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Granite Mountain Peak 7626, AZ

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Guide 29 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott W
4.2 of 5 by 11
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 9.15 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,550 feet
Elevation Gain 1,969 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,241 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 7 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.36
Interest Peak
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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8  2016-06-26 astrobrewer
74  2016-05-08 AZHiker456
6  2016-02-20 Tough_Boots
26  2015-04-04
Granite Mtn 7185 & 7626 via Williamson Valley
25  2015-04-04
Granite Mtn 7185 & 7626 via Williamson Valley
26  2015-01-05
Granite Peaks-Snow hike
19  2014-05-22 gregrev
13  2012-05-28 johnlp
Page 1,  2,  3
Author gpsjoe
author avatar Guides 16
Routes 123
Photos 2,810
Trips 140 map ( 1,516 miles )
Age 77 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
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Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Nov, Feb, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:17am - 6:29pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Surprise!! There is a peak here.
by gpsjoe

Sande J did the write-up of the Granite Mountain trail 261 for HAZ and there are many excellent trip reports and photos there. This write-up adds a trip to the peak of Granite Mountain. You must use trail 261 to get there so read both write-ups to get the full picture.

Sun_Hiker and I made our annual visit to Prescott on 12/27/2006. Our intention was to do the usual easy hike taking the Granite Mountain trail to the viewpoint and return. That's not what we did (it was all her fault). You can turn this hike from an easy or moderate 8.2 miler to the viewpoint into a strenuous 11 miler that includes Granite Mountain peak (about 500 feet higher than the viewpoint). That is what we did.

The 24K topo shows the easy hike in red and the route to the actual peak in blue.

On our way back from the viewpoint Sun_Hiker insisted that there must be a way to get to the true peak so we watched for signs of a trail off of the main trail. We found it. It is marked by a cairn and is reasonable easy to see if your looking for it. The use trail (not an official forest service trail) is easy to follow for the first 1/2 mile. Shortly after the start it is marked by many cairns that take you all the way to the peak. Muchos Gracias to whoever put the cairns there because I don't believe we would have made it without them.

The trail has some minor obstacles and requires a small amount of bushwhacking. The last half mile is slow going and involves a lot of non-technical rock climbing. We followed the cairns all the way. I think that if you can't find the next cairn you can safely assume that you are not on the trail.

At the top we found 3 Geodetic markers originally placed there about 100 years ago. There is also a sign in box hidden in the rocks opposite the peak indicated by the vertical stick. We signed in 12/27/2006.

It was overcast all day and quite cold at the top. It snowed for most of our return trip from the peak. The San Franciscos are clearly visible from the peak and I have included a shot of them taken at 6X optical zoom. There are 70 air miles between Granite and Humphrey peaks.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.

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

2006-12-30 gpsjoe
    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
    Granite Mountain Peak 7626
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I hiked trail #261 by myself a few weeks ago to the lookout. This time Bruce came along and we decided to go for the peak. We used @John9L's route but skipped the lookout. It was a warm and sunny day, but clouds came in from time to time and cooled things off a little. The initial section of the route after branching off #261 wasn't hard to follow. Pink ribbons in the tree branches were easy to spot as well as cairns. Then the trail starts going up. It was boulder hopping with a fair amount of underbrush to push through, and often what looked like the easy way to go was blocked by burnt tree branches. We went to the right of the route up the first steep pitch to the plateau below the peak then went back to the trail.

    On the final steep section we somehow ended up to the left of the route and had a steeper climb than we could have, but once we figured out we weren't on the route we were committed. There were cairns even on our crappy route which convinced me that the whole peak has cairns randomly scattered all over it and not just on the easy trail. We came up directly from the South of the peak and followed an overgrown chute to the top coming up just to the West of the peak. It wasn't pretty, but we made it. There were bushes filled with gnats just below the top. To get to the top we had to brush against them and a cloud gnats would appear and cover my arms. At the top there was enough breeze to keep them away, so we sat for a while and enjoyed the view.

    The way down was much easier. We went down the East side of the peak and followed the ridge line. We saw some cairns but there was lots of brush and burnt trees that made the climb down tough. When it looked like we were almost down to the plateau we found ourselves at an impassable drop off and had a fun time getting down the last few feet. After all that boulder hopping and bushwhacking it was a huge relief to get back to the actual trail again.

    This was a challenging hike, but very rewarding.
    Granite Mountain Peak 7626
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    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.
    Granite Mountain Peak 7626
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    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
    Granite Mountain Peak 7626
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Granite Mtn 7185 & 7626 via Williamson Valley
    I went soaring with The Eagle along and atop Granite Mountain near Prescott. The trip to the meetup at Happy Valley PNR included a view of a blood moon in the western sky. Thanks for pointing that out, Bruce.

