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Upper Pasture Trail #38
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mini location map2019-06-28
20 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Upper Pasture Trail #38Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 28 2019
Hiking7.28 Miles 969 AEG
Hiking7.28 Miles   3 Hrs   35 Mns   2.03 mph
969 ft AEG
1st trip
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I have not been to the Hotshots Juniper before, and was not sure where it was. For quite some time, it has been tradition in Prescott not give exact directions to the juniper, I guess in attempt to maintain its serenity. But my hiking / mine exploring buddy @Prescottstyle , says that the juniper’s location is no longer a secret. There’s even several routes here on Haz!

FR 38 was much bumpier than I expected. I was glad my wife stayed in Phoenix, because otherwise she would have had to drop Paul & I off at the powerlines on Contreras Road, and it just got too darn hot later in the day to countenance hiking an extra 1.6 miles round trip between Contreras Road and Division Well.

Because visiting the Granite Mountain Hotshots juniper was only my second real hike of June, I needed the miles to make my 50 for the month. (As I have for 42 straight months since December, 2015.) So, Paul and I hiked a counter-clockwise loop of Upper Pasture Trail #38, Little Granite Mountain Trail #37 and White Rock Spring Trail #39 to the juniper, rather than the 1.6 mile (one way) direct route.

Upper Pasture Trail #38 remains old jeep trail for a mile to the intersection with White Rock Spring Trail #39. The intersection has a number of old trail signs, plus at least two “19” arrows. Follow the “19” arrows left, on Trail #39, to head straight to the juniper. Prescottstyle and I turned right to get our miles in first. 🚶‍♂️🚶‍♂️

The burn damage is much more obvious along Trail #37, with many ghostly junipers. Grasses and shrubbery, however, are going gangbusters. Thankfully no foxtail, like what fuelled the ongoing Woodbury Fire, which started a week after I hiked from Woodbury Trailhead into Fraser Canyon and Randolph Canyon. Still, lots of fresh fuel. 🤔

From Blair Pass, Prescottstyle and I turned west on White Rock Spring Trail #39. The barb wire fence to the north of the trail marks the edge of the Granite Mountain Wilderness. Trail #39 is much rockier than either Trail #37 or Trail #38, but not too bad. I thought the Granite Mountain Hotshots juniper was on the opposite side of the canyon. But like I said earlier, I wasn’t sure where, so Paul and I took our time, as I scanned for large, stand alone alligator junipers.

¾ of a mile west of Blair Pass, White Rock Spring Trail #39 passed through a small patch of unburnt trees, which provided welcome relief from the sun. (But not the ants which swarmed us when we stopped for a break!) 🐜

From the Trail #41 sign, it is ⅓ of a mile through another surviving stand of shady trees to the turn off to the Granite Mountain Hotshots juniper. The turn off is marked by another “19” arrow. The juniper is 100 yds. down the trail.

There is a brass plaque, set in stone, in front of the juniper. The plaque is dedicated to all 20 Granite Mountain Hotshots: Andrew Ashcraft, Robert Caldwell, Travis Carter, Dustin Deford, Christopher MacKenzie, Eric Marsh, Grant McKee, Sean Misner, Scott Norris, Wade Parker, John Percin, Anthony Rose, Jesse Steed, Joe Thurston, Travis Turbyfill, William Warneke, Clayton Whitted, Kevin Woyjeck, Garret Zuppiger and Brendan McDonough — who barely survived being burned over for the second time in a week (Re: ... 031630817X by McDonough & Talty). 🙏🏻

There are many mementos on & about the juniper: Money, ammo, tins of chewing tobacco, American flags, painted rocks, t-shirts, crosses, challenge coins, bells, chimes, wristbands, sweat rags, patches, hats, and even a Navy SEAL trident. (Respect from one warrior to 20 other warriors.) The number “19” was everywhere, including a half dozen more impromptu white granite rock sculptures. I felt bad I did not have something in my pack worth donating.

After spending an hour documenting all the mementos, Paul and I took an ant-free break, before heading 1.6 miles downhill, back to the trailhead at Division Well.

Hotshot Juniper Video: [ youtube video ]
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Verbena were everywhere, in all the shades between white & purple. The penstemon were the reddest I have ever seen. Century plants also represented. Scattering of other species.
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