granite mountain lookout ('5629)
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The hike of Washington’s Granite Mountain Lookout forced me to confront this site’s line between a hike and a climb. After a few minutes of debate with myself, I settled on a hike having a trail. I’ll reserve a climb designation for a mountain summit accessed only through navigation. Save a few exceptions, this seems a good general rule.
The hike of Granite mountain may be difficult. But, it’s still a day hike with some incredible views.
The first mile and a half or so of this hike stands covered in woods with the highway echoing in the background.After about two miles the highway fades away and the views begin to open up. As with many of its nearby neighbors like Mailbox it has the south-facing views so common with I90 hikes.
The first views along the Granite Mountain hike are some valleys and snow-capped peaks. Soon these open up to a nice 180-degree view of Washington’s South Cascades. Rainier stands tall above all the others and becomes the main attraction of the day.
The sun was a discouragement as we climbed since the south-facing hill had little if any protection from it. Despite wearing SPF 50+ sunscreen, I still managed to burn the back of my neck.