily some water about a half mile before we hit the Granite Mtn Trail and when she started walking again, I could tell something was up. She kept holding up one of her hind legs and licking at her pads. I took a good look. Everything seemed fine-- no burs, thorns, or damaged pads. She didn't seem in pain but something was really bothering her paw. I got her to the Granite Mtn Trail junction and let her rest but she still kept licking at that paw and she made it pretty clear she didn't want to go up that hill. I decided we would just head back to the trailhead at that point to be on the safe side. I think she probably got stung or bit by something-- there were tons of red ants out today. Whatever it was, it didn't stop her from chasing turkeys on the way back. She was totally fine after her nap on the drive home.
    Little Granite Mountain Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    We headed back out to Granite Mountain in Prescott. Kyle and I hiked to the peak a few years ago and decided to return. This time we started with the Little Granite Mountain Loop. We made quick time as we traversed around this side peak. We took a break before we started the hike up the Granite Mountain Trail. We made steady progress as we hiked up the trail. Once up top we opted to head directly for the peak skipping the viewpoint. The going was relatively easy for the first half mile. There were some sporadic cairns that helped but you can’t rely on them and I referred to Route Scout to keep us on track. The climb to the summit went well as we fought our way up. The entire off trail portion of this hike is burned out. I had lots of ash on my hands and clothes.

    We topped out and signed the register and took our lunch. The summit is covered in Ladybugs. You had to be careful where you stepped because there were clusters of hundreds of them. After our break we made our return which went really well. We descended from the peak and Lily, Kyle’s dog, did great although I don’t recommend taking dogs to the summit. Once back on trail we flew down and were back to the car around mid-afternoon. It was a nice day in Prescott.
    Little Granite Mountain Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Good hike but the summit was way tougher than I remembered. It could have been the "alternate" route we took up :D We were all pretty ready to be down from there quickly. I couldn't believe the summit was already swarming with ladybugs-- seems early. Lily did really well-- though I wouldn't recommend taking dogs up to the true summit. She loves that kind of climbing but had to find a couple work-arounds on the way down (she never needed to be picked up lowered). Even though she's done more mileage and almost double that aeg in a day-- I would consider this the most challenging hike she's done. It was my first time doing the Little Granite Mtn Loop and that was really enjoyable :D
    Little Granite Mountain Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Wow! Great trail. Going clockwise you take a forested trail to the summit. The trail has short gentle switchbacks that are fun, with no preposing fall-offs. The summit is great surprise. Sweeping views of the valley and Granite Mountain. I wasn't expecting this so it really was mind blowing. Then the last half of the trail is the decent back - with valley, mountain, and desert views all the way. Just a treat.

    Note: I went counterclockwise, and had great footing on a firm trail tot the top. The decent was often noted by looser sand and scrabbly small stones. If I hike this trail agin, I would do it counterclockwise, as looser soil is less of an issue going uphill.

    (see photos)
    Little Granite Mountain Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    A great Sunday hike with some amazing views, wildlife and wildflowers. The weather and rain was just right. I wish I would have packed my fishing pole I might have stayed a little longer. I see on satellite there is large ruin at the top of Little Granite Mnt, we speculated the whole way on the route to the top. Probably make it out here again to see what other adventures this wilderness holds.

    There was great coverage after you left the 261 onto the 37.
    Little Granite Mountain Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Heeding no weather warnings, we headed out (figured it wouldn't come in as bad as predicted). Well we were socked a good one! After waiting out the first squall a mile in, the sky started to break, sunshine appeared briefly, and we continued on. But shortly after lunch and "nearby the halfway point of the loop" (according to me) we kept going into impending threatening clouds and torrential rain. Marble sized hail assaulted us. Fierce winds. We carried on, drenched to the bone.

    All in all it was an incredibly adventurous way to try this trail for the first time. The scenery is surreal, like a lot of the surrounding Granite Mt. area. Half burned trees added to the effect. It was incredible seeing the passing clouds gathering and swirling about the mountains, tempting us with brief vistas. Flash flooding in drainage areas added another level of danger and it was easy to mistake the trail in spots for adjacent streams.

    We were very cold by the end of the experience however and had to keep moving. Not the smartest move on our part, and I can see why hypothermia could be dangerous even with warmer temperatures. But what an incredible memory!

    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 Metate Trailhead
    Take I-17 North to the St Rt 69 Prescott exit, turn left (north) When entering Prescott stay Left 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. At about the 3.5 mile mark turn right on FR 374( You will see the brown recreation sign marking the Granite Basin Day Use area including the Metate Trailhead.) Follow the road about 3 miles back to the trailhead parking area at the end of the loop road.

    2011-09-16 Garry Milo There is no sign for FR374. There is a sign for Granite Basin Road. Once you turn on to it, the FR374 sign is a few hundred feet down the road.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 2 hours 18 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 3 hours 46 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 2 hours 1 min
    page created by MEWhiteman on Sep 03 2009 9:29 pm
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