Now that summer classes are over, I’m taking a chance to catch up on blogging about all of my weekend activities during Embry-Riddle’s Summer A.
There was a full week between the end of Spring semester finals and the beginning of Summer A classes, and I used this opportunity to take a little break by getting out and seeing some of the outdoor attractions near Prescott. The first of these events was returning Granite Mountain.
My first attempt to hike to the top of Granite Mountain back on Valentine ’s Day was a bit of a failure, as I started hiking too late in the day. The hike takes a beginner to moderate hiker like me about 6 hours to complete. The hike itself is about 8.5 miles roundtrip and starts ascends about 2000ft to the 7,185ft summit.
Granite Mountain is an awesome hike for a few reasons. First, Granite Mountain is such a dominant feature seen from so many parts of campus that after you make it to the top of the Mountain you can look at it from campus in awe thinking, “hey, I was all the way at the top of that.” I know that may sound corny, but there is a sense of pride in accomplishing a hike like that.
The second best thing is that the trail itself is gorgeous. The trail starts at the base of the mountain in a relatively thick pine forest. During the hike you pass several streams and a small, peaceful pond. I’ve never seen the trail very crowded, so it’s a good place to get away from people. As you climb higher up the mountain, the terrain becomes a little more rugged, the winds become a little stronger, and you can’t help but admire the hardy trees that have been growing out of the harsh mountainside for hundreds of years. There are several pretty places along the path to stop, rest under a tree and enjoy a light snack. The views from the top of the mountain are spectacular and you can see so much of Prescott that you feel like you’re on top of the world.
Granite Mountain is definitely one of the “places to hike (successfully) before you graduate.”