The Granite Mountain area has evidence of historic ranching activity and the "Whiskey Bottle" military trail which connected Fort McDowell to Fort Whipple. The area has been used in recent times by outdoor recreational enthusiasts. The most prominent feature of the area is Granite Mountain, which is an isolated mountain formation with a different geology than most other nearby hills and mountains.
Granite Mountain dominates the area. The remaining area is gently sloping to steeply rolling terrain and has a number of granite boulder fields, knobs and ridges. The vegetation is relatively lush because it transitions into a high desert setting Cacti are relatively scare in some areas.
The area is mostly out of view from the rest of the city and in many ways visually extends into the nearby national forest. It serves as an edge to the metropolitan region as well as the city. The unique features of the area act as a special desert setting drawing visitors who seek to be immersed in the desert environment