Thousand Trails RV Resort
On June 28th, 2013 a lightning strike in the Weaver Mountains started what became the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona. The next day the Granite Mountain Hotshots were assigned to help with the fire. What a tragedy it turned out to be. Nineteen lives were lost that day.
|A map of the trail. You start at the bottom and end up at the Observation Deck. You can look down at the Fatality Site or you can hike the 3/4 mile red trail to it.|
There is a very well done geocache series in honor of the Hotshots nearby that we had previously started and two more at the Memorial State Park. One is at the entrance and one is up at the observation deck. We wanted to find the last two and finish the series.
We drove up to the park in the morning and were lucky to find a spot at the bottom. There are only about 13 or so. There is a shuttle that will take you here. You can get directions and trail info HERE.
You start up some steps and right up the trail. I'd call it a moderate trail. Nothing hard or too steep, just mostly uphill. The only flat part is just before the Observation Deck. If you aren't into hiking, you can get a good feel for it by taking your time and hiking a short distance to the first plaque. Wear hiking boots or good, sturdy shoes. Bring plenty of water. There is no water or bathrooms on the trail but there are a couple of outhouses at the parking lot at the bottom.
Looking up at the beginning.
Looking down to the small parking lot.
As you climb you can see the highway down below.
Beautiful vistas from all directions.
The only flat part just before the Observation Deck.
The circle in the above photo is a zoomed in view of the Fatality Site.
Looking at the fatality site and the area around it just after the fire. (above) And below is the Tribute Wall. What a very somber and touching place this is.
|Some of the painted rocks.|
The flag which flies at half mast.
You can see some of the 19 purple crosses in the middle of the circle where their bodies were found.
There are those kids again at the top of the hill. See them on the boulders?
There they are!
We loved all the rocks and boulders.
|The 2000 year old Juniper Tree.|
On our way back home we did a little more geocaching and came upon a really neat, old pioneer cemetery in Congress.
One of the interesting art pieces in the roundabouts/rotaries in Wickenburg. This is another town we have not been able to spend much time in over the years even though we've driven by it a hundred times. I guess that'll have to wait until our next visit as well.