Bertha May and Granite Lakes Trail is a 10.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mineral, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The road to the TH is severely washed out about 1 mile before the TH. High clearance 4 wheel drive can navigate it.
This hike is Day two of an overnight hike to Cora Lake and is reverse from yesterday’s hike heading back to the car. Woke up at 4am, 6am and almost got up at 6, but fell asleep and woke up at 8:30. Dew on the fly and it lightly rained a couple times. The morning was cloudy behind the surrounding ridges. Started a fire and boiled water for coffee. Gathered more wood and boiled water for breakfast. Sat on log at gravel bar on the edge of the water and relaxed a bit. Gathered more wood. Boiled more water and had hot chocolate.
Packed and ready to go at 1:50pm. Talked to a small group at the bigger spot down the way. Started the hike back at 2pm which was a pretty good incline. This was tough! Wasn't sure I was going to make it rest of the day. I think it was because I had just rested and my legs were already tired. After about 45-60 minutes, hiking became easier and normal on all the inclines. My pack was lighter but I don't know by how much, 5-7 lbs maybe.
The day was partly sunny and partly cloudy, becoming more sunny as the day progressed. The hike was pretty normal on the way back and nothing really stood out. I didn't see anyone this section until Granite Lake which was expected since the 3 lakes on the way back are the most populated. Talked with a mother and her kids overnighting. A couple packing a toddler day hiking, a young couple overnighting in the spot the group of 15 were the day before and another couple with a fishing pole and a dog day hiking. At Bertha May lake there was a small group of day hikers who left shortly after I passed by. I made it to the car minutes before they did.
All and all a great hike and all my gear worked perfectly. There was now snow at all and the area was semi-populated leaving many spots for solitude. Cora lake was all solitude.
This is an overnight hike from Trailhead 251, through Pothole, Bertha May and Granite lakes to overnight at Cora lake. I left the house late at 11:45am. The wash out near the trailhead was bigger than two years ago. Be careful going through. Only 4 wheel-drive should go through. It looks bad, but very doable. There were about 10 cars/trucks at the trailhead.
This a test hike with all my new overnight gear. The pack is very heavy to lift but wears well, making it feel not that heavy. It's 40 lbs plus a bit extra. I got a new tent, sleeping bag and pad. Can’t wait to test it all out.
I meet a small group fishing at Bertha May. Saw 3 bikers. One repairing a chain. There was a couple hiking. At Granite Lake there was a huge group of about 15-ish. Many tents. Talked to one of them and he gave me good info on Cora.
Hiking with a heavy pack is different than day hiking. I’m slower. Harder up hills. I use the poles differently. More calculated. Still not bad and I done mind it. I like it actually!!!
Took a wrong/right at the junction for Cora and Trail 252 and went up toward the road. Should Have gone left/straight. Went about a 1/4 mile turned around made it to Cora.
Only one real camp site and a larger group was just leaving around 5pm. Would have been perfect except this is the first site people see coming from the road a mile away. I chose one only half established one at a gravel bar on the water and put the tent in the trees. The tent was great to put up. I got everything ready, had a fire, ate and relaxed a bit. A couple small groups came up for the night, just hours really. Now that there are gone in the only one here. Well me and the annoying FROGS!!! It's 10:02pm. I'm finally getting sleepy and cool. It's hot in the tent and had to open the fly a bit for fresh air.
GPs directions are wrong. The first turn after getting onto the dirt roads is a left then immediate right onto 8410 The other leads you to 8415 in which their is no access. 4x4 is needed to get to th. I made it within a mile in a little car then just walked from there. The trail itself is only around a couple miles long so it isn't too bad. After passing pothole lake there is a split in the trail and does not specify. Take the left uphill (I believe it is marked #251) Awesome little hike with 3 lakes! Good camping but not too many spots next to water. I did not see any sign of fish iether, unfortunately.
Cloudy and cool today but I was all alone in the morning on my way up. It was so good to revisit this trail that I loved back in high school and college. Sad I didn't get to see the mountain, but the quiet time was still well worth it. An easy hike with very little steepness. Probably one of the most underrated hikes around, IMHO! Can't wait to come back and camp and see the mountain again here.
Hiked this trail from the Pothole Lake Trail Head on road 8410 to Granite Lake. Had some stunning views of Mt Rainier and gorgeous lakes along the way. There were thousands of tadpoles swimming about in Pothole lake, and no snow anywhere on the trail. Was a rather beautiful and refreshing hike.
Hiked to Granite lake today for the Cora Lake trail head with the Boy Scout Troop today. Trail to Cora Lake still had some snow but it wasn't bad. The trail from Cora Lake to Granite Lake had a fair amount of snow up to 18" deep in places but not completely covered.
Stumbled on this little hike today while looking for High Rock Lookout. Kids, dog and I hiked this one instead. It was more uneventful than what we are used to hiking the Olympics. Disappointing to see wrappers and beer bottles along the trail. Pothole lake was beautiful if you look past the scraps or garbage left from previous campers. Bertha Lake was amazing as well with clear greenish waters hidden in an opening in the trees. Do not attempt to get to the trail head in a car whereas there are washouts where I had to kick my SUV into 4low to cross. When you do get there, the trail head is in the bushes on your left. You may miss is if a vehicle is parked in front of the sign and begin up the gravel path.
(July 2013) I hiked with my 11 year old boy from the north side of Cora Lake to Granite Lake today. Up through the sawtooth hills (up and down terrain...mostly up from east to west) it took us about 2 1/2 hours to reach Granite. It was a little foggy when we got there around 830am. It cleared up within 20 minutes to reveal beautiful bluish green waters, sandy beach and mirror like water reflecting the hillside. Then we turned around a got smacked in the face with an awesome view of Mt. Rainier!
We have great memories and lots of pictures to share when we come home:)
A very pleasant hike, but as of last summer (2011), the road to the trail-head was in horrible shape, washouts about a mile short of the TH, with larges rocks across the "road". It is about 4.5 miles to Cora lake, and about 1.5 miles to the end of Bertha may Lake. Views of Mt. Rainier form the TH and the "upper" trail through the trees.