DISTANCE
10.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2483 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

hiking
2 months ago

We didn't start where this trail map says to. Instead we started at one a bit further down the road that makes for a shorter hike.

A very pretty and very wet trail. The trailhead had almost the nicest parking lot for a trailhead I had ever seen. Very nicely paved and clean. We were the only ones there when we first arrived at 8:30 am. We got on the trail at 8:50 and started our way up. The first mile or so is the steepest part and winds through mossy forest. Very picturesque. The trail is extremely well groomed in this portion. We got to the junction for the granite creek trail and turned left. After a few hundred feet the creek (granite creek) is visible directly to your left and you will walk along it and a relatively flat but slightly inclined trail for just under a mile. No snow before this part. After crossing the bridge to the other side of the creek, it was different terrain. Snow started accumulating as we inched our way up in elevation. Less mossy trees and more bare ones. Snow was on/off at first. Saw a nice little waterfall at one of the stream crossings (which there were a lot of). At a certain point the trail was all snow covered so we put on our micro spikes. It was a bit slippery and we just continued trudging up the one way trail looking for the split off of granite and Thompson lakes. At 3070 feet, we found the junction (WTA very accurate), and veered right looking for granite lakes. This is where the very deep snow started. We were the first ones on the trail for the day so we took turns leading the way through the thick snow. I am 6'2" and it was up to my knees. That being said, it was a lot of fun and a good workout. Oh, by the way, there are very nice views of Mailbox peak, or whatever mountain it is, to your right as you walk through the snow. We kept trudging along but at this point our feet and ankles were pretty soaked for all the snow and stream crossings. There was a fairly wide and strong one we had to cross but definitely doable. Looking at my GPS, I could see we were between the two lakes but could not see them. We were getting kind of impatient and didn't realize that the end of the trail was just past the second lake. So, we just turned around and went back down. My boots and socks were pretty soaked at this point so I didn't mind too much. We saw four parties on the way back down but nobody on the way up.
In summary, very pretty and wet forest hike in the beginning. Classic WA forest with a creek scenery. After bridge crossing, snow starts to slowly build up. Fun waterfall and lots of stream crossings. Lots of snow after turn off for the lakes. Unfortunately didn't get to see the lakes but still had a blast!
Fun fact: a tree fell down (apparently by itself) after our hike about 30 feet into the woods away from the parking lot. Very loud and I think my first time seeing one fall naturally.