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Fantastic day for hiking Mt. Pilchuck ( Thursday, Oct. 18). The weather and the view were fenomenal; also very little traffic.

This trail is hard but worth the effort for the amazing views at the top. Very rocky and steep.

Hiked it today which was a beautiful sunny fall day, there were more people on the trail than I expected, but it was fine.

We did do the backside loop around Pyramid on the way down, there was some bushwhacking at the top end of it but it cleared out and was fine the rest of the way. I’m glad we went that way because we had a southern view and also we cut out a big chunk of steep downhill on the rocks. (Yes the trail is not maintained, but it’s doable)

The end result is amazing. BUT if you don’t like the first 200 yards of the trail, I’d head straight back to the car. The trail itself is a solid constant elevation gain but the rocks are killers. Maybe I didn’t have the right mindset starting out

I would rate this hike 5 stars, however; I could not find the 2nd half of the trail. Ended up climbing down a rock cliff only to find that it dead ended at the beach. Had to backtrack and take another route to get back to the parking lot. Other than that, it was a great hike. Fairly easy, well maintained trails, gorgeous views and abundant wildlife.

MAKE. SURE. YOU. HAVE. A. DISCOVERY. PASS. prior to leaving for this hike. The road to the trailhead is unforgiving if you don’t have a 4x4 vehicle or maybe a Subaru or the like. Upon reaching the trailhead, we noticed the signs requiring a discovery pass, yet there was nowhere to obtain one locally, not even a fee drop box. Luckily, we had just enough cell phone service to obtain one online and leave the info on a piece of paper that we left on the dash. 3 vehicles had tickets on them when we got there. The trail itself is steep and very rocky, so much care must be taken not to break an ankle or fall. Make sure you bring a headlamp if you may end up doing part of it in the dark. The views are INCREDIBLE at the top. Well worth the hassle to get up there. I agree with the hard rating. I have done some tough hikes, and this was taxing, but awesome overall. DO IT.

The views were 5 Star...

But so many people, I picked up trash left on the trail. I met several people who were left behind by their hiking group. No trail courtesy... Lots of people from out of state/country feels more like a tourist destination. There is nothing wrong with that, just trying to give you an accurate review...So many people both on the trail and at the lookout. About 3 pm there were so many day packs scattered everywhere around the building. Both inside and around the cat walk, hardly a place to sit. My hike was on 10/6/18 and wonder if mid-week would be best. I met several 4 & 5 year olds along the hike, lots of dogs in back packs. It was a lot of fun. If your looking for tranquility, probably NOT your hike....The road up was filled with potholes more than I would expect so take your time.

Tips:
With fewer daylight hours, bring a headlamp if your hiking too late in the day.

Hiking poles are great help. You will appreciate them probably at final 1/2 mile and your hike down.

We started at 9am Saturday morning and reached the top at 11am. We recorded 6.4 totals (definitely not 4.8) but well worth it. Some of the rocks after halfway up were iced over, so just take your time! The view was amazing, but next time we will go for sunrise!

hiking
6 days ago

The hike its self is just ok, but the glimpses of aqua water make it well worth it. There is a ferry at the end of the trail that will bring you back to the parking lot. I found it hard to get info on it. It departs from the end of the trail twice a day 8:00am and 3:00pm. It was $10 cash and allowed dogs, this was the highlight of the hike for me.

60 mile an hour winds at the ridge made it pretty difficult to go the entire distance but it was absolutely gorgeous with all the fall colors.

on Mount Pilchuck Trail

6 days ago

Be aware of potholes, drive carefully and arrive early for a parking spot. Did the hike on Saturday morning and some sections were very icy, I fell even with trekking poles and saw a lady fall hard luckily she was ok. Just be careful and take your time, some scrambling at the top but well worth it. The day was clear and gorgeous views of Baker and Rainier.

Absolutely Beautiful! Hard incline for me since it was only my second actual hike but I did it and it was awesome. Met a few nice people too. At the top there is nice group camp site along with a well maintained bathroom. Definitely would be a great place to camp if you don't mind packing everything in and out!

Beautiful day on Saturday the 13th on the mountain. At the top there was some ice on boulders that was difficult to navigate, a lot of people fell and one hit his head on the rock pretty hard. Be careful, bring spikes and poles, but definitely check it out!

I have done this hike on day. Which was very pretty but to capture the beauty one must go at sunrise. We ventured to mountain at 4 am arrived Park 5:45 and headed off we got to lookout probably 45 min to hour. It was very windy and cold when arrived lookout. We stayed up there till sunrise about 7:15 and headed down.

