If you have ever wanted to take a hike for the day that will wear you out as much as it will inspire you, then Granite Peak is worth checking out. Sitting on the Southeastern edge of the Trinity Alps it is a short drive from the main road to the trailhead, and the beginning of a test of a person’s resolve. What awaits is four and one-half miles of steep climbing that ascend 4,000 plus vertical feet to the top of Granite Peak, and a view that will leave one spellbound.
Once on top, the 360-degree view takes away much of the misery a body might be suffering from owed to the hike up. Looking back down the Avalanche Gully the trail had switchbacked up doesn’t even reveal a hint of a trail, it is just that steep. At the very top is the standard ammo can with notes from previous hikers, and it is fun reading.
From the top of Granite Peak, it is possible to see the Trinity Alps, Marble Mountains, Castle Crags, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, Bully Shoop, the Yola Bolas, and a host of others too numerous to list. For a day hike, it is incredible all the way around. While you are trying to dry out from sweating the little pollen gathering black and whites bumble bees might pay a visit. These little creatures are very happy to crawl all over your legs, and bare feet allowing you to take pictures of them. They are not mean at all, and even so they get annoying after a while, but when all your sweat is dried up, they go away.
Well, the views only last for so long before it is time to head down. I always dread the downhill portion of a hike like this one. If anything is off with your gear, this downhill will tear you up. Make certain all the gear used has been broken in elsewhere, this is not the place to try that brand-new pair of boots. The entire way down is an exercise in braking that leaves the knees worn. Adjustable hiking poles are a great advantage and just may keep one from needing crutches the next day.
All things considered, Granite Peak is a must do for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, and most of all a panoramic view. It will be one of the best humbling experiences for a day hike possible.