The week before Justin was running the Gorge 100k we had an itch for the mountains. The taper period is a funny time because you're supposed to be laying low, but how can you avoid what you love during your time off? I obviously wasn't laying low and am in a high volume stretch of training, so I was happy to convince Justin to go on a "recovery run" up Granite Mountain.
We chose Granite Mountain because its a shorter trail (<10 mi) and is known for its varied landscape and stellar views. Honestly, that can probably be said about the majority of trails close to the Snoqualmie Pass. We were also sitting an active pup who was ecstatic to be on the mountain; he definitely needed to burn some energy. He also got to see snow for the first time!
This trail is very run-able and can be as vigorous as you want it to be. Its gradual and technical in short sections. About a mile before the top when you hit the ridge there is a dramatic granite formation along the side of the mountain, which had us stopping in our tracks to take in the striking beauty.
The weather was warm at the bottom and I was a little bit of a fool to be deceived. I ditched my gloves and hat and was shivering with frozen fingers at the top, likely because we were on our hands and knees in the snow getting to the watch tower. However, I was really glad I wore my Brooks Essential Long Sleeve. It was breathable which was nice at the bottom of the trail and the thumb rings came in handy at the top to give my hands some warmth. The color is cute and I like to stand out while on the trails for safety reasons.
This trail can easily be extended to Pratt Lake or Bandera Mountain if you are up for the distance. We were happy with the huff we got from 4,000 ft and a short scramble to the top.
Granite Mountain: Exit 47 off I-90
Distance: 9 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,000 ft
I am an outdoor travel junkie with my doctorate in occupational therapy. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of my life with my husband, the communities we serve, and the many adventures we take.