Granite Park Chalet is open from the loop right now, and they’re expecting to open the Garden Wall route sometime in August. The trail is completely open, but still pretty wet. The views are spectacular along the hike and even grander when you reach the chalet! The chalet would be a great place to stay as a ‘base camp’. There are several awe-inspiring destinations that you can reach as a day hike from here.
Round trip to Granite Park Chalet is 8.4 miles, with an elevation gain of 2,450 feet. About 3.5 miles up the trail, there is a back country campground if you don’t want to stay at the chalet. The hike is a bit of a leg burner, especially if you’re carrying a backpacking load. Later in the season, the Garden Wall will open, and the going is much easier from that route. Reservations must be made in advance for the chalet and the backcountry camping, (book early because space is limited).
The wildflowers were already out in full force, even though the trail had just melted. Near the chalet there was still a bit of snow, but the chalet crew had shoveled it out, so the trail was in good condition.
The Park is having a record year for beargrass, (the flower in the above 3 photos). Each beargrass plant only blooms every 5-7 years! Every so often, the ‘stars align’ so to speak and there is an abundance of showy spires against majestic blue mountains.
On the way back, there’s a creek running near the end of the trail. We like to stop and soak our tired feet before heading home to make dinner. Tonight, it’s Chicken Caesar Salad (a favorite ‘after hike’ dinner)!