Granite Mountain 2.0 – made the lookout today. An earlier trip in June ended up 300 feet short due to a summer storm. Perfect day for Granite Mountain. No smoke. This is a must do hike in the month of September. Why??? Huckleberries! Millions everywhere above the forest. Pack a container and plan to enjoy them. Super sweet.
Nothing to report out of the ordinary for the trail. As advertised. Steep – I find the section from 3000 – 4000 feet the most challenging. No water on the mountain. So plan to bring 3L if you sweat a lot. One of the absolute best 360 degree views around. Rainier and Adams to the South. West is the I90 corridor. Bandara, Defiance, PPP, McClellan Butte, Washington are all in view. The best is to the North and North East. Kaleetan, Roosevelt, Chair, Bryant, Denny, the Tooth are all just out of reach. Glacier peak was visible as was Big Snow Mountain, Garfield, and others. The PCT peaks are all in view – Snoqualmie, Lundin, Guye, Red Mountain, Mount Thomson, Huckleberry, Alta, Hibox, Rampart Ridge. Mount Stuart is visible further out.
Once you gain the elevation skirting the avalanche chute and get about 4500 feet, the trail explodes with beautful early fall colors. The blueberry bushes are a deep reddish brown. As you gain the basin just below the lookout, the area levels, and beautiful bring green foliage carpets the area. Large granite boulders are scattered about making for one the most scenic high mountain areas. The cirque below the lookout is covered in granite. Just push 500 feet to gain the summit and lookout tower. The USGS marker is a few hundred yards to the north of the lookout, just beyond the foundation of a former structure and near the view point looking towards Crystal and Tuscohatchie lakes. The former is absolutely beautiful!
Link to Google photo album: