Hike to the Granite Mountain Hot Shots memorial near Yarnell, Arizona
In June of 2013, the Yarnell Hill wildfire took the lives of 19 wilderness firefighters trying to protect the nearby town of Yarnell, Arizona. This trail serves as an open air memorial and museum to the events of that sad day and the men who lost their lives trying to save Yarnell. This hike is an incredibly moving experience and succeeds in being a magnificent tribute to the men of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots.
The trail starts from the parking area off of HWY-89. The trail is really well done and easy to follow as it switchbacks up the Weaver Mountains ridge line to the Tribute Wall (Overlook). While walking along this path, you'll pass plaques honoring each of the 19 firefighters that lost their lives. The plaques include a picture and some details about their lives. The views from this trail of the surrounding area are impressive as well. This would be a worthy hike even without the memorials. After passing all 19 plaques, you'll reach the overlook and the Tribute Wall (JCT_1R on the map).
The overlook provides distant views of the town of Yarnell and the Incident Location. Spend some time here to admire the tribute wall, which consists of patches, stickers, hats, and shirts left by other worldwide firefighting organizations. Take the trail down to the Incident Location where you'll see a circle that surrounds crosses memorializing the firefighters. A nearby US flag flies eternally at half mast to honor them.
When ready, return the way you came.