This page profiles the trails to Granite Lakes in King County, Washington; other Washington lakes of the same or similar name are located in Asotin, Lewis, Skagit, Spokane, and Yakima counties. The lakes are also not to be confused with Granite Mountain Lakes on the flank of nearby Granite Mountain.
Nestled on the back side of towering peaks away from the nearby whir of freeway traffic, Granite Lakes (consisting of Upper Granite Lake and Lower Granite Lake) offer a sense of the backcountry with relative ease of access. The main trail to the lakes is the Granite Creek Trail, which, as its name implies, traces Granite Creek to its headwaters at the bases of Web Mountain and Dirty Harry’s Peak. The Granite Creek Connector Trail begins at an alternate trailhead along the same road approximately 2.50 miles/4.00 km before the main trailhead and offers a longer route through quiet lowland forest. It joins the Granite Creek Trail approximately 1.50 miles/2.40 km from the main trailhead and adds about 3.00 miles/4.80 km to the total round-trip distance. Both climb moderately but consistently through dim, second-growth forest that occasionally parts to reveal the tips of distant peaks. Mammoth tree stumps along the trails hint at what the forest once was before it was felled in the mid-1900s. Abundant wildflowers throughout add interest until the view finally opens on the approach to the lakes. Lower Granite Lake remains mostly hidden from view, but Upper Granite Lake pools placidly at the trail’s end beneath the eves of Web Mountain and Dirty Harry’s Peak.
The Granite Creek Trail is relatively popular with other hikers; the Granite Creek Connector Trail offers solitude for a portion of the hike in exchange for a longer route. Lush undergrowth sweeps the Granite Creek Trail, which, when wet with rain or dew, will result in dampened clothing. Regardless, do prepare for wet feet, as wide streams cross the Granite Creek Trail near the lakes in spring and early summer and then it meanders through a brushy interlake bog before reaching its destination. Once there, several spots of high ground along Upper Granite Lake’s shore provide vantage points from which to enjoy the wilderness views.