Looking north from the summit of Little Granite Peak
Little Granite Peak is one of the southern most peaks in the granite core of the Trinity Alps. It is located just south of Sawtooth Peak, above Alpine Lake. This peak is seldom climbed, most likely due to it being overshadowed by its neighbors (Hilton, Thompson, Sawtooth), as well as the steep approach (almost 5,000ft elevation gain in about 6 miles), and lack of information about it in books and online. Regardless of this, the summit is well worth a visit, offering incredible views of the White and Red Trinities, Canyon Creek, Stuart Fork, Shasta, and Lassen. Likewise, solitude is highly likely. The most direct route, allowing a strenuous day-hike, is by the Bear Creek Trail, however a nice backpack could include a night at Alpine Lake and summiting from there.
False summit in center
Start at the Canyon Creek Trail head. Which is obtained by heading west on I-5 from Redding, or east on I-5 from the Eureka area, until you reach Junction City. Turn north onto Canyon Creek Road and take it to the end to reach the trail head.
Do not take the Canyon Creek Trail, take the Bear Creek trail.
Hike on this for 5 miles to the Stuart Fork-Canyon Creek Divide.
From the divide you will see a false summit of Little Granite Peak standing above the ridge to the north. Hike cross country toward this, staying below and on the east side of the ridge. There is a faint use trail that fades away quickly. End up on the east side of the false summit and slowly make your way up the boulders. The actual summit is slightly north of where the granite begins, so just keep at it, until you find the high point. Stay on the east side as you search, it is much easier to move around. The high point has a blue ammo box at it's base, which is empty, and a dead tree or log shoved in its center crack.
Looking south from the summit
No permits are necessary for day trips but overnight outings require a wilderness permit in Trinity National Forest. There are no quotas, and permits can most easily be obtained at one the Weaverville Office listed below. An information station is available outside the office so permits may be picked up 24 hours/day.
Bear canisters are not required or necessary, but proper food storage is a good idea.
Campfires and stoves require a California campfire permit, available at any forest service or BLM station throughout the state. Note that campfires are not permitted around the lakes in the Canyon Creek or Stuart Fork drainages.
Weaverville Ranger Station (Trinity NF)
P.O. Box 1190
360 Main Street
Weaverville, CA 96093
Campsite on the divide
There are two back country sites I noticed on the Bear Creek Trail, one about half way up to the divide, on the south side of the trail, and one right at the Divide (incredible views, little wood nearby, room for one 2 person tent).
There are dozens of USFS campgrounds on all sides of the Trinity Alps. The Rush Creek and East Weaver campgrounds are closest to Weaverville on Highway 3. The Junction City campground is the the nearest to Weaverville on Highway 299. The free Ripstein campground is a short distance from the Canyon Creek trailhead.