Last weekend, I wanted a hike that (a) had a fantastic vista and (b) would be strenuous enough to count as a conditioning hike. Granite Mountain definitely met those criteria.
So, off I went. I got a relatively late start, but I managed to get a parking space. Granite Mountain, like most trails on the I-90 corridor, gets a bit crowded on sunny weekends.
I normally don’t bring a camera on a training hike, but I made an exception for this one, because the views are exquisite! The only slight problem was a haze caused by massive wildfires in Siberia. I’m not complaining, though. Over 1,000 Siberian homes have been destroyed or damaged, and 15 people have died due to the fires.
The hike started in the forest, and I noticed that the wildflowers are beginning to blossom. There wasn’t any snow until I got above the treeline (about 4,000 feet). The snow was fairly shallow until I got to about 5,000 feet. After that point, you had to stay on the packed snow. If you didn’t, you sank to your waist in the snow.
I almost made it to the summit, but I turned back with about 300 vertical feet and 1/4 mile to go for two reasons: (1) the snow started getting very slippery and (2) it was getting late (4 PM) and I did not want to use my headlamp on the way back.
That’s the nice thing about mountains. They’re not going anywhere, so you can always come back another time. :)
Here are a few pictures.
Flowering strawberry plants
First vista on the trail. We go much higher than this!
We’ve still got to gain a lot of altitude.
First glimpse of the fire lookout
Mt. Rainier. The haze is from massive Siberian wildfires.
An artistic look at Mt. Rainier.
Looking down at Lake Keecheelus on the other side of Snoqualmie Pass.
The lookout is getting closer.
“The tooth”. Also known as Kaleeten Peak.
The lookout. I turned back not long after I took this shot.