Close this search box.

Wonderland Trail Day 8: Mystic to Granite Creek

Mount Rainier at foot of Winthrop Glacier

There is a part of me that feels a certain sense of accomplishment when you cover a lot of miles with a lot of vertical gain, and that’s a common element of most days on the trail. This was not one of those days.

Day 8: Granite Creek
Distance: 4.6 miles
Time: 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation +/-: 1,502’/999′
This day was a reminder that I was where I longed to be… in the mountains. Why rush? Why not lie on your back in the afternoon, sunning on a rock next to a babbling creek? And that’s exactly what we did.

The hike from Mystic Camp to Granite Creek was short – a mere 4-1/2 miles – and took us all of two leisurely hours to complete.

We started with a descent of 1,000 feet to Winthrop Creek, and the views of Mount Rainier began to open up.

Below the Winthrop Glacier
Jason and Derek preparing to cross Winthrop Creek

The lower section of the Winthrop Glacier looks less like the snow and ice we think of when you imagine a glacier, and more like dirt and rock. Beneath that talus there is ice, moving slowly down the mountain.

Jason near Winthrop Glacier
The dirty, rocky Winthrop Glacier can be seen through the trees.

After crossing Winthrop Creek, the second half of this day’s hike was all uphill and forested. We crossed Granite Creek on a log and the camp was on the right. The camp sites were spread out nicely, and arriving before lunch, we had our pick. We chose a roomy site closest to the creek, setup our camp and proceeded to laze about for the remainder of the day.

We read, took photos, and generally just enjoyed the sounds of the creek and the beautiful weather.

Granite Creek
Photogenic Granite Creek

It was a day to just “be” in the wilderness–a great reminder to slow down and enjoy the peace once in a while.

Mystic to Granite Creek Trail Map and Elevation Profile

Download file: day-8-mystic-to-granite-creek-81219-91148am(cleaned).gpx

Originally hiked on August 12, 2019 with Derek and Jason.

Back to Day 7  |  Continue to Day 9, Granite Creek to Sunrise

Share the Post:

Related Posts