    Although this was a single 10 hour hike, you could easily break this down into three separate hikes rated as easy, moderate and somewhat strenuous. The first loop on the route is easy, but not as scenic (suburbs on the east side). The Willow Creek Loop, about nine miles in all, is moderate due to length, mostly flat, and is a gem. It's beautiful all along the route, which includes a side trip to some ruins on the east side and a nice creek (nice flow right now) on the west side. I plan to bring my wife up here first chance I get.

    The featured hike today was the Granite Mountain Trail and the Granite Mountain peaks. Most of the elevation gain is along this route. The final ascent is fairly steep along a cairned route. With the exception of the ascent to Peak 7626, the trails are in good shape with nice switchbacks as you ascend the Granite Mountain trail. There are some burn areas along the way, but not too bad. I had a few char marks on my hat and clothes from the final ascent to peak 7626, but I'm not the most graceful hiker. Bruce didn't have a mark on him.

    Fabulous 360 degree views from the top. Visibility was as far as the eye can see. It was a wee bit windy on the summit; I nearly lost my hat. Bruce signed the summit log for us. There were no other HAZers noted in the current log.

    This was a very enjoyable hike on a gorgeous day. Thanks for the invitation, Bruce. I had a great time!
    Granite Mountain Peak 7626
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    john and i have been trying to find a day to get up to prescott
    we both wanted to hike granite mountain trail, which i've done before, but also get peak 7626
    left the valley early this morning and were on the trail before 7:00
    granite mountain trail is very nice, with good footing, great scenery, and the smell of pine needles on a cool morning
    easy uphill to the intersection with little granite mountain trail, then a more moderate climb
    reached the point where the summit trail splits off from the viewpoint trail and then the fun started
    the first part of this is easy enough and well marked
    the scramble is fun, but it's easy to get off route even with a gps track and cairns
    gps joe's track didn't always match the cairned route, but we were always able to reconcile the two
    had to tip-toe through quite a few blooming manzanita patches, buzzing with bees
    lots of bees
    the summit was cool, with great views, a benchmark and a register
    bugs weren't bad, although some recent triplogs mentioned that they were quite annoying
    headed down, following both the track and cairns, then four mistakes happened - all mine
    1. got slightly off trail, and i wasn't paying attention, so that became way off trail
    2. didn't immediately return to the last known spot, thinking we could pick our way back to the trail
    3. i don't have my breadcrumb tracking activated on my gps, so i couldn't even backtrack correctly
    4. in stepping over a flock of agave, my foot slipped, resulting in a stab wound into the muscle on the inside of my left knee :o
    that hurt, still does, and i can now barely bend my knee or put weight on my left leg
    guess i will ride my bike tomorrow
    bushwhacked our way back to trail 261 and went up to the viewpoint
    easy trip back down, actually hiking on a trail
    i love this hike, especially the pine trees and all the boulders
    i liked the climb to the summit - enjoy scrambling
    thanks john, for tackling this one with me, and sorry about that bushwhack :? : rambo :
    cost us a good 30 minutes or so
    also made us change our plans for our second hike
    Granite Mountain Peak 7626
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    It was another great day out on the trails! Originally Kyle and I were planning on hiking in the eastern Supes but the temps were a little on the warm side. I wanted to find a hike that had some elevation hoping it would be a little cooler. After seeing Juan Jaime's pics from Granite Peak last week, this looked like the perfect hike.

    We started our hike around 9am and made quick time heading up the trail and up the switchbacks. We took a short walk over to the main viewpoint and enjoyed the views and a quick snack. From there we headed back and picked up the spur trail that leads to Granite Peak. The first half mile is very easy going. There were plenty of cairns to follow and we both had GPS with a track preloaded from one of our fellow HAZ members. This helped tremendously.

    The "trail" then starts climbing and this is where things get interesting. You have to scramble up a draw and we were constantly looking for the next cairn. It really helped having both of us route finding because it was easy to wander off the path. The second person could scan for the next marker. This kept us on track. We went back and forth as the leader. The scramble is definitely a challenge and was a lot of fun! After considerable effort we reached the summit. We had a look around and found the trail register. The gnats were extremely annoying so we quickly signed the register and dropped down a little bit to have lunch in some shade.

    After lunch we started our descent. It was much easier going down. We retraced our steps and were back on level ground in no time. The rest of the return flew by and we were back at the car in no time. This was an excellent hike that I would definitely do again someday.

