Trip Report    

Intermediate Snowshoe - Granite Lakes via Granite Creek

Challenging snowshoe trip to the Middle Fork

  • Road recommended for high clearance only
  • A winter storm hit the Pacific Northwest the day after Christmas 2021, bringing unusually cold temperatures and snow to the Puget Sound lowlands. Given how much snow was falling at Snoqualmie Pass and recent trip reports (thanks, fellow hikers), I guessed that there would be a lot of snow in the Middle Fork area. And YES, THERE WAS!!!!

    Trail conditions: The Granite Creek Trail is thoroughly under snow right now and snowshoes are a must. Gorgeous winter wonderland!  There was a faint track that had been snowed on, so for about 2- 2.5 miles we didn't truly have to break trail. After that point, we did have to struggle forwards breaking trail in knee-deep to hip-deep powdery snow. Sometimes with branches lashing us in the face. Ughh... Type 2 fun!  Anyone going in there relatively soon will benefit from our beaten path for 3.25 miles (one-way). You're welcome!

    Obstacles: After the bridge (at 1.8 miles) there are numerous and sometimes VERY DICEY stream crossings. There are also several very large fallen trees that require either doing your best limbo or going around, and some dense thickets of young trees or slide alder that want to whip you in the face with their branches. Did I mention those already? Yeah, I did, and I'm going to mention them again just to forewarn you. 

    One of the fallen trees we had to dodge

    One of the many tricky stream crossings

We drove to the Granite Creek Trail intending to snowshoe to Granite Lakes. Fun outing and lots of great snow to play in if you're prepared and have the right vehicle. 

Kudos to our hearty & hardy band of snowshoers who not only climbed 2,000 vertical feet but forded numerous dicey stream crossings - sometimes shoveling steps into steep snowbanks to do so- and tolerated many showers of snow and branches to the face from the thickets we pushed through. It was magical to see the Middle Fork transformed by snow into a white winter wonderland!