In the network of trails that constitute Prescott’s National Forest, the 7.9 mile Granite Mountain trail is a great option to hike. Driving past the Prescott Walmart and Starbucks, this trailhead is located roughly 20 minutes from campus. I personally enjoy this hike for the peace and quiet it provides, with minimal foot traffic, especially in the scorching heat of the summer season. The breathtaking views you are rewarded with at the top of the mountain aren’t too shabby either.
Contrary to my previous hike at Thumb Butte, Granite Mountain is quite a long and more rigorous trek; so much so, that I was sweating at the bottom of the hike and chilled by the heavy wind at the highest climax of the path. I prefer Granite Mountain over Thumb Butte simply because Granite Mountain offers more opportunities to climb and explore when reaching the top of the trail, unlike Thumb Butte that is blocked off with signs and fences.
With an elevation of 1,656 ft. and scarce shade, the Granite Mountain trail can be either a relaxing morning hike or the next test in expanding your hiking endurance, depending on your skill level. No matter your abilities, I highly recommend trying out the Granite Mountain trail. Make sure to pack lots of water!