Two years after the first meeting of the Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board, and thanks to a generous donation from the Arizona Public Service Foundation, the park is open to the public.
“The families and the communities of Prescott and Yarnell have worked hand-in-hand with the state to develop Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park,” said Sue Black, executive director of Arizona State Parks. “We truly want the memorial to be a place for healing and to honor the lives and legacy of 19 hotshots.”
TRAILHEAD PARKING INFORMATION
The park entrance is located two miles south of Yarnell on Highway 89 (White Spar). Seasonal Park Rangers are available at the trailhead with maps and information and temporary portable restrooms are also available. There are no trash facilities, so please pack out your trash. – Get Map directions here Parking is limited in the trailhead lot. Only 13 spots are currently available, therefore we suggest visitors carpool or make arrangements with a shuttle service before their visit.
This one-way trail is seven miles round-trip; you must hike up and back to the parking area. Please dress appropriately, bring adequate water, food and plan for a four hour plus round-trip hike. There is no access to drinking water along the trail. Those making the seven-mile hike should begin before 12 p.m. and carry a flashlight in the event hiking out after dark becomes necessary. The hike back to the trailhead will take about two hours. Please plan accordingly.
Please pack in and pack out any trash. Leashed dogs are welcome on the trail and owners must pick up after them.
The Hotshots Trail takes you through the Weaver Mountains and includes a 1,200 ft. elevation gain with a 5-8 percent grade. As you make your way, you will encounter 200+ stairs carved from the surrounding rock, interpretive signs, benches and 19 memorial plaques.
From the trailhead, the 2.85-mile path will lead you up to the observation deck. Every 600 feet, 19 granite plaques set into rocks share a photo and a story of each fallen Hotshot. Four interpretive signs paired with memorial benches provides information about wildland firefighting.
Once you reach the observation deck, you can see the fatality site 400’ below and the Town of Yarnell to the east. Additional interpretive signs here, outline the tragic events of the Yarnell Hill Fire. A Tribute Wall at the Observation Deck will soon be available to leave stickers, patches and other mementos in honor of the sacrifice the Granite Mountain Hotshots made to protect our community.
Once at the observation deck, the 3/4-mile Journey Trail allows you to follow the last steps of the Hotshots down to the Fatality Site where they made their last stand. Encircling the fatality site, 19 gabion baskets, one for each Hotshot, are united by chains representing their eternal team. A short path surrounds the gabions and the nearby memorial flagpole. Please, take a moment to pay your respects, but remain outside of the gabion enclosure out of respect for the Hotshots and their families.
Download a Trail Map HERE