DISTANCE
10.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,483 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

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birding

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1 month ago

Trail Report - Granite and Thompson Lakes

*I started this at the trailhead closest to mailbox - starting further down the road will provide a more direct route to the lakes.

Began around 11:00AM into bright, new growth forest. For much of the first two miles it felt like a trail had been maintained through the regrowth of an old logging (forest service?) road. Appreciating the trail for what it was, I hiked gradually uphill with the branches of new trees brushing past and covering the path just enough to feel immersed but never losing trail.

At 1.7 miles in - according to my AllTrails app, was the first of two bridge crossings. After this the forest changed for a bit into older growth before turning back into new growth with beautiful old forest on both sides.

Only .2 miles further was a viewpoint with a bench forged from a big log.

Another .5 miles to the sign post for granite lakes or the way down to the other trailhead.

At this point it was just under 3 miles to Granite lake, and the lake was stunning, especially wrapped in its fall colors. Just before the final push there was a sign splitting the trail for Granite Lake and Thompson Lake.

Experienced plenty of wildlife along the way and even had a close encounter with a Pika right at the lake. @gsaontour was up there taking photos and got an excellent shot of the little guy. If you want some dope wildlife pictures go check out his insta and give him a follow!

After coming back down from Granite I decided there was enough time in the day to make it all the way to Thompson lake. The trail continues through older growth then pops back up into new growth and back into old. The creek was by my side for a decent portion, with a few side paths to a better view.

It is another 3 miles to Thompson Lake and about 600 more ft of elevation gain but if time allows, there was not a single person on the way to the lake and the forest continues to change as the trees grow larger and the moss more dense. The lake became visible through the trees the closer i got and the trail decends quickly. There is an excellent view of the lake from about halfway to the decent of the lake. Even if you decide not to clamber all the way down to the waters edge, if you came far enough to see the lake through the trees, definitely make it to the rock slide area where, in my opinion, the best view lives.

There’s plenty of small spots on the surrounding rocks to stop for a break and enjoy the view. There’s one small dirt spot big enough for a tent and the reminace of a campfire but check the regulation on spending the night there before you do as i am unsure.
The hike back uphill from the lake was actually a welcomes warmup before the mostly gradual decent back to the car.

Appreciated the abundance and variety of fungus growing this time of year, from mushrooms bigger than my hand to patches of tiny orange caps it seems to be a mycologists playground. I was able to enjoy the buzzing and chirping of woodland animals as this was a quiet path with not many hikers, even on a Sunday.

Overall, AllTrails put the round trip at 15.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,367. Moving time was almost exactly 6hours. solid day hike not too far out of town and can definitely be enjoyed on a sunny or fully cloudy day.