The stars were amazing, my rainier in the shadows was absolutely stunning of course we could not capture those pics with iPhone. Then the sunrise was stunning as it came up the reflection hitting Rainier was stunning!

I would hike to see the sunrise every year here. There was no clouds in

Great for a day hike. Views are rewarding. Fairly easy along the route. The lookout itself is at the end of the hike and looks nice from the ridge half a mile before the end of the hike. Amazing views of mount Rainier and a couple of its glaciers.

Nice hike. Great payoff. Tracked it as 5.7 miles not 4.8. 3-4 hours total. Get there early.

lots of ups and downs. lots of fungi..... fun hike with kids and critters. my only complaint..... need more signs.

The road to Sunrise is supposed to be open for another week or two or until the first heavy snowfall. I didn't see any snow when I was there except for a light dusting on the Burroughs so the road should be good for another week or so! Definitely didn't need spikes or anything on the trail, but it's always good to pack them this time of year, just in case. Definitely dress for cold weather though. We did Fremont as a sunrise hike and made it to the lookout around 7am and it was easily below zero with the wind chill.

Super easy trail, you can shorten the trip by leaving from the picnic area. Plenty of exploring options once you reach the caves and leave the trail, but apparently that's frowned upon due to all of the injuries. In early October you can safely walk up pretty far from the trail and still be well enough away from the caves. Many people were going inside the cave but it really is a bad idea. This trail is well worth the effort. I want to go back in winter. Be aware that the lack of difficulty also means MANY people in troves. Id suggest off season or weekday.

hiking
8 days ago

Couple sites on the way to camp over night
Severe pot holes
Not much scenery on the way up
Great trail wide and well maintained

Awesome experience! I’ve never done a subterranean hike and this was absolutely amazing. It wasn’t too crowded today. I went al the way back on the lower trail until I belly crawled to a point where my brain said enough! I did a small portion of the upper trail as I soon realized my knee injury didn’t approve. I will return and finish that tho. Again. Amazing! But please please please bring a headlamp or flashlight. Saw a few iPhone users and it just didn’t cut it.

This was our first hike in Washington during our vacay. We started at around 7:30am, the parking lot was pretty empty. The weather was great and the trail was dry so no chances of slipping on rocks.The trail was surprisingly easy, it might of been because we were really excited to start our week of multiple hikes. We ended up taking only 2 hours out and back to complete the hike. there is a good amount of rock scramble to the top, We stopped at the summit to eat and take photos but it was heavily trafficked going the way down. I suggest going earlier if you want to beat the crowds. I would recommend doing this hike! I also saw doggies the size of our roommates cat complete the hike so its deff dog friendly.

hiking
12 days ago

Literally one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. Get there early to beat the crowds! We hiked up past the clouds and had an amazing view of mount baker AND mount rainier. We really lucked out :) the fire lookout is awesome and full of history. The hike itself is not that hard, took a little less than 2 hours to get up to the top.

hiking
13 days ago

Hiked a couple of weeks ago. Really beautiful hike. Great views of Rainier, wildflowers, the river, etc. Many places to stop and take beautiful pictures. Lots of wildlife too. Saw goats, plenty of marmots, and a marten. Didn't trek too much further past the camp - stopped and had a picnic on one of the big boulders instead. Highly recommend this hike but start early to beat the crowds! :)

Easy hike with great views.

We went on October 6 and encountered first snow! I.was glad for my hiking poles. We met hikers who went to the Gap, but we did not try it!

Hiked Heliotrope today, October 7, 2018. It was absolutely beautiful, even with the little bit of rain that was falling throughout the day the streams are totally passible without getting wet if you start early enough. The glaciers were still viewable with mild fog in the distance, no view of Baker. A little muddy on the trail due to the rain, but other than that it was absolutely stunning. I highly recommend getting this one in before the weather completely changes over!

Nice trail... very quiet - probably because of the time of year.. well kept, falls didn’t have much water but a nice place to hang out - esp. for the kids.. it’s an easy trail - saw some families with 4-6yr olds.. lot of people walking their dogs too..

Beautiful

on Mount Pilchuck Trail

hiking
14 days ago

Challenging hike. Beautiful views except when we got to the top it was very cloudy.

Great hike! Very pretty and great views of Rainier and the area. Trail is on the side of the mountain.
Easy hike.

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