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The Angry Hiker
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PostWed Mar 27, 2013 6:18 pm 
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The great thing about decommissioned logging roads is that they're relatively easy and inexpensive to turn into hiking trails.

Why? BECAUSE THEY'RE TRAILS ALREADY!!!

You simply close the road to vehicles, put up a sign at the trailhead, and you've got yourself another I-90 poop receptacle.

Case in point:

Dirty Harry's Peak
Dirty Harry's Peak
Mt. Washington
Mt. Washington
Teneriffe
Teneriffe

Clean, straight trails with plenty of elbow room, and at a fraction of the cost of carving a new trail into the mountain. Ain't that grand?

Unfortunately, the folks in charge of decommissioning the Granite Creek Road couldn't leave well enough alone.

NICE
NICE
JOB
JOB

Apparently, their cunning plan was to pile whatever crap they could find into the road, and then wind a trail up through the middle of it - supposedly to disguise the fact that this was ever a logging road to begin with.

Is this really necessary?
Is this really necessary?

While most trails follow the natural contour of the terrain, Granite Lakes Trail forces you to pointlessly swerve and zig zig around a perfectly straight trail like a drunk negotiating the ticket line at Disneyland. So what would've normally taken you 5 minutes to hike now takes three times that long and makes you want to upchuck your Egg McMuffin in the process.

I've seen the WTA pull off more convincing "trail improvements" after one of their infamous backwoods orgies of booze and hallucinogenics.

All along the trail, trees were uprooted and boulders were rolled in to prevent people from - God forbid - walking in a straight line.

Very Natural
Very Natural
Yeah, that's convincing
Yeah, that's convincing
Stump slalom
Stump slalom

In some areas, trees were topped or cut down to provide hikers with phoney baloney views.

Phoney Baloney View
Phoney Baloney View
Phony Baloney View
Phony Baloney View
Another Phoney Bloney View
Another Phoney Bloney View

I guess there used to be a nice concrete bridge here, but they tore it out and put in a slippery log that will wash away and need to be replaced every 2 years - until someone has the brilliant idea to put in a giant steel monstrosity that costs 750 bajillion dollars and looks like crap.

Idiotic Bridge
Idiotic Bridge

And everywhere you look: patio furniture.

Patio Furniture
Patio Furniture
Patio Furniture on Granite Lakes Trail
Patio Furniture on Granite Lakes Trail
Patio Furniture on Granite Lakes Trail
Patio Furniture on Granite Lakes Trail

That many benches is just begging for the trail to be clogged with fat chicks like globules of grease in Michael Moore's superior vena cava.

It's not all bad, though. Once you get over the initial nausea, the landscaping is quite amazing. Every stone, stump, and stick seems to have been strategically placed to create an air of authenticity, but the whole hike comes off like a stroll through Thomas Kincade's garden after he went nuts and they found him naked in a tree, biting the heads off of squirrels.

Driftwood brought in from Alki Beach
Driftwood brought in from Alki Beach
Carefully placed mossy rocks
Carefully placed mossy rocks
Strategically placed boulders
Strategically placed boulders
Strategically placed boulders
Strategically placed boulders
Thomas Kincade called...he wants his strategically placed mushroom log back!
Thomas Kincade called...he wants his strategically placed mushroom log back!
Oh, I guess I'll just go around this log that somehow magically found its way here
Oh, I guess I'll just go around this log that somehow magically found its way here

Once the snow starts, you can ignore the insanity and just plow across the pointless switchbacks, but then the obnoxious trenches start up - which I suspect are the result of the bad drainage caused by the crummy trail improvements.

Granite Lakes
Granite Lakes
Granite Lakes
Granite Lakes
Granite Lakes
Granite Lakes
Granite Lakes
Granite Lakes
World Record Post-Hole
World Record Post-Hole
Please Mr. Angry Hiker!
Please Mr. Angry Hiker!
Save me from these sh*tty trail improvements!
Save me from these sh*tty trail improvements!

So what it all comes down to is that Granite Lakes Trail is a total waste of money and an insult to your intelligence.

Well, mine anyway. I'm sure the poodle wranglers will dig it.  One "Hidden Gem" write-up in the daily rag and Granite Lakes will be suckering them in like Grandma to a Nigerian email scam.

Granite Lakes Trail
Granite Lakes Trail
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Foist
Sultan of Sweat



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PostWed Mar 27, 2013 6:41 pm 
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lol.gif  dizzy.gif What a totally ridiculous waste.
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patrickb87
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hello internet
PostWed Mar 27, 2013 6:56 pm 
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I think I've seen this on another trail.. Seems like a lot of effort that could have/should have been redirected to a trail revival or something.

its more interesting to watch nature run its course
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cascadeclimber
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PostWed Mar 27, 2013 7:01 pm 
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You are trying to get me all cranked out of shape again. It won't work. This time. But don't let that stop you from trying again soon.

