Granite Mountain Trail

Julian, California

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Although there’s no trail to Granite Mountain’s summit, it is possible to climb the mountain from nearly every direction. The Pacific Crest Trail meanders around the mountain’s north flank but never approaches the summit close enough to be much good in facilitating a climb. Hikers have also fashioned monotonous routes up the south flank. The following route, starting with a passage through Cool Canyon, breathes some variety into the arduous climb. You’ll multiply your satisfaction if you do this on a crystal-clear day—the summit view, stretching all the way to the ocean, can be fantastic.

Granite Mountain Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Although there’s no trail to Granite Mountain’s summit, it is possible to climb the mountain from nearly every direction. The Pacific Crest Trail meanders around the mountain’s north flank but never approaches the summit close enough to be much good in facilitating a climb. Hikers have also fashioned monotonous routes up the south flank. The following route, starting with a passage through Cool Canyon, breathes some variety into the arduous climb. You’ll multiply your satisfaction if you do this on a crystal-clear day—the summit view, stretching all the way to the ocean, can be fantastic."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Julian
Distance: 6.5
Elevation Gain: 3,200 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 7 hours
Season: November through April
Local Contacts: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Local Maps: USGS Earthquake Valley
Driving Directions: Directions to Granite Mountain Trail

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May 2018