/ Modified jan 6, 2017 3:57 p.m.

Memorial For Fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots Opens

Newest state park isn't a traditional park, but a hike commemorating firefighters.

Hotshots yarnell park memorial Visitors to the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park may hike about seven 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. (PHOTO: Courtesy of Arizona State Parks)

By Stina Sieg, KJZZ

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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 seven 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 on the rough terrain. Because of a small parking lot, the park will be running shuttles from Yarnell to the trailhead through the weekend.

MORE: Arizona, Fire, News
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