Digital Storytelling and Visitor Analytics for City and Cultural Institutions
The Hotshots Trail, a 7-mile trek one way through the Weaver Mountains, includes a 1,200 ft. elevation gain with a 5–8 % grade. You'll find yourself on the trail for about 4+ hours for the full round-trip distance, so remember to pack food, water, and emergency gear appropriately. Be sure to take off before noon if you're planning to make the whole trip. Along your climb, you’ll encounter 200+ stairs carved from surrounding rock, plus 19 memorial plaques, several benches, and many interpretive signs to educate you on your hike to the Observation Deck.
Starting from the parking lot and trailhead, you'll hike 2.85 miles up to the observation deck. Every 600 feet, you'll come across the 19 granite plaques commemorating the Granite Mountain Hotshots, fallen firefighters memorialized by the trail. The plaques share the stories and photos of these brave souls who gave their lives in the wildland firefighting.
From the observation deck, you'll have a clear view of the Fatality Site 400 feet below, along with the town of Yarnell. You'll find more interpretive signs detailing the events of the Yarnell Hill Fire, along with a Tribute Wall where you can leave stickers, patches, and other mementos to honor those sacrifices made by the Granite Mountain Hotshots. From the observation deck, you'll take another 0.75-mile hike on the Journey Trail, which follows the last steps of the Hotshots to the Fatality Site. Surrounding this site, 19 gabion baskets represent the 19 fallen firefighters united by chains, representing their eternal team. Please remain outside the gabion enclosure out of respect for the Hotshots and their families, but do take a moment to pay your respects before heading onward.