Picture by Kristian Whittaker
Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
Length: ~4 Miles
Elevation: 200 ft gain, 4400 ft high point
This trail has it all; a beautiful hike through old growth forest, astonishing views of Rainier on clear days, and two beautiful lakes, great for fishing and swimming (plus you can bring your dog!). The main trail is accessible off of National Forest Development Road 8410, with ample parking along the road near the trailhead. The trail meanders along a ridge past a first, unnamed lake, and then begins switch backing up to Bertha May lake. There are a few great spots to cast a line or splash around, and once back on the main trail it’s just a short walk up to Granite lake, with great views of Rainier on the north side of the ridge and the turquoise waters of the lake to south.
Directions/ Road Conditions:
From Ashford, drive Hwy 706 east for 2.4 miles. Turn south onto Skate Creek (Kernahan) Road and drive this for about 5 miles. Make another right onto Forest Service Road 84 and drive it for about one and a half miles before turning right yet again onto Road 8410. This road is rough, not passable for most passenger cars. Stay on 8410 for 3.5 miles to the trailhead. There are no bathrooms at the trailhead, so be sure to stop in Ashford before you head up!
Coordinates: 46.7069, -121.9370