Climbed Granite as part of a ridge loop climb around the South Fork Catherine Creek. From the end of Forest Road 580 (4X4 required) head north and cross Catherine Creek, than climb up onto Mule Peak south ridge and connect with the trail, or just keep on climbing the ridge to the lookout. This route is only 5 miles round trip and very straight forward (Class 2). Optional Class 3 loop, we followed the ridge east off of Granite and than continued on the ridge south near Olive Lake. We than dropped off of the ridge down an easy slope back to Forest Road 580. Loop is 6 miles.
Trail in neglected condition. Ended up being an 14 mile hike including a couple of wrong turns, otherwise it would have been 12 miles roundtrip. Lots of wildlife, observed a bear at roughly 20 feet, 40-50 elk also pretty close up, and gaggles of blue grouse.
Left the TH at 4am and was standing on the summit of Granite Butte before 7am. Climbed China Cap earlier in the year when the trail was covered with 5' of snow, it was nice to cruise on an open trail past China Cap and over to Granite Butte. Watched a beautiful sunrise from the top.
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