OverviewElevation: 5629 feet /1716 Meters
Route: Granite Mountain Trail
Rating: Trail or Class 2
Distance: 8 Miles Round trip
Elevation Gain: 3800 feet
Time: 3 Hours Trailhead to summit
Maps: USGS Snoqualmie Pass; Green Trails Number 207
Granite Mountain is the big, bald mountain rising north of Interstate 90 as it curves up the final few miles to Snoqualmie Pass. The mountain is easily distinquished by an absence of trees on its upper slopes, and of course by the summit lookout cabin. A popular trail leads 4 strenuous miles to the summit, but there are several scambling routes up the peak. The trail is long and steep, making it a popular training hike. It also provides an excellent introduction to mountain hiking and scambling, big enough to call a real mountain, yet easy enough not to scare off would be mountaineers. As a former lookout site, Granite Mountain offers excellent views of the othe Snoqualmie Pass peaks, particularly Kaleetan Peak, Chair Peak, the Tooth and Mount Thompson, and far away mountains including Mount Rainier, Glacier Peak, Mount Adams and Mount Stuart.
Getting ThereThe climb begins from Pratt Lake trailhead just west of Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90. Drive Interstate 90 to exit 47 ( Denny Creek/Asahel Curtis), about 15 miles east of North Bend and 5 miles west of Snoqualmie pass. Head north briefly, turn left, and continue 0.2 mile to the parking lot at Pratt Lake Trail. The parking lot serves several popular trails and can be overcrowded especially on summer weekends. A NOrthwest Forest Pass is required. This is a high "car-prowl" trailhead, so leave nothing of value behind.
Route DescriptionHike 1 mile on Pratt Lake Trail (Trail 1007) to the junction with Granite Mountain Trail. Continue right up Granite Mountain Trail (Trail 1016), which climbs steeply for 1 mile or so before traversing a wide avalanche gully at about the 3,600- foot level. Continue up the trail another mile or so, eventually curving around the east shoulder of the mountain and coming back toward the summit. After crossing the outlet stream of a boulder stewn tarn (a great campsite here), ascend meadow slopes to the foot of a rocky ridge. Here, the trail drops into a basin northeast of the summit and leads up a short ridge to the summit. Hike the trail or continue west up the obvious blocky ridge, scambling over big granite blocks and up a final talus slope to the summit lookout. The going is mostly easy and mildly exposed with only a few easy climbing moves required to surmount or trqverse aroound the largest blocks. To descend, hike out on the trail or scamble down the ridge and out.
Precautions: The trail route is not recommended in winter or spring due to severe avalanche danger in the gully. Don not cross the avalanche gully if significant snow remains on the trail or the slopes above the gully; use the southwest ridge.
Essential GearBasic hiking gear will be fine.
Good shoes, adequate clothing for conditions, ie. cool moisture wicking clothes for hot days and protective rain gear for soggy conditions.
Your significant other
Camara for great photos of the meadows, tarn & Mount Rainier.