Easy family hike
2017 Frye Fire toasted the hill
I was on my way to do another hike when I decided time was getting away from me and I spontaneously took this route - and I'm glad I did. Grant hill loop is located off hwy 366(Swift Trail) on the way to Mt Graham. At the pullout no map was available but a cryptic sign of two loops - I choose the clockwise route.
Leaving the parking area you soon pass a gate barring vehicle traffic on the trail. An old logging route soon splits the trail. I took the low road or to the left. The trail rounds Grant Hill, which is near the Hospital Flat camping area. The trail has very little elevation variation and is easy to follow. Where the old road stops, connector trails with small wooden signs point you in the right direction. The forest is mostly pine but several nice stands of aspen and moist seeps with prodigious fern under stories compliment the route. About a mile along a jaw dropping overlook with views of the Santa Rita and Catalina ranges presents itself. This is a rock outcropping perfect for lunching. From here the old road turns into a trail that takes you deep into the forest. The trail fades in places but there are a few old tree blazes. At less than two miles you intersect the logging road. Here you can return to your car or make the longer loop. Continuing on brings you through some nice wildflowers crowding the trail and green grasses everywhere. Again the road fades into a trail. To this point I only saw a few footprints and one mountain bike track. This trail seems seldom used. I saw no one on this hike, however I left the trailhead at about 7:15 am.
The aspen and wildflower show continues, as the trail switchbacks down to join yet another old road. The pines come back in tall stands. The huge stumps one passes on this area of the trail is evidence of logging. Now maple trees join the pines. Which seem to be the rocky mountain variety, not quite as bright as the big tooth for fall viewing. As you arrive at the parking lot you repeat the first hundred or so feet of trail.
This is very nice serene forest walk, good for the family especially someone with small children not willing to hike too far or in rough terrain. The scenery is just beautiful and will be spectacular in the fall. A second loop from the same parking area with more challenging terrain is signed but I did not check it out. This is a nice one!!!
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.
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.