The west side of Snoqualmie Pass offers a number of nice day hikes, an hour or less from Seattle along I-90. Still somewhat free on the weekdays, I got some of my temporary roommates to head out to Granite Mountain. Since it was nearby, it was a rather late start at the trailhead around 1 PM. Accessing this large parking lot is easy; it is right off exit 47 on I-90 (after exited from the Seattle direction, go left across the overpass and left again and drive to the end of the short road.)
Most weekends this lot can be full to overflowing, but it was a weekday so we had an easy enough time. Like all national forest trailheads in Washington, it requires a NF Pass, which is $5 for the day or $30 for a year.
One of the "interesting" features of Snoqualmie corridor hikes is the ceaseless roar of the interstate. The concrete surface on this section coupled with the mirroring effects of the deep valley make for a less than serene experience, at least until you get around the corner from the highway.
The trail starts right around 1860 feet, and more or less goes straight up to the summit of Granite at 5629 feet. As usual, Kenny raced out ahead, with Tim and Taylor behind and Lilah running back and forth nervously because we weren't all close enough to her liking. The trail switches back once, opening into the bottom of a VERY long avalanche chute down the south side of Granite. The area is impressive, considering there is very little tall vegetation this far down from the alpine.
[photo]01_IMG_3425.jpg[caption]Looking up the avalanche chute[/photo]
At 1 mi we got to a trail junction, with the left trail going up to Olallie and Talapus Lakes (Pratt Lake Trail). This is a less popular route in the... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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