Travel through an old-growth forest along the edge of an area clear-cut by Washington State Department of Natural Resources in 1977. When the trail is partially snow covered, often well into June, route finding is difficult. The final approach to the summit is a steep boulder scramble that can be particularly difficult in wet or icy conditions.
The 5,324-foot summit has tremendous views of the Cascades, Olympics and Puget Sound. The Forest Service lookout on top is managed by Washington State Parks and maintained by volunteers from Everett Mountaineers.
Washington State Parks administered a ski area here from 1957 to 1980. The former ski slope looks like a shortcut, but it is brushy, steep and hard going. The trail is often muddy and drinking water is scarce.
Mount Pilchuck was likely among the "long ridge of snowy mountains" sighted by the English explorer George Vancouver during the spring of 1792. This peak stands well west of the main Cascades Range, and is easily seen from Puget Sound lowlands.
The trail is usually snow-covered until midsummer and is very popular on a clear day.
WTA hiking guide - trip reports
At a Glance
From the Verlot Public Service Center (11 miles east of Granite Falls, WA), travel east on the Mt. Loop Highway 1.0 mile. Turn right (south) on the Pilchuck Road (Forest Service road 42) and continue for 6.9 miles to the trailhead.
Darrington Ranger District
Green Trails: Granite Falls 109