|Granite Mtn 7185 & 7626 via Williamson Valley, AZ|
|Granite Mtn 7185 & 7626 via Williamson Valley, AZ|| |
Granite Mtn 7185 & 7626 via Williamson Valley, AZ
|Hiking||20.34 Miles|| 10 Hrs 17 Mns ||2.48 mph|
|3,494 ft AEG|| 2 Hrs 5 Mns Break||15 LBS Pack|
|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!