Summary: This is a heavily used area, especially on the weekends. We encountered over 30 people before noon on their way up, ages 10 to 80. The trail is very well maintained and easy to follow. Semi-steep in some parts, but an overall moderate grade. No worse than climbing the stairs at your house in the steepest area. Beware the early spring and late fall snows which easliy obscure the trail. Allow plenty of time, and don't underestimate the amount of time to hike this peak. Along the way, you travel from dense seond growth forest to rocky alpine forest, to open mountain peak. This is the closest, easiest peak in the Cascade range. The Puget Sound, Mt. Baker, Mt Rainer, and the entire Cascade range are easily visible form the top on a clear day. Pilchuck and its lesser attached peaks are a visually fascinating layer upon layer of exposed rock (former lava flows) and steep cliffs. As you walk up, you'll pass the remnants of the ski lifts and lodge. Enjoy the views!
Trailhead: From the Everett area, take State Route 92 through Granite Falls. Continue straight ahead, down Stanley St, and turn left at the stop sign (by the car wash). Go straight through the next stop (now on the Mountain Loop Highway). Continue down Mountain Loop several miles until you go over the silver/blue bridge. Immediately after the bridge, turn right. It is clearly labeled Mt Pilchuck. Follow the well used road until it ends in a parking lot (former ski lodge). There is a pit toilet and sign clearly marking the start. Sign in just up the trail from the parking lot. For more info and trail conditions, stop at the Verlot Ranger Station. (Editors Note: Another user indicates that it is the silver, not red bridge.) (Lat:48.06993 Lon:-121.81497)
Trail Guides for Mount Pilchuck:
Best Seasons: Fall, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Verlot Ranger Station, at 360-691-7791
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Tommy, Michele, Sam, & Oliver Koziol, who has posted 3 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 9 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Mom&Son on 4/12/2015
Hiked it today despite the warnings from the Verlot ranger station employees about heavy snowfall. I figured my son and I could go as far as we could. In some ways the drive up was more treacherous than the hike with killer potholes. The trail was never dangerously narrow. Towards the top however the windy snow was fierce and I got a windburn. We took ski poles but no snow cleats. Made it to the lookout in about 2 hours. Much faster going down. More virile looking hikers did not make it because of a short shot of lightning and thunder. Easy to understand when hiking with metal poles on an exposed mountain. Passed a young group of campers on the way down who planned to stay overnight. Hope they don't freeze.
Reviewed by KAM on 9/6/2011
Hiked Pilchuck Sunday, 9/4/11. It was my 3rd time, the last hike about 10 yrs. ago. It was a spectacular day, sunny and clear, perfect shorts weather. There were a few remnants of snow on the trail, especially in the alpine areas. Trail was busy, busy, with lots of families, dogs, fathers with their babies on backpacks (deep admiration for their efforts)...and one 82 yr. old man (deeper admiration). An amazing hike, an amazing day.
Reviewed by MC on 4/30/2011
4/30. Just did this hike today, and I'm going to agree with the "fall and summer" recommendation. It's been a few years since I've done any hikinG, and I mostly did the appalacians and the southwest, so I wasn't really sure what to expect up here. The short answer is snow. Up to 6' right before the lookout. Bring spikes and poles if you're doing this ithe spring. Just about half of the hike was above the snow line, and it was a bit treacherous coming down in just boots. Saw lots of kids and dogs, including one madman that had to carry two toddlers both up to the top and then back down. It's a blue bridge, by the by.
Reviewed by Marcia on 11/15/2010
Did this hike this summer with my two children, ages 5 and 7. It was a beautiful clear day and the views were breathtaking! Stopped half way up for a nice lunch and then on to the summit. I was a little worried about taking the 5 year but she was determined to hike it and never asked to be carried and make it to the summit! I was impressed! I would recommend this hike to anyone!
Reviewed by Josh on 10/17/2010
Just hiked Pilchuck this afternoon (perfect weather). The trail was pretty busy with happy hikers and their pups. It's a pretty easy hike. I did it in tennis shoes. No need for poles. The trail is well maintained. The views from the top are extraordinary. If you're the type of person that likes instant gratification, the reward at the top is worth the trip.
Reviewed by Nick on 10/17/2010
Nice hike, couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather or better views. Took 2.5 hours to the lookout, with 30-35 pound packs (we were overnighting). Fair amount of ice on the trail (10/16) after you climb out of the early, woodland part. Views from the trail, and especially the lookout are stunning, with great views of the Sound, Whidbey Island, Camano Island, Mt Rainier, Mt Baker, Glacier Peak, Three Fingers, and others. Not sure I'd recommend this for little kids or little dogs due to some scrambling, but we saw both (more dogs than little kids). Pro-tip: tie Fluffy to a tree before you make the final scramble to the lookout. Fluffy will be happy, you will be happy, the people not having to queue up behind you will be happy.
Reviewed by Ron on 10/7/2010
Saturday Oct 2nd. A weekend, and The Seattle Times had put a review in (I'm told) about hikes in the Cascades, so that increased the numbers of hikers. Probably saw 40 others going up and down. No bugs, but no blueberries either (past season?) Cloudy, and broke through about halfway up to SPECTACULAR views, with a blanket of clouds over all the lowlands, and Mt Baker, Glacier Pk, and Rainier were all out! This is a pretty challenging hike (toughest one that *I* do). I have a family of 6 and I knew that only 3 were up to it. BRING WATER. Usually takes a bit longer to drive than I think (from Kirkland). We do this climb annually. Last year it was TOTALLY socked in (fog) and we couldn't see ANYTHING. This year: redemption.
Reviewed by Kt on 9/15/2010
I am not an outdoors type, so the climb was very challenging. The views were worth the climb. We broke thru the clouds about 3000' to clear blue skies. Mt. Rainier to the south and Mt. Baker to the north risng above the blanket of clouds was incredible. The blanket of clouds below were breathtaking as we enjoyed the view whle being bathed in the sun from the Lookout. 3.5 hours up, 2 hrs to enjoy the scenery, and 2.5 hours down. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and look forward to making the hike back up.
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