Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
3,284.00 ft (1,000.96 m)
Trail type
6.30 mi (10.14 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Granite Mountain offers a challenging 6.3-mile out-and-back trail leading to its summit, situated on the western edge of Anza-Borrego State Park. Accessible via the paved highway S2 and a short drive along a dirt road to the parking area (note: low-clearance cars might face difficulties on the dirt road).  This trail involves significant elevation gain within a relatively short distance. It's recommended for experienced hikers comfortable with desert navigation and equipped for self-sufficiency in extreme conditions. The trek rewards adventurers with breathtaking panoramic views and the chance to bag one of the Sierra Club’s hundred peaks.

Starting at the Cool Canyon Trailhead, the trail ascends quickly over exposed, rocky slopes toward the summit. Along the way, hikers encounter a variety of flora, from cacti and chaparral to manzanita and pinyon pines at higher elevations. The area is also home to various wildlife, including deer, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes. Expect no shade or water along the route.

While a trail is indicated on most maps, it is not always easy to follow or find. Ensure you carry maps and pack enough food and water for the entire journey. Although the hike's length may not be extensive, the steep slopes can make the ascent and descent time-consuming. Parking is available at the start however, there are no amenities at the trailhead.

Granite Mountain presents a demanding climb in an isolated landscape. However, the stunning panoramic vistas from the peak are well worth the effort. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Panoramic Views. Solitude. Peak Bagging.


Exposed. Difficult trail to follow.

Trailhead Elevation

2,596.00 ft (791.26 m)

Highest point

5,648.00 ft (1,721.51 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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