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A Weekend In Granite Falls

The mountains are calling.

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The town of Granite Falls, some forty minutes from Seattle, is your gateway to the Mountain Loop and limitless recreation opportunities in the North Cascades. It’s located at the base of Mount Pilchuck, near the South Fork of the legendary Stillaguamish River.

Spend a weekend in Granite Falls for hiking and wellness destinations, alpine lakes and mountaintop experiences. 

Let’s see what’s in store.

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All the Hiking

If you’re looking for easy access to scenic PNW hiking trails, you’ve come to the right place. As mentioned, Granite Falls is the gateway to the lovely Mountain Loop and it’s got all the hiking that you can pack into a weekend. Drive out into the Cascades and you’ll always be a short jaunt from a trailhead. 

Cell service is nonexistent on the Loop, so be sure to download this app for navigation. Also, be sure to stop at Ace Hardware in Granite Falls for all your camping supplies and permits before hitting the trailhead. 

Lake 22 is a day hike to an alpine lake. Mount Pilchuck offers panoramic views from the fire lookout on top of this 5,000-foot mountain. The Heather Lake trail take hikers another alpine lake at the base of Pilchuck.

If you like ghost towns, you’ll love Monte Cristo -- a deserted mining settlement. And if you’re up for nothing more than a simple day hike, try the relatively easy Lime Kiln Trail, an eight-mile loop to the Stillaguamish River and back.

Where to Stay

Air BnB options include a working sheep farm, cozy cabins with saunas, and other ideal places to kick back for a weekend. Search the AirBnB inventory online to find your spot.

Or, if you’re the adventurous type, stay in a yurt on a working alpaca farm. Paca Pride is a place exactly like no other -- and it’s a stone’s throw from some of the best hiking opportunities in the state.

You can also think of nearby Everett as your Urban Basecamp: a seaside jumping-off point for your mountain adventure. Your best bets include the Hotel Indigo or the Delta Hotel.

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Where to Eat

After a day on the trail your tummy needs a’fillin’. Downtown Granite Falls has just the variety of eats to refuel your tank. 

Fun fact: Omega Pizza and Pasta not only serves delightfully cheesy pizza and pasta dishes, it also boasts a mural painted by a young Chris Pratt. Yes, that Chris Pratt

The Buzz Inn Steakhouse doesn’t mess around when it comes to hearty American fare. They have seaks and they’re cheap and delicious and come with a little melty pat of butter on top. The Buzz Inn also has burgers and everything else you’d expect from a diner. But perhaps they’re best for a giant breakfast before stretching your hiking legs on the trails. That third cup of diner coffee goes down just right. 

Or, if you’re planning to pitch a tent in the woods, stop by the IGA on your way out of town. It’s the city’s only grocery store and it will be the place to pick up deli food, chips, trail mix, cold drinks, ice, or really anything you’d want to prepare over a campfire.

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Explore PNW History

The Granite Falls Historical Museum has won awards for its delightful and lovingly-curated historical artifacts. It has a full-sized spar tree in the building. The museum workers here love to geek out on Victorian garb, railroad ephemera, and vintage motorcycles. This love letter to PNW history is worth your time and attention.

A Wellness Weekend Awaits

Granite Falls is an emergent health and wellness scene. Located across the street from one another, Wildwood Yoga Studio and Cabin Country Store go together like hummus and pita chips. 

Sign up for a morning of downward dog before your hike. Namaste. And then pop directly across the street to Cabin Country Store to fill your rucksack with the type of snacks that your hippie uncle would approve of. 

This is the way to experience the outdoors: mindfully, and by supporting local businesses along the way in your journey.

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