Granite Mountain Trail is a 7.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Julian, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from October until April.

Distance: 7.1 miles Elevation Gain: 3,244 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

scramble

no shade

no dogs

hiking
no shade
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Wow! This hike is no joke. Dirt road into trailhead was closed so I hiked in from S2. Adds 2 miles and a little extra elevation. I took the left wash up, definitely more scrambling necessary this way. Due to all the rain, trail was tricky to follow due to plant growth. AllTrails was helpful. 2 1/2 hours to peak and nearly 2 hours to get down. View from the top, as already mentioned, is amazing. Wind gusts at the peak had to have been in the 60 mph range! Coming down was definitely easier to follow the trail. I took the wash which AllTrails suggests and was a better option. All in all a great adventure.

hiking
icy
no shade
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

This “trail” kind of....sucks. I’m glad I finished it so I can say that I did it but I’ll never be coming back. Don’t let the mileage fool you, this is a very slow hike that took me about 3.5 hours to get to the peak. You start in a dried creek bed that eventually progresses in to a rock scramble with no trail to speak of at all for the last ~2.5 miles. If you’re in the area I just recommend doing Whale Peak instead. This just wasn’t for me.

hiking
3 months ago

Some good advice, do this hike in cooler weather. I rate this a moderate-strenuous hike. I started at 7:12 AM (38°) & was on the summit at 11:12 AM. About one mile from the parking area 3 washes come together, stay right. AllTrails shows the rte up the middle wash (this wash has at least 6 drop-offs you have to negotiate so its easier to come down this wash). The wash splits twice more, but stay right. The alt rte takes you to a saddle then up, but I got out of the wash after a 1/2 mi & went up the steep grassy slope to peak 4624. From there you can see Granite Mtn & the 2 other peaks along the ridge (it looks pretty intimidating). I read some posts saying the trail wasn't clear & not well marked. There is a clear trail from pk 4624 across the saddle & when you get to the boulder filled slope the rock cairns & trail are clear to see. I added a few more cairns to make it more clear & there is more than one rte, because on the way down through the boulder field (about half way) I took a different trail, but it wasn't as well marked. It took 39 mins to get through the boulders to the 1st peak (I'm 56) & another 44 mins to get to the summit of Granite. Along the ridge I found the trail relatively easy to find. The only real boulder scrambling I had to do was near the summit & the brush was thicker. It was 30°, snowing & very windy at the top. On the way down when I got back to peak 4624 I went south across the flattop, down the boulder filled slope (it has cairns but not as many) & down to the saddle (past AllTrails alt rte) then down to the wash below (the middle wash mentioned in the beginning) w/ rain following me & hiked the wash out. My roundtrip was 6.6 mi. To me this was a pretty straight forward hike, but a good workout, but I can see to someone w/ not much experience w/ this type of hiking or not being up to the challenge it could pose problems.

3 months ago

Omg knee buster. Very steep only made it to first notch. Weather was great . Trail is pretty much not in existence, make you path and head towards first notch once on top you can see the first of 2 false summits. Have fun we will be back to conquer this beast.

over grown
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

Great hike, but definitely NOT moderate...bring your trail following skills, all of them. Don't go by Alltrails directions to the trailhead, takes you to the old access road, now private property. Go past the RV park, about 1/4 mile, it's on the right side of the road if you're traveling from Shelter Valley

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
5 months ago

Trail was beautiful but very hard to find due to recent rain and growth. We could not have found it without using AllTrails during the hike. Steep up hill and then you climb down through a ravine. Gorgeous!

hiking
no shade
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

Hard to follow and rock climbing required. No trail and bush whacking too. No fun.

hiking
bugs
no shade
off trail
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

As other reviews have stated, this is a harder trail. In fact in many places the actual trail is hard to find, think we spent as much time off of it as on it. Trail starts out plain enough, you follow a gully up for a mile, the gully varies between sand/gravel and rocky uphills that look like they would be waterfalls if the water was flowing. Some of these rocky uphills are amateur rock climbing, not technical but for this reason this trail is not good for dogs/small kids. Eventually you leave the gully and without benefit of a defined trail, you start heading upwards to your first of several hills, part of this involves some boulders/rock scramble. You repeat this pattern a few times, we tried to roughly stick to the AllTrails path but in places that wasn't possible. There are at least 3 false summits that add some mental challenge. There are some steep rock scramble sections, look for cairns to show the way but the are not always visible, they are easier to follow on the way back though. You spend a lot of time inadvertently interacting with the local foliage, most of which is really sharp and painful - you really want to avoid the furry cactus looking things (Cholla cactus), they will spike you good and leave spikes in you, even through pants. More power to you if you do this trail in shorts, I wish I brought gloves too for the rock scramble and to avoid putting my hands in any aforementioned foliage. The majority of this trail has no shade and you are in the no-kidding desert so bring enough water, I drank 3L and should have had more. There wasn't another soul around, we had the trail to ourself, on a long weekend Saturday morning. We found the trail to be longer than advertised to, we had just over 7 miles round trip. On the good side, this trail was a showroom for different types of rocks and rock formations, some really neat and varied rocks along the way. We saw a lot of scat of different animals, rabbit, possibly deer, coyote - we also saw a coyote skeleton. Looks like a lot of wildlife, we did not see any snakes but the trail looks snakey. On other note, the access road to the trailhead is pretty narrow with sharp bushes/cacti on either side, if you have a wider vehicle you will be scraping on both sides. All in all, strenuous, at time frustrating trail, that has a great view from the top and plants that are trying to poke you - all in the desert. Glad I did it, won't be back.

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