Granite Mountain Trail is a 6.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Julian, California that offers scenic views and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from February until October.
Took the approach from Cool Canyon. The hike through the canyon was beautiful, with spring blooms starting to appear. Climbing out of the canyon, we took an approach slightly Northeast of the route shown on Alltrails. It was steep but fairly straightforward. After finishing this climb, a view of a seemingly even steeper, boulder-strewn mountainside came into view. As we approached this climb from the saddle, we were able to follow cairns and ducks marking a route up this steep grade. Thanks to the cairns the climb was actually easier than the first. Once we reached the top of this climb, there were still a couple more ups and downs to go before reaching the boulder-covered summit of Granite. The 360-degree views made the arduous climb well worth it. Nearly the entirety of the Salton Sea is revealed, along with landmarks ranging from the Volcan Mountains, Lagunas, Whale Peak and Grapevine Mountain, the PCT through the San Felipe Hills, and far off in the distance, San Jacinto, Baldy, a sliver of Gorgonio, and to the west, Lake Cuyamaca all the way to ocean. Magestic!
The rock scrambling was by far the main thing I was looking forward to haha.
Really pretty trail. Just follow the canyon until you can't anymore then go over a bunch of false summits and question your sanity. Definitely some scrambles. Did it form the road...adds about 2 miles. These Anza Borrego hikes are for real.
It's a little tough to climb but the view's are definitely worth it
This hike is harder than it seems by looking at the map ----- lots of pretty steep pitches while simultaneously boulder hopping, so its difficult to get into a good climbing stride. The view from the top is well worth it, and you'll likely have the place all to yourself!