About 100F in Weaverville so we were a little concerned about heat but it wasn't bad at all. Started at 8am and the lower elevations provide plenty of shade; by the time it got hot, we were already high up in the cooler air. Some bushwhacking was required but overall, it's a very nice trail with great views. Far more green and lush than expected. Lastly, it's far longer than any map will tell you. I GPS recorded 12mi RT.
Great ass kicker in the snow!
Made it about halfway up the road to the trailhead before a drift stopped us. Consistent snow pack started at about 5700'. Incredible views.
The gate to reach the Stoney Ridge Trailhead closes for the winter snow and rain season at the end of October, so I headed a bit farther north on highway 3 to the turn off for the Granite Peak Trailhead, which was easily accessible (some big ruts near the end of the 2.5 miles were avoidable or one could park in the previous clearing without adding significant mileage). The beginning of the hike was more fun than expected with calm, cool, sunny conditions, fog filling the Trinity River basins down below, and peaks to gaze at in every direction, rewarding the effort to hike all the lower switchbacks. I would not opt for this route on a warm, dusty, summer day. The adventure started when the snow began to deepen with about 2000 feet of gain left. The cross country travel with some postholing, scrambling, and sliding was rewarded with grand views of the Trinity Alps peaks covered in snow as well as clear views of the rest of the north state.
Part one of a peak trifecta on the way to the Four Lakes Loop.
Hiked up here as the first of two warm-up days before Shasta. Nice views of Sawtooth, Gibson, and Caesar. Continuous snow cover for the last thousand feet or two.