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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Mar 27, 2013 7:15 pm 
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Whats more is that a few years ago the road extended to within 1/4 of a mile from the summit of Mailbox (national junk depository) until it was restored to an unholy  (actually quite holey) condition by scraping off the outside edge and pushing it down into the lower switchback after trashing the old road they are now building a new short gauge road (called a "trail") to the same place how do you like my Joycian sentence hockeygrin.gif

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flatsqwerl
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PostWed Mar 27, 2013 7:45 pm 
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life is so hard for you.. moon.gif  moon.gif
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Sadie's Driver
Sadie's Driver



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Sadie's Driver
PostWed Mar 27, 2013 8:36 pm 
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The Angry Hiker wrote:
So what it all comes down to is that Granite Lakes Trail is a total waste of money and an insult to your intelligence. Well, mine anyway.

Isn't that an (oxy)moron?   lol.gif  agree.gif  winksmile.gif

Consider this an "enhancement" to your outdoor experience!   rolleyes.gif  tongue.gif

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BaNosser
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PostWed Mar 27, 2013 9:32 pm 
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Government work...  imagine that...
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tigermn
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PostWed Mar 27, 2013 9:47 pm 
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How far up to you have to get to hit snow? I was contemplating this one. Did you start from the road off of Middle Fork or take the short cut further up?

Yea the last time I did this hike you could have (and I saw one) a mountain bike or at least pushed it up and coasted down. Not so much now it appears.

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Kat
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PostThu Mar 28, 2013 4:13 am 
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Hilarious and yet oh-so-true AH.  This used to be a pleasant multi-use trail/road, I've used my feet, bicycle, skis, and snowshoes on this trail - now, it's a mess for anything except hiking and as you humorously pointed out they've screwed that up too making it pointlessly meanderingly longer.

Weirdly enough, some folks have posted they like this re-deconstruction of junk 'n stumps, go figure.
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tigermn
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PostThu Mar 28, 2013 6:00 am 
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Yea that road/trail was long enough without forcing one to now zig zag. It's not like it was super steep or anything.
Are bikes even allowed anymore? Although I never tried it before, the road was perfectly suited for this and would make a longer trip more attractive if you could use a bike to get down/saving tons of time.

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moonspots
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Happy Curmudgeon
PostThu Mar 28, 2013 7:38 am 
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The Angry Hiker wrote:
Unfortunately, the folks in charge of decommissioning the Granite Creek Road couldn't leave well enough alone.

Do you suppose that's because they're mostly "cubicle gophers", and don't know anything about the natural world they're been put in charge of?

I wonder who one might contact to voice an official complaint regarding the above?

At first glance (and again, after a second look), it looks a bit idiotic to me. I easily recognize "government idiotic" as I still work for the guv'ment... but not for long.

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The Angry Hiker
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PostThu Mar 28, 2013 8:40 am 
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tigermn wrote:
How far up to you have to get to hit snow? I was contemplating this one. Did you start from the road off of Middle Fork or take the short cut further up?

Yea the last time I did this hike you could have (and I saw one) a mountain bike or at least pushed it up and coasted down. Not so much now it appears.


The snow kicks in a mile or two up, but not in significant amounts until just after the bridge.  I put on snowshoes at the second fork, the one where the park bench is supposed to be (but is probably buried at the moment).

I started from the Middle Fork road.  I didn't know there was a short cut, but that might explain why there were more people than cars on the trail that day.

The irony is that while they're busy turning a perfectly fine trail on Mailbox into a road, they're over here turning a road into a crummy trail.
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Doppelganger
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PostThu Mar 28, 2013 10:24 am 
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Someone should rent of one these and plow a straight line up the middle.
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tigermn
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PostThu Mar 28, 2013 10:44 am 
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The Angry Hiker wrote:
I started from the Middle Fork road.  I didn't know there was a short cut, but that might explain why there were more people than cars on the trail that day.

Yea if you drive another 2 miles up the pothole fest there is a lesser known trail that basically turns 2.7 miles into around a mile. It comes out at the place where the "road" take a hard right. Maybe 1/2 a mile before the now destroyed bridge. I suspect snow might make it hard to see where the trail comes out/up and meets the road. I've never actually tried the short cut trail but I've seen reports on here of others that have. Can make destinations beyond Grante Lakes less of a slog.

Maybe they are "decommissioning" the road for the people that complain about road walks?!? Why they couldn't have just left it alone I don't know. Like other old road/trails around, they slowly close up some but with use still retain a path (with a little clearing now and then as with any trail) to be very hike-able.

Just think of it as your discover pass at work.  huh.gif

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