Granite Chief

The weather looks so threatening that we’re certain we’ll be turned back on this hike, but to our surprise the rain and thunder never come. We get a little tour of the famous Squaw Valley ski area, but hike out of bounds where the plant life is still lush and berries especially are flourishing.

The trailhead is obscure and unsigned, except for this one we find near the back entrance of the glacier village hotel. There’s a phone signal, so Ann checks a description on the internet before we commit.

Shirley Canyon Trailhead

A few mushrooms, maybe chanterelles, peek out from their earthy homes.


Lots of berries to choose from: bitter cherry, thimbleberry, snowberry, utah serviceberry, and bright orange mountain ash.

Bitter Cherry


Snowberry and Paintbrush

Utah Serviceberry

Mountain Ash

We get some views of the rocky tram line, then cross under a chair lift on the Pacific Crest Trail before climbing to the summit of Granite Chief. It’s windy, but still much better weather than we expected!

Squaw valley tram profile

Squaw Valley Tram Top

Ann on windy granite chief

Us on Granite Chief

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