This weekend I hiked up Granite Mountain with my Dad and his brother and sister. What a great view towards the top. This was from the clearing where we stopped for lunch. It was a beautiful day and a difficult hike.
I'm definitely paying for the hike today. My legs and back are incredibly sore. I have my first soccer game tonight too...I have a feeling I won't make it the full 90 minutes. I'll do my best though. :)
Information about the hike: Granite Mountain
Highlights: Steep hike through forest and meadows to fire lookout with tremendous views.
Near: North Bend, WA
Scenery: Distance: 8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 3800 ft
Hike Time: 5.5 to 7 hours
Trail Condition: Well maintained trail
HikeType: Out and Back
Summary: The trail starts off in the forest and climbs quickly. Although it is steep, it's a consistent elevation gain and there are many switchbacks, so the grade is not too terrible. At about one mile, the trail splits. Go right. You'll be in trees for another 1/2 mile. Then, the way opens up to switchbacks galore. Finally, the trail turns towards the right and you have a chance to admire the views. It is flatter here, too. The trail eventually turns back to the west. You'll come to several tarns with at least one campsite. Stay to the east of the tarns and to the north and east of the rocks. The trail will run close to the rocks and eventually climb through them, bringing you to the fire lookout at the top. Look for Rainier, Baker, Stuart, and the peaks around Snoqualmie Pass. You can also see a number of lakes.
Caution -- Avalanches can be a problem here until July.
Trailhead: Take 1-90 east from Seattle to exit 47. Take a left (north). Cross highway, go left (west). Trailhead is 0.5 miles ahead at the end of the road. Trailhead is shared with Pratt Lake trailhead. (Lat:47.397 Lon:-121.486)
There are more pictures from the hike in my flickr account. Just click on any of the photos to view my account and photostream.