    On the ride home, we had a good look at the Gladiator Fire burning near Crown King. It looked really bad and is an ominous sign for the start of the fire season.
    Granite Mountain Peak 7626
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Wow. Where to begin!? :D

    I really have an affinity for rain in the desert. It's just such a rare treat to see things in the entirely different light and perspective that rain and clouds provide. So when the forecast started to show a near certainty of rain on Thursday, I decided that I wanted to take advantage of it. The rarity of this storm became clear when I looked back in the almanac only to realize that it hadn't rained in Phoenix on April 26 since Jimmy Carter was president! :o

    So I woke up Thursday morning and fired off an email to work, explaining that I would be taking a personal "meteorological appreciation day". I'm really sort of surprised I didn't get any kind of query from the higher-ups as to what that meant!

    Now, I'm quite used to my random weekday adventures being solitary, since most people I know who would be interested in this kind of thing have jobs where "meteorological appreciation day" is not a valid excuse for taking off work. Not to mention, how many people get excited about going hiking in the rain? On purpose?..."Jonathan? Seriously? Sweet! Let's go!"

    So I drove down to the QC and picked him up at the dealership where he dropped off his truck for what turned out to be like $15,000 in BS repairs. LOL. It had started to rain on the way there, and I was getting really excited to get on the trail. I had decided it would be fun to climb a mountain, and I had never done Granite, so it seemed like Prescott would be a great destination for the day. As we headed up I-17, we encountered a constant downpour. Twice it was raining so hard that the water wasn't draining off the road quickly enough and I had a momentary hydroplane. That kept the speed down to about 50.

    Despite being prepared for a rainy hike, I was secretly beginning to wonder if I was really up for going out on an extended trip in this kind of deluge. I mean, there's a difference between some scattered showers or drizzle, and what we were experiencing. Luckily, somewhere between Prescott Valley and Prescott (literally), the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and it turned into the most perfect, crisp, spectacularly clear, sunny, 43-degree day! I think we made five stops. Jonathan hadn't eaten anything so we stopped to grab a sandwich. Then he needed to stop by the bank. Then it occurred to me that I had left my camelback (filled with water) in the fridge at home, so I had to hit a grocery store and buy some hydration. And then I realized that I had no cash to pay the trailhead fee. So about an hour after getting to Prescott, we finally got to the trailhead!

    By now the sun had been out for a little bit and the thermometer read 49. There wasn't a single other car at the trailhead. Prescott's most popular hiking trail, huh? We struggled for a few minutes choosing the appropriate clothing options, but once settled, headed out just a couple of minutes past noon. Neither of us had hiked Granite before, so it was a fun exploration. There was running water all over the place, and a lot of yellow leaves, both on and off the trees, giving the day an unusual autumnal feel.

    The weather was perfect. Breezy, big puffy clouds cruising by at a low altitude, occasionally clipping the peaks and shrouding them in mist. We climbed sort of leisurely, enjoying the day, and occasionally taking a few photos. Jonathan's camera is currently fighting an unfortunate medical issue, so I loaned him my little Lumix P&S. I think it really appreciated an actual photographer pushing it's buttons for once!

    This hike featured perhaps the most diverse flora I've encountered over such a short distance. The number of different desert plants is impressive, and we were treated to some nice flowers too. Then there's a short stretch of Ponderosa forest that disappears as quickly as it appeared. It was really neat to enjoy the variety of plant life on this hike!

    As we got to the top of the main climb, the skies to the south and west were dark with rain, and it became abundantly clear that we would be getting hit in short order. We got our packs out and put on some extra gear, just in time for a wall of wind and rain to arrive. Luckily, the rain quickly turned to hail (I say luckily because the hail was small, and rain is a lot wetter than hail!) It only lasted for a few minutes, and didn't slow us down.

    Immediately after the shower, some more great views opened up with clouds whisping around the mountain and overhead. (1 min video here:

    I had set my mind on summiting the highest peak (7626), and since we were both feeling fine, and the weather had been cooperative, we skipped the half-mile out to the observation point at the end of the official Granite Mountain #261 trail, and just headed on the off-trail route toward the peak. This is where the fun really started!

    I had uploaded Wally's track to my GPS, and I'm glad I did. Despite the descriptions saying that there are so many cairns that you can always see from one to the next, we managed to lose the trail more than a couple of times. Don't get me wrong. There ARE tons of cairns. But it's a bit of a jungle of manzanita and other scrub, and it's not terribly difficult to get off-track a bit. Much of this off-trail ascent follows small drainages, which are probably nice easy "trails" on a normal day. But today they were little rivers, so it required a little more attention to footsteps.

    The first part of the off-trail ascent follows a relatively flat basin, before a short ascent up a deceiving false peak and another short flat area. We stopped here and had a snack and hydrated before making the final 500 ft push to the top. I loved this part. There was climbing, scrambling, bouldering, hopping, jumping, and overall just fun exploring while working our way up and up. Some cool trees, stumps, and the constant sound of water flowing below the rocks we were on. The cool breeze and low clouds just added to the experience.

