Granite Mountain Hot Shots Memorial Hike

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The Incident location memorial
Along the Granite Mountain Hot Shots memorial trail
The Incident location memorial and Yarnell
Along the Granite Mountain Hot Shots memorial trail
Along the Granite Mountain Hot Shots memorial trail
Wall of honor at the lookout
Granite Mountain Hot Shots trail: Elevation plot
Granite Mountain Hot Shots trail: Map
Along the Granite Mountain Hot Shots memorial trail

Location

How to Get There
This hike is located near Yarnell, Arizona.

From Phoenix, take US-60 North West past the town of Wickenburg. Stay on US-60 as you go through Wickenburg. Once in Wickenburg, take HWY-93 through town. It's about 18 miles to the signed junction with HWY-89. Turn right onto HWY-89 as this scenic road climbs up towards Yarnell. You'll drive about 17 miles (there are signs for the Granite Mountain Hot Shots Memorial Park to follow) as you follow a short road to the southbound HWY-89. Take this a short 0.7 miles to the easily spotted parking area on the right. There are restrooms here but no water.
city
Yarnell
state
az
Region
Phoenix Area and Central Arizona

Hike details

Distance
7.50 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
7.5 miles round trip to the Incident Location and back.
Time
3.50 [Hours]
Time-details
This hike took us about 3.5 hours.
Elevation Change
1,800 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Details
1200 ft elevation gain to the overlook and 450 feet down to the Incident Location. Since you have to climb back up, it's a total elevation change of about 1800 ft
Hike Trail Type
Out and Back

Season

Best Season
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • October
  • November
  • December
Date Hike completed
November 18, 2021

Solitude

Solitude
Medium
Solitude Details
Not bad. We shared this trail with about 15 other hikers on a weekday.

Difficulty

Difficulty Rating
Moderate
difficulty detail
Although the trail is easy to follow, the climbing makes this a moderately difficult hike. This is a great hike to take in the Winter season that isn't too far from Phoenix.

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. 

Map

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