Trip Report    

Granite Creek Trail via Connector Trail

Spring in the valley, winter at the lakes. Gradually climbing trail with easy tread in second growth forest with occasional views

  • Tue, Mar 26, 2024
  • Granite Creek Trail
  • Day Hiking
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • There are a number of small blowdowns within the first few minutes and one large one about 15 minutes in. The trail looks completely obscured but you can pick through the branches without having to find a way around. Numerous streams cross the trail all the way to the lakes, passable on stones and logs, but a couple of them are deep enough at the moment that you'll get wet if you slip, most notably the outfall stream from the upper lake.

I took the Connector trail rather than continuing to the main trailhead because I wanted the extra mileage for conditioning. It was a rainy, chilly morning with fog in the valley and no other cars at the parking area when I arrived about 8:30. At 2.4 miles the Connector joins the Granite Creek trail and then proceeds along the creek for a short distance before angling upslope and away from the streambed.

Snow patches first appeared at ~2400' and the trail was fully covered from about ~2750, with depth increasing slowly but steadily. At the lakes, depth is a foot or more. I had microspikes but didn't use them. The lakes were still frozen, but should open soon with warming weather. I reached the lakes about 11am, intending to eat lunch there but with snow falling and on the ground there was nowhere comfortable without stamping out a platform and setting up a tent (which was more trouble than the temperature and precipitation made worthwhile), so I backtracked a mile down the trail and found a reasonably sheltered spot under mature firs.

On the valley floor, skunk cabbage is coming up and salmonberry is starting to bloom. Winter definitely is still in control up a the lakes - nothing budding or green to be seen yet. 

Round trip, about 5:00,not including lunch break. 11.5 miles/2400' per gps.