    After a bunch of different routings we finally figured out the best way up, and success was ours! It had taken 3 hours and clocked in at 4.98 miles on my GPS. The views on this day were unmatched. It was very windy. In fact, it was so windy that I was not able to get my little Lumix to stand on its own for a timer shot. I did take a video from the top that does a 360-degree panorama. It was awesome! (It begins facing north, and swings to the east I signed the peak register, noticing that the previous visitors had been there two weeks prior, in the snow. Must've been some crazy Norwegians!

    We were a bit more successful following the route on the way back down, and this was just as much fun as the ascent. (I uploaded my GPS track, and if you compare it to the others, you can see that none of us followed the same route exactly. It's just that kind of hike!) When we got back to the official #261 trail junction, we decided to skip going out to the lookout point and just head back down the trail. The weather stayed nice and the long shadows of the lower sun cast beautiful light. We pretty much cruised down the mountain, with only a couple of stops to set up some photos.

    After 2 hours, we arrived back at the trailhead. Still the only car there. How many people can say they've hiked Granite Mountain and didn't see another person all day!?

    This is another of those hikes that I may never do again. It will simply be impossible to enjoy it as much as today. Any subsequent visit will almost certainly be a disappointment. Probably crowds of people. Maybe a hot, baking sun on the 99% southern exposure of this hike. Probably a hard, dry, dusty, and sandy surface. Pollution or humidity filling the air. Who knows what else? But for today, I will have the memory of the perfect day on Granite Mountain!

    The hike was over, but the day didn't end there, as we went downtown and met Jonathan's cousin for a drink at The Raven, followed by beautiful drive over Mingus Mountain and through Jerome, before cruising into Sedona for the most satisfying dinner ever at the Elote Cafe with Katie and a couple she works with, Nathan and Toni. For dessert, the chef served us a delicious round of his own raisin-infused tequila, which was surprisingly delicious. (I don't like raisins or tequila!)

    After contemplating the invitation to stay at Nathan and Toni's overnight, we decided to head back despite the late hour. Because my tank of gas wasn't going to get us all the way to the QC, we stopped in Scottsdale and had a quick victory lap at Four Peaks :)

    I think I crawled into bed at around 2:30, still feeling the euphoria of such a fantastic day!
    Granite Mountain Peak 7626
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    With highs forecast in the 40's and only a 10% chance of rain we made the trip to Prescott to knock another hike off my wish list.

    We debated on what to wear starting the hike, with the temps in the upper 30's, both Denny and myself settled on long pants and short sleeve shirts.

    Looking up at the mountain, the top was in and out of the clouds, but as the day moved on, we had no doubt the sun would prevail. We made it to the lookout point and had off and on views through the clouds.

    A view from the overlook to find the top of 7626. We picked up the cairned route and started following it, even though we could not physically see our target through the clouds. With out the GPSJoe GPS route, this climb would have been impossible (Thanks Joe!) Boulder hopping to the top, in the fog, rain, wind and cold temps cold temps, made things.....not so nice. The multiple cairned routes didn't help straighten things out either. We made the top, I made my way to the bolder so Denny could get a shot, and the wind almost too my hat and felt like it was blowing right through me. It was good to get down off the peak and on some flatter ground, so we could make some faster time and attempt to warm up.

    The actual warm up didn't happen until about Sunset Point on I-17 on the way home. As always it's a blast hiking with the Tortoise
    Granite Mountain Peak 7626
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    After a day up in the Grand Canyon, I figured I'd stop by in Prescott on the way back to get better use of my gas money. I'd always wanted to hike in the Granite Mt wilderness, but I wasn't really motivated until I read the writeup to the actual peak. Best to hike this in the spring & fall, since I'm too much of a cold weather wuss to hike this in the winter. The official trail is pretty good and easy to follow. As mentioned, the first 1-2 miles are unimpresive until you start climbing up to the saddle. Just before the viewpoint, you look for some cairns and a faint path heading east. I found there to be two sets of cairs in the middle section of this 'route'. I unintentionally took the harder/thinner way in and the easier, better marked way out. When you first start following this path, try to hang more to the left and you should land yourself on the better path. Head more towards the right and you'll be putting your route finding skills to the test. As long as you stay in course, none of the climbing is above a class 3 scramble. The elevation and the previous day in the GC where starting to get to me and there are many great boulders to take cat naps on along the way. The views at the top are very nice, but as mentioned you're standing on the most scenic mountain in the region. You do get great views though of Sedona, San Francisco Mts, the Prescott basin, and the rest of the Granite Mt wilderness. 8)

    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
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