Native land of the: Snoqualmie, Tulalip and Coast Salish
8.5m 3,700ft gain
Yet another peak that draws you in by its name alone. Tusk O’ Granite or West Granite Mountain is the northwest sub peak of Granite Mountain off I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass. It’s just as cool if not cooler than a hike up Granite Mountain but they can be easily combined. The Tusk O’ offers much more solitude and an opportunity to make your own route! It’s especially fun in the winter.
1st Trip: 3/12/2020
Moose and I took another trip down I-90 for some midweek peakbagging. We started from the popular Granite Mountain trailhead but didn’t see another person after veering off on the Pratt Lake Trail and then turning off the trail completely around 2,800ft to make our own way up to the summit.
2,000ft later I realized we went a little too far northwest so we did some side hilling to get to the little basin between Granites. The snow was pretty compact but it gave enough to make it really easy for Moose to walk on. He looked like a little mountain goat prancing along with no worries while I was taking it very slow.
Granite Mountain looked amazing with a blanket of fresh snow and the basin was completely untouched! It felt surreal as we followed the path of least resistance to the summit.
From the summit of Tusk O’ Granite we enjoyed beautiful wintery views in every direction. The clouds continued to darken but that created some unique light on the mountains.
I loved the view towards Granite Mountain and its frozen lookout tower.
I’ve hiked up just about every peak we can see from this vantage point but Moose continues to be unimpressed. To his credit he has also been atop most of them.
It was quite cold so after 10 minutes on the summit we made our way back to the trailhead. To minimize our bushwhacking we descended the west side of Tusk O’ Granite to Olallie Lake. This route was longer but it allowed us to spend most of our time on a real trail even though very few people had traveled on it.
Moose found the perfect spot to pee!
It makes me so happy to see Moose in the snow. It’s definitely one of his favorite things in life.
On the ascent of any mountain Moose is usually leading the charge but on most descents he stays behind so he can chew on sticks. Today was a real good day for sticks!
We had an absolute blast route finding and playing in the snow! We will certainly be back to combine the Granites.