Follow the Pratt Lake Trail for almost a mile before turning right at the junction with Granite Mountain Trail. Granite Mountain Trail switchbacks up through forest, avalanche tracks and huckleberry meadows, climbing into Alpine Lakes Wilderness to nearly 3,800 feet at the summit of Granite Mountain.
Mountain Rainer comes into view as you climb out of the forest. The trail passes a small tarn about a mile below the lookout. This is a good turn-around for the tired and weary. Beyond the tarn you circle to the summit ridge on the north side of the mountain where snow often obscures the route until late June. From the summit you can see mountains in all directions and off in the distance Pugetopolis, Puget Sound and the Olympics. The trail rises steeply to the summit of the mountain for almost its entire length. In places it can be badly rutted from water erosion. The trail climbs up the mountain's south face, making water sources scarce, if not unavailable by mid-summer.
Huckleberries and wildflowers cover the slope in the mid-summer and huckleberries in late summer and fall. After three miles the trail crosses over the ridge onto its north side. Early in the season, this trail is usually snow covered and hikers often scramble along the ridge through the boulder field.
If continuing on the trail, please use extreme care to stay on the main trail and prevent any further damage to this fragile alpine ecosystem. At the end of this trail find one of the last operational lookout towers in the forest, as well as sweeping panoramic views on clear days.
Washington Trails Association
At a Glance
From North Bend, Washington head east on I-90 to exit #47. Turn north from the off-ramp and turn left at the "T" in the road. Continue straight ahead and park in the Pratt Lake trail parking area. Hike the Pratt Lake Trail #1007 for one mile, where the junction for Granite Mountain turns sharply to the right and up the hill.