Area: Bandera

Length: (1.0 +) 3.5

Elevation: 1870 +3540 -0

Condition: moderately good

Solitude: low

Appeal: high

Features:
Snoqualmie peak views,
optional scramble to lookout

Difficulty: difficult

Administered: USFS, North Bend R.D.

Trailhead: Pratt Lake TH

Connects to: Pratt Lake trail

Guides: 100Alp, ALWsm, DNSnoq

Maps: USGS Bandera, Snoqualmie Pass
Green Trails Bandera, Snoqualmie Pass


 

map

Overview

Once the snow clears from the relatively dangerous avalanche slopes on the south-facing side of Granite Peak, this is one of the better early season conditioning hikes. There are some of the best views of the high peaks in the Snoqualmie Pass area. This trail barely qualifies as obscure, but the stiff workout, gaining over 3500 feet, is enough to keep the worst of the crowds away.

 


Details

From the Pratt Lake trailhead, head out along the Pratt Lake trail at a moderate and steady uphill pace. Take the clearly marked fork to the right at 1.0 miles.

The pace continues about the same at first, but at about 0.3 miles, things start to change you reach an extended series of switchbacks, working generally northward, on stony soil and mostly in light timber along the west side of a natural drainage crease. At about 1.0 miles, cross that crease, typically with a small creek running there early in the season. At about 1.8 miles, pass another crease and begin to break into more open views. Here the grade eases, and the trail works east across the face of the avalanche chute amidst lots of bear grass.

At 2.2 miles, turn more directly uphill, in a generally northward direction, on a few short switchbacks. There are boulders to dodge here, so watch your step. Reach a gently rounded rib flanked on the right by a field of large boulders. Follow it upward in a northwest direction, If you like things a little wilder, you can continue to follow the stony rib to the left and scramble the rest of the way up to the summit with no technical difficulty.

Granite Mtn. view

The regular trail route, often buried by lingering snow drifts in early summer, stays a little lower and skirts a little pocket with a melt pond, just east of the summit. After you pass the left side of the pond, find the trail working its way up to a gentle but stony ridge line on the northeast corner of the mountain. From there, it's up the boulders to reach the lookout tower on the summit, at 3.5 miles. The large steel tower is rarely open, but it remains a major landmark visible from the I-90 highway below.

Granite Mtn. view




Granite Peak overlooks the Upper Tuscohatchie Lake and has spectacular views of Kaleetan Peak and other mountains in the Snoqualmie Pass area.