Last weekend I hiked to the top of Granite Mountain. I went with a friend who has a persistent interest in summiting mountains. Why? The views are always astounding.
5.6 miles out-and-back
1,800 feet elevation gain
Trailhead: “Granite Mountain”, off of Mountain-Goose Lake Road
The feelings of accomplishment and finality are also addictive. There is no higher point to climb (unless you want to hike over to that other distant mountain). The 1,800 foot ascent in 3 miles is the thigh-burning and chest heaving challenge that makes getting to the top that much more rewarding. Maybe this is just crazy thinking. Maybe the rewards are just more-so because they have to be, or else we’d wonder what the hell we were doing with a perfectly good afternoon.
No, we’re not crazy. It’s worth it.
The mountainside was carpeted with a variety of wildflowers. If you know the names of these weird looking flowers, feel free to tell me in a comment on the post.
After a long portion of rocky trail, we saw glimpses of the other side of the mountain where an unnamed lake sits quietly at the base. The distant Seven Devils mountain range made up the horizon. We’re almost to the top when we spot the Granite Mountain Lookout. This lookout was used to watch for fires, but has fallen recently into disuse. Volunteers (like Jack Kerouac at Desolation Peak) stayed at these lookouts and reported fire activity. The towers are mostly locked up, including Granite Mountain Lookout, but the steps were good enough for a place to sit, eat a lunch, and admire the views.