Summary: The trail starts off in the forest and climbs quickly. Although it is steep, it's a consistent elevation gain and there are many switchbacks, so the grade is not too terrible. At about one mile, the trail splits. Go right. You'll be in trees for another 1/2 mile. Then, the way opens up to switchbacks galore. Finally, the trail turns towards the right and you have a chance to admire the views. It is flatter here, too. The trail eventually turns back to the west. You'll come to several tarns with at least one campsite. Stay to the east of the tarns and to the north and east of the rocks. The trail will run close to the rocks and eventually climb through them, bringing you to the fire lookout at the top. Look for Rainier, Baker, Stuart, and the peaks around Snoqualmie Pass. You can also see a number of lakes.
Caution -- Avalanches can be a problem here until July.
Trailhead: Take 1-90 east from Seattle to exit 47. Take a left (north). Cross highway, go left (west). Trailhead is 0.5 miles ahead at the end of the road. Trailhead is shared with Pratt Lake trailhead. (Lat:47.397 Lon:-121.486)
Trail Guides for Granite Mountain:
100 Hikes in the Alpine Lakes
by Ira Spring (Mountaineers)
Best Seasons: Fall, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: North Bend Ranger Station (425) 888-1421
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Marybeth Dingledy, who has posted 8 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 6 Submit your own review
Reviewed by mcamp on 4/10/2012
It was raining hard in Seattle and it rained harder the farther East on 90 I went and the temperature dropped from 45 in Seattle to 36 at the trailhead. I pushed hard up the trail to the turn to Granite. The switchbacks were tough, kept getting wet and colder. The avalanche chutes remain full. I rapidly moved through the three chutes and to the tough pitch. The snow was sloppy and I kept postholing and pulling myself out, time after time. That was more than challenging and the route was completely wiped away. I stayed at that slope for an hour and a half and was wet and cold and added a jacket and warm dry gloves and stayed at it. I continued up the spine and finally saw the lookout tower and stayed with it. 4 hours up and almost 3 down.
Reviewed by SandraB on 9/26/2011
This was our second trip up Granite Mountain, having failed to make the summit last July due to snow along the trail and an unwillingness to make the scramble up the alternate boulder route. The view was unfortunately way better last time as it was pretty hazy this past weekend, but it was nice to see the full 360 ... plus we lucked out with the warm temperature this late in the season. The bugs were bad - we both ended up with lots of bites because we were lazy about applying our DEET. Word of advice: bring plenty of water because this is a good workout. I normally don't drink a ton and my CamelBak ran dry halfway down. And if you have bad or even iffy knees do NOT forget your poles for the steep descent.
Reviewed by George on 8/25/2011
So 1st mountain I have gone up in over 10 years and enjoyed it. Great views all around once at summit. Snow to play in during August so nice cool down bit. Trail towards the top gets kinda caddywumpus but as long as you are going up you'll get there.
Reviewed by Micah on 9/5/2010
very nice today, but it rained for much of the ascent. I concur that this is harder than si, but only a little bit harder, but the view along the way is tremendous. No snow but cold at the lookout. Would need gloves if it gets any colder.
Reviewed by The Rozz on 8/9/2010
I hiked this trail yesterday (08/08/2010). If you want to avoid the Mt. Si crowds and, in my opinion, have a better, more challenging hike then Granite will not disapoint! This is a great trail with decent elevation gain. Unfortunately, the skies were gray with drizzle. I was hopeful that by the time we reached the summit it would clear up but no such luck. I've already recommended the hike to friends and I'd like to head back up on a clear day.
Reviewed by HotCarl on 5/15/2010
This is a great hike with a good view. We went today. There happened to be a bit more snow than we were expecting. Better shoes with gators would have been nice. But we made it and got some good pictures along the way. The last mile or so is almost all snow.
Reviewed by Aaron on 3/20/2010
Climbed this trail today. What a great hike. The weather was beautiful. Was a challenging hike. Still alot of snow towards the top and yaktrax would have been helpful. Spectacular views of Snoqualmie and Ranier. I definitely will hike again.
Reviewed by GD on 3/2/2010
Went up on the 28th of February I believe. There was snow on the trail about 2 miles in or so. We started hiking up an chute, and there was evidence of past avalanches, but the snow was good and stable that day. A very good hike, the parts of the trail that didn't have snow on them were very steep and grueling, and the snow covered parts were equally difficult. However, it was a great hike, and I can't wait to do it again, especially the glissading part, glissading for 1200+ ft...there's not much like that
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