Now is the time to plan your trip to the Granite Mountain Hotshot Memorial. We made this trip during the summer and that is not recommended. Early spring or a late fall trip would be ideal. One of my most memorable hikes. Treat yourself and start planning and make this a Hike to Remember. Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Hiking Trail in Yarnell, AZ is great way to pay tribute to those who lost their lives fighting this massive wild fire.
Plan For Your Hike
According to All trials, www.alltrails.com , this one has been reviewed almost 1500 times with a score of 4.8. I definitely would give this a 5-star review for sure. It is not a trail for the faint of heart. It is certainly a physical hike with elevation gain and constant switchbacks. The narrow openings and pebbly stones makes it a slower and more and difficult hike for sure. Besides being physical it is an emotional and moving experience as you visit the site and read the tributes to the 19 men who lost their lives on June 30, 2013 fighting the Yarnell, AZ Fire.
This 7+ mile hike is marked as heavily traveled but not so much at the end of June with temps in the 100+ deg. Bring LOTS and LOTS of water. Take more than you usually do. Our group is pretty experienced and we all found ourselves with barely enough water to complete the hike. The elevation gain is 1,699 ft. The highest point of the trail is at the observation deck, just before moving down the mountain into the area of the final memorial. It has 19 gabions that mark where the 19 firefighters lost their lives.
Throughout the trail you will see a plaque for each of the fallen fire fighters, one about every 600 ft. I was impressed by the lives these young men had lived in such a short amount of time. Many were men of faith and strong family men. The men ranged in ages 21 to 43. The lone survivor, Brendan McDonough, speaks to honor the legacy of the 19 lost, but not forgotten brothers. There are many other memorials that have been left throughout the trail that honor these men; while we were there several fire fighters and emergency personnel were also there paying their tributes to their fallen brothers which was very moving.
History of the Memorial
Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial park was opened on November 30, 2016. What a beautiful tribute to those who put their lives on the line for the rest of us.
Note: The parking lot has very limited parking, but there is a shuttle which runs every half hour from 8 am to 5 pm, Fridays to Sundays which can be picked up that the Yarnell Fire Department. With more than 25,00 visitors each year, Check out https://azdot.com– visiting the site of the Granite Mountain Hotshots? Honor them by doing it safely, or check out azstateparks.com/hotshots for more information.
Remember to bring plenty of water, comfortable shoes and plenty of storage on your camera. It is a long trail to get to the memorial but definately worth the trip.
What hikes are on your bucket list?
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