To get to the trailhead, take I-90 out to Exit 47. Take a left over the freeway to the T. Signs point left to the Pratt Lake and Granite Mountain Trailhead. Follow them a quarter mile to the small parking lot. On busy days, cars line the short distance to the popular trailhead, so just find a spot and hit the trail. View Google Directions >>
The Pratt Lake Trail #1007 is one of the gateways into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, and provides access to many lakes and peaks. As it begins, the trail is well-worn and wide, crossing small creeks and rivulets through pleasant stands of maturing firs and pines. After a little more than a mile, the junction for Granite Mountain Trail #1016 appears on your right. Continue onward for the first of the real elevation gain, skirting the slopes of Granite Mountain and occasionally catching glimpses of mountaintops through windows in the trees carved by streams and talus fields. Just past the three mile mark, the trail intersects with the Talapus Lake Cutoff #1039, offering access to the shores of both Talapus Lake and Olallie Lake. At four miles reach your destination: the 4,200ft ridge on the slopes of Pratt Mountain commonly referred to as the Saddle. From here the trail descends down to Pratt Lake before meeting up with the Melawka Lake Trail #1011.
Just before the Saddle, the trail opens into a talus field to reveal a stunning view of Mt. Rainier presiding over Olallie Lake. The effort it takes to get to this panorama was well worth it the scene is framed by Pratt Mountain on the right and Bandera Mountain on the left, making it the perfect setting to settle in and enjoy the views.