Granite Mountain Trail #261
Trail Description: One in a network of trails serving Granite Mountain Wilderness, Granite Mountain Trail #261 is the first leg of a 6-mile loop starting near Granite Basin Lake and traveling counter-clockwise around Little Granite Mountain using Little Granite Mountain Trail #37 and Clark Spring Trail #40. Granite Mountain Trail #261 also provides a day trip from the Granite Basin Recreation Area up to Blair Pass and into the heart of Granite Mountain Wilderness. Despite its proximity to the city of Prescott, this area is a sanctuary for a diversity of wildlife. You may see javelina, deer, and foxes along the trail, as well as snakes, lizards, and a variety of Southwestern birds.
A short distance past the trailhead, the trail travels upward through open chaparral and boulders before climbing steeply into pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pine forest. There are a number of remarkable vistas that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding topography. This trail goes past peregrine falcon nesting sites on the south flank of Granite Mountain. Please stay on the trail during nesting season, from February 1st through July 31st.
The majority of this trail lies within the Granite Mountain Wilderness. Motor vehicles and the use of mechanized equipment, including bicycles, are prohibited. Wilderness is an important resource and national heritage—please, leave no trace. Please refrain from using horses when trail is wet. Dogs must be on leashes. Please clean up after your pets.
Notice: Visitors are asked to be alert and stay on existing trails when recreating on Granite Mountain as the area recovers from the Doce Fire of 2013. Soil erosion has occurred on portions of the trails, thus exposing more rock, and cross-country travel increases the possibility of encountering rolling rocks, stump and root holes, falling trees, and loose soils from rains.
Trail Description and Map (1,113 KB; Black and White; 8.5” X 11”)
- Granite Basin Recreation Area Brochure (1.54 MB)
At a Glance
|Operational Hours:||Day-use sites and trailheads:
|Open Season:||Year Round|
|Closest Towns:||Approximately 20 minutes from Prescott, AZ|
|Water:||Water available at parking area. Surface water should be treated.|
- From its intersection with Willow Creek Road, travel northwest on Iron Springs Road for 3 miles. Turn right onto Granite Basin Road and proceed 3.5 miles to the Metate Parking Area on the left. There is parking for 20 vehicles. Road conditions are paved.
- Connecting trails: Little Granite Mountain Trail #37, White Rock Spring Trail #39, Balancing Rock Trail #349
- USGS Map: 7.5’ quad for Iron Springs
- Prescott National Forest Map, west half
- Average hiking time: 2 hours, one way
- This popular trail enters the Granite Mountain Wilderness and climbs Granite Mountain.
- A scenic ride up Granite Mountain. Equestrian amenities are available at the nearby Cayuse Equestrian Trailhead within the Granite Basin Recreation Area.
Alerts & Warnings
- There are currently NO FIRE RESTRICTIONS in effect on Prescott NF
- Fossil Creek & Forest Road 708 Closed until 12/31/22 for public safety
- Target Type restrictions implemented across the Prescott NF
- Temporary Camping Restrictions along Highway 260 and Salt Mine Road Corridor
- Drones Use on Forest Service Lands