Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
13.10 mi (21.08 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.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Great views. Wildflowers. Further hiking options.

Cons

Popular destination.

Trailhead Elevation

4,060.00 ft (1,237.49 m)

Net Elevation Gain

3,424.00 ft (1,043.64 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Geologically significant

Suitable for

Horseback

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Comments

07/31/2017
Spent a fantastic overnight at Granite Lake this weekend. There are a ton of wildflowers in bloom right now - tiger lilies, corn lilies, paintbrush, yarrow, a couple of orchid species, monkeyflowers, and tons more. There are still a lot of full streams and the lake is the perfect temperature for swimming right now - cool and refreshing, but not icy. It's a hot ascent though, so pack lots of water and/or you can pump water at some of the larger streams. I went through 2+ liters on the way up. Left the parking lot about 8:30 and made it up in ~4+ hours. Took ~3 to come down.
06/04/2017
Camped at Granite Lake this weekend. There was some snow around the lake, which was still partially iced over. We day hiked up into the pass, which was gorgeous. Tons of snow up there beyond​ 1.2 miles, so we went no further.
06/24/2017
Had an amazing 3 day 2 night trip to Granite Lake this last weekend. So much water everywhere. Could count 13 waterfalls just from my campsite. Will definitely go back. Did a day hike up to 7-up Pass. Quite a few snow patches but could still find trail. Highly recommended hike. Took about 5 hours with many breaks along the way and a little over 3 to get back.
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