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Granite Mountain Trail and Peak, AZ
mini location map2020-07-01
30 by photographer avataroutdoor_lover
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Granite Mountain Trail and Peak, AZ 
Granite Mountain Trail and Peak, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 01 2020
Hiking11.50 Miles 2,600 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles
2,600 ft AEG
1st trip
Partners partners
Hike to an Overlook, a Peak, and in the end, a small lap around a Pond in tennis shoes. Amazing Wildlife, tons of Granite, a bit of thorns and lily pad heaven.

Ray had mentioned this Hike a few weeks ago, but knowing what Granite Mountain looked like, I knew that it would be pretty warm in the heat of the day this time of year. I told him thanks, but no thanks, due to the heat. Then we got a cold front this week and it seemed like a window opened to do it. So we planned it.

I'd never been in that area before although I'd always wanted to check out the little pond. I was surprised to see all the Pine Trees, I didn't realize how high the TH Elevation was. It was a nice surprise and at 6:00 A.M., it was refreshingly cool as well. 50 Degrees at the start was delightful.

Nice Trail and as soon as the Sun started hitting the trees, the birds got active. It didn't take Ray long to play along. In fact, he became the designated spotter, as he was in the lead and doing a much better job at finding the cool birds than I was. I was finding ordinary Flycatchers and Woodpeckers, but Ray was, well, all about Raptors and only the best in the Sparrow Family! :y:

It wasn't long and we hit the Switchbacks and started the first long ascent. I put the Camera away mostly, but Ray kept spotting cool Wildlife, so we enjoyed the Birds and Lizards along the climb. We get out to the Overlook and although the Route we followed wants to take you to the very top, Ray showed me a really nice slab of Rock that was perfect for a break. Great Views and a serious Peregrine Falcon Show ruled here. If this had been our only destination, those Birds would have kept us there way longer. But we still had places to go and a Peak to bag, so after a long break, we got back to the main event.

Bagging the Peak was interesting from start to finish. Off-Trail mostly with just some use trail and some game type trail thrown in to help occasionally. And some Cairns to either help or confuse, deptending on whether you were actually trying to stay on the GPS Track or not. :sweat: I seemed to find a theme halfway up and all the way down and it involved dirt. If you could find dirt, it was as good as finding a Trail, with the dirt areas being the paths of least resistance. Still it took us quite awhile to get up to the last saddle before the Peak itself. We split up at times, just trying to find the best routes. By the time we hit the saddle, the wind had come up and was blowing quite hard. We finished the ascent up to the Peak in pretty short order, but where we thought the Peak was, I was not about to stand up to get on that rock, much less stand on that rock itself. Too sketchy for me on this day. I was content just to see the Benchmark from a rock away. :sweat: We ended up hitting all three of the high points up there before heading back down. I had mowed through a patch of Locust, so there was a bit of blood loss involved up there. I was kind of dreading the "down", just because the up seemed difficult, but following my "dirt" theory got us down pretty quickly and seemed less painful somehow. It took less time than I thought to get back to the overlook junction. But when we got there, we were ready for another break for sure. We had a late lunch before heading back down the switchbacks. It was mid to late afternoon and getting pretty warm, so the Pines at the end were most welcome. Got back to the Vehicles and parted ways, with Ray having another appointment in Prescott to get to.

After a long break at the truck, I decided to finally check out the Pond. I had changed into my Tennis Shoes, which weren't ideal, but managed to find a Trail all the way around the Pond. The Lily Pads were in full bloom, so there was some Camera time, even though the birds were still scarce this time of day. It was a nice way to wind down before the drive home. I'd like to keep this pond on my list for wintertime and see what water birds come in for it.

It was a good day and I'm glad to get this one in, after admiring it from a distance for so long. Thanks for the Invite and putting this one back on my Radar Ray! Good to hike with you again and looking forward to the next adventure! :D
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Some Penstemon along the Trail and another Flower that I can't remember, but all in all, light for the Flowers on this Hike.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Granite Basin Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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