On a sunny Sunday afternoon in January my son and I took off with Mikko (our Siberian Husky) to put in a few miles on the trail. We went to my favorite Day Hiking locations, Skyline Regional Park. In all honesty, it’s probably my favorite because it’s less than 10 miles from our home.
This was a last minute, no planning adventure, so when we arrived we headed across the bridge to the main trailhead. We looked over the large trail map sign and quickly decided to conquer a trail we had not previously done, the Granite Falls Trail.
There are 13 intertwined trails that provides us approximately 14 miles to hike at Skyline. Do you want to know more about this fun park and it’s trails? Check this out.
As my son would say, let’s go. Follow along on our Day Hike adventure, learn more about this trail, and even download my GPX file… so keep reading!
|Level:||Easy (out-and-back) / Moderate (Turnbuckle loop)|
|Type:||Out-and-Back (connects to Turnbuckle Trail for a loop )|
|Distance:||1.7 Miles (one way) 3.4 Miles Round Trip|
|Elevation Change:||240 ft.|
|Avg. Time:||90 Minutes|
|Pets:||Yes, dogs on leash|
|Season:||Year Round Access (though summers are HOT)|
What to Expect
- Wide & Well Traveled Trail
- A couple sandy washes/roads to cross
- Not much shade
- Lots of cactus
- Other hikers
What to Bring With You
- 2L+ of water per person
- Good Hiking / Trail shoes
- Hiking Poles
- Snacks / Trail Food
My Trail Notes
The Granite Falls Trail is listed as a oneway trail 1.7 miles long, but you can only access it off of the Turnbuckle Trail. This Trail was a bit confusing, as you can see from my GPX file below, we went a little farther than the outlined trail. One of the neat things about this trail is that you can access it from two points, so depending on the time of day or your preference, you too can conquer this trail as a straight out-and-back route or combine it with a section of the Turnbuckle trail and make it a loop in either direction.
We decided to take the first trail post off of Turnbuckle to the south (left) about .4 miles after crossing the bridge and then continued following the trail posts. You can pass the first trail post for the Granite Falls Trail, there is another sign about .7 mile further that will take you to the south and return you to the first trail post on the Turnbuckle Trail.
This is a valley trail that led us a road (in a wash) a couple times. I had worn no-show socks with my trail shoes and had to clean the sand out after crossing. There are a number of trail posts along the route to help guide you.
Though I generally like more mountain trails, this was a fun and enjoyable hike with my son and dog.
What I Liked:
- Year Round Access
- Good for a workout
- Wide Trails
What I Didn’t Like
- Not as scenic as other trails
- Can get crowded
- Side trails got confusing
Trail Map & Directions
- Take exit 117 off of the I-10 onto Watson Rd in Buckeye, AZ.
- Turn north onto Watson Rd.
- Continue 2 miles to the Park entrance
- After you go through the entrance, turn left and follow the road
- Go past the first parking area to the second parking area and find a parking spot
- After gearing up head past the bathrooms and cross the trail head bridge
- Head west along the Turnbuckle trail .2 miles until you come to a trail post
- Make sure the trail post is marked with the Granite Falls trail and head south.
- or keep following Turnbuckle another .7 miles to the next Granite Falls trail post
Download the Skyline Regional Park trail map from their website.