The Red Trinities are a wonderland for botanists, geologists, photographers, and adventurers. The rocks here, stained red with deep mantle-sourced perdodite, contrast beautify with the White Trinities that are found to the west of the Stuart Fork drainage. Another source of geologic contrast comes from the Gibson Peak pluton, a mass of granite and younger rocks that forcefully intruded right through the heart of the ancient ultramafic rocks that gives the Red Trinities their name. This trip brings you to ground zero of this clash of colorful geology.
The first leg of the hike is spent along the pleasantly shaded Swift Creek Trail. There's an interesting gorge formation along Swift Creek just short of a mile into the trail. The bridge that begins the Granite Lake Trail is adjacent to a nice creekside beach that makes for a great rest stop. You will be embedded in impressive old-growth forest for the next 1.5 miles of trail paralleling Granite Creek. Keep watch as the creek will occasionally offer up cascades, waterfalls, and swimming holes. Elevation gain ramps as you approach Gibson Meadow, and the creek includes several impressive drops during this section. Gibson Meadow provides a relatively flat area to take a breather and take in the high-country scenery that has opened up around you. After about 5 miles of hiking you will finally reach the 18-acre Granite Lake. There are many camping spots along the northeast shore of the lake; however, there will also be plenty of groups claiming those spots on summer weekends. Most people on this trail will go no further than Granite Lake, but the 1.5-mile push from Granite Lake to Seven Up Pass is well worth the effort. Summer wildflowers will vie for your attention in the foreground, and the red versus white battle of Seven Up Peak (to your north) and Gibson Peak (to the south) will be the backdrop of your climb. A large percentage of the Trinity Alps will open up before you once you make the pass, and these mountains will try to convince you to keep hiking.