John is working off his San Diego 100 Peaks and had 62 down and wanted to bag Granite Mountain to make it 63. That is my favorite mountain in San Diego County, so Uwe and I joined him on this hike.
Granite is the very substantial mountain you see off to the southeast as you go down Banner Grade from Julian. The start is up a wash with many dry falls, some 12-15 feet high. The rock coloration is beautiful and scrambling up some of the dry falls is challenging but fun. After you work your way out of the wash you must cover some very steep terrain to come to a saddle. The peak is dead ahead, but only after you climb an even steeper boulder-studded peak. Granite is topped with a very distinctive cap rock. From here you can see Mounts San Antonio, San Gorgonio and San Jacinto – a sight not available from many SD peaks.
Uwe and I did this peak in 2011 when there were no trails or cairns marking the way. We spent a lot of time skirting around boulders, thick vegetation, and lots of cactus. Uwe compared our tracks to the current path and cairns which today are easy to follow, and it is amazing we how close we were. (click on any picture for slide show)