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State Park Commemorating Fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots To Open

By Stina Sieg
Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 5:05am
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 7:56am
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Arizona State Parks
Visitors to the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park may hike about 7 miles round trip to the spot where 19 elite firefighters died in 2013. The mens’ families had a hand in designing this memorial and wanted it to remain rustic.

Three-and-a-half years after 19 wildland firefighters died protecting Yarnell, a memorial is opening just outside the tiny town. Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park will be unveiled to the firefighters’ families today, and will open to the general public Wednesday.

Arizona’s newest state park isn’t a traditional park, but a hike — to the spot where flames overcame the Granite Mountain Hotshots on June 30, 2013.

Along the way, visitors will see granite plaques commemorating each firefighter, as well as interpretive signs describing the events of that day. The hike is about 7 miles round trip, with around 1,200 feet of elevation gain, so it’s hard. And that’s by design, park spokesman Glenn Schlottman said.

Schlottman said the park is meant to give people some of the experience a firefighter would have in the rough terrain. Because of a small parking lot, the park will be running shuttles from Yarnell to the trailhead through the weekend.