This was part of a month long mostly solo peakbagging trip in which I hiked every day, and got 70 peaks in 30 days. Granite is a nice peak, but not as nice as Palen. My friend Greg and I spent an hour with two shovels repairing the washed out road and were able to drive to Packard Well for a round-trip hike of only 6 miles.
For numerous photos and brief route descriptions see the trip report.
The road in hasn't gotten any better! A 30% chance of rain turned into 100%. Rain all the way down from the summit to the truck. Still great views from this peak, even with the rain.
The road from the west is definitely 4WD. Don't even think about driving out here in a 2WD or even an all wheel drive. The sand comes first, then numerous washouts, each one is worst than the last. The climb itself is over rough terrain and any route up is going to be a challenge. Great views, though, if you're lucky enough to have a clear day.
Cold all the way. For Palen: Winds near 50 mph on summit made the footing seems a little iffy at times. DPS C is beautiful; but the catclaws are everywhere. Started about 2 miles below the 2wd parking. For Granite #2: Winds a bit milder.
Not the most exciting hike ever, but expansive views from the summit, especially for a peak that's only 4,331 feet. We had planned on doing Palen in the afternoon, but our group was moving a little too slowly. Decided to make it an early day and head home instead.
With Matthew and Evan in Evan's truck, with the help of a shovel and clippers. Trip Report
Yup- definitely need 4x4 for this one... with a Tacoma managed to make it over Palen Pass from the west and start at Packard Well. Was a great hike with perfect conditions. Dennis is right about dragging rear bumpers, managed to bend up the electrical plug for my trailer hitch- guess I'll have to buy that boat another day...
Dennis's maps are also useful. Heading up the ridge is likely the best way to go.
Attempted to "try out" the sandy road to Granite's base in my 2wd and got stuck 2.5 miles down it. Took me almost 48 hours to get myself out (with the help of a friend who drove out from San Diego) and back to civilization. Very surreal experience, and extremely humbling, being out in the middle of nowhere, but glad I eventually escaped!
DO NOT DO THIS ROAD WITHOUT A 4WD! Earlier warnings are correct, and you will CERTAINLY get stuck if you go down it in a normal car! Hopefully nobody else will undergo the same fate as mine.....
Thanks for sharing your experience. I've wanted to do Granite and Palen for some time now, but I'm afraid to try it, even with my Subaru.
Yeah, it was pretty dumb for me to have tried that, in retrospect...... I have a 4wd Tacoma now which *could* do the trick, but since I live in Maine now I probably won't get the chance for a rematch! ;-) 7 years ago, it's been a long time......
Long hike on a nice day. I'm glad it wasn't hot...