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Let me get right to the most stupid dangerous thing. Granite Mountain trail. The trail crosses a south facing slope that features massive avalanches every winter. At least 3 people have died up there in avalanches in recent years. A beginner hiker should NEVER NEVER NEVER go to Granite Mountain in the winter, and maybe not in the spring either.
You cannot drive to the trailhead for most hikes in the winter, and most hikes are under tons of snow in the winter. Maybe an article on newbie hiking should mention that?
People are going to read this and then drive up to hike Granite Mountain trail this weekend, hoping to hike up to the rock formations and the huckleberries, that are currently under 10 feet of snow. And they will be walking right into an avalanche chute, if they even manage to get to the trailhead and start hiking.
I encourage all the n00bs to stick to these trails and stay the F off my favorites.
But you are correct, come July it is fine, and better than those you mention (and any number of other local routes that seem way more accessible than they are). My point (and the first posters) was that with Granite Mountain in particular, it would be nice if Rich followed the lead of WTA, and put a note there about the avalanche danger on that particular trail in the winter months. I've given up believing people will exercise common sense and read the trail description at WTA.org which has this information, given people I often encounter on local trails.
The avalanche chute does kill people consistently. The above people saying that it is hyperbolic to say people die/get injured up there don't know what they are talking about.
Pick up a mountaineers hiking guide from the past thirty years that describes the hike and for decades it has had warnings about early season hiking that are not included in any other trail description in any other trail description they provide.
Pleade consider editing your article to add what WTA has about granite mountains very real non hypebolic dangers.
If I-90 doesn't get you 90% of the way there, then it's not worth the effort.
People who want to learn about hiking should start by learning how to be safe. Check out WTA website for lots of tips for newbies. And stay away from the backcountry during winter time.