Church Mountain Trail

HARD 31 reviews
#17 of 85 trails in

Church Mountain Trail is a 8.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Maple Falls, Washington that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.2 miles
3,789 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash


trail running





wild flowers



See a vast panorama of North Cascades mountains, including Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, Damfino Lakes, Border Line peaks, Goat mountain and Skyline ridge.

22 days ago

We’ve done this hike 3 times now and it never disappoints. A bit of snow near the top section of the meadows. The scramble seems to have been revamped and was easier than we remembered it to be before. View from the top of gorgeous.

1 month ago

Hiked today! First time and Loved it. Climbing and climbing switchbacks which never seem to end until you hit the medow. It was beautiful and the climbs were worth it. It's pretty buggy out there, and hot! Luckily the water at the river crossings were ice cold a nice way to cool down.
Also beware of road conditions. There's some damage on the forest road about a mile from the trailhead. So we added an extra mile to our hike.

1 month ago

Trail is in excellent shape. There are three spots in the meadow where you have to cross snow. One being 100 yard or so. The others much shorter. Get an early start. The horse flys were no problem going up, but getting hungry as I can down around 10:00. While the 3 miles on the switchbacks in the forest are pretty boring, the last 1.2 miles in the meadow and summit makes the hike 5 stars.

2 months ago

Hiked this trail on 6/4/18 and at around 3 miles there was a lot of snow on the trail so we turned around. Very tough hike as you gain a lot of elevation but really pretty.

10 months ago

This hike gets only four stars but might have earned a fifth inf there was a view. Yesterday this was an exercise hike as we were just short of the summit due to being cautious and being unaware of the last little scramble. This hike is like a clone of Mt Dickerman where the first few miles are switchbacks in the trees. In both hikes you pop out at about three miles above most of the trees to continue upwards. We did break trail in the snow from the meadow to the top so that took some extra effort so hence the reference to an exercise hike. My dog with short legs slowed down quite a bit in the last quarter mile as she had to hop from boot print to boot print. This hike might be done for the season if you want to reach the true summit.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Beautiful trail, but all trails has the length wrong - the first two miles are on the road, and then it's about 8 miles walking. The forest road is really rough to get to the trailhead, our car scraped the bottom, needed to cross the stream. At the top possible scramble grade 4-5 to the actual church mountain, I did the west peak. Takes 2.5 hrs up, 2 down from the parking lot.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Narrow trail, long and steep uphill until the meadow (3 miles). Tons of flowers (and bugs) from there to the top. Amazing views all around once in the meadow.

No issues on the road (it is narrow though, very glad I didn't meet any traffic there). Parking lot filled quickly. Only two small patches of snow, very easy to cross though.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Road is not accessible at this time to the trail head, about a mile and a half from the trail head there are 20-30 trees down. You can park and I walk up to the trail head.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hike is strenuous but worth it. I headed up early morning and summit was surrounded by fog, I'm sure the views are awesome when you can see them. I'll definitely do this one again later on in the morning.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Strenuous but rewarding.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Great! The directions accounted for 4 miles. So technically it was about 8.5 miles roundtrip. I did it in 5 1/2hrs with a very long break at the meadows taking pics and enjoying lunch with the ladybugs at the peak. The last bit of the hill is not as bad as I thought it would be. Perfect day to a great hike. Beautiful views in the meadows and 360 view at the top.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

FR3040 is a one lane unpaved mountain access road where you hope not to meet any cars coming the other way; I only encountered a couple of pot holes. Almost any passenger car should be able to make it up the road OK.

The outhouse at the trail head looks (and smells) like it's brand new.

The trail is in excellent condition and easy to follow. Elevation gain is constant. There is only one flat spot shortly after you enter the meadows, but otherwise you're hiking up the side of the mountain at a fairly consistent grade.

If you have a water filter there are two places to get water on the hike. The first water is just before you reach the meadows there is a small creek running through the woods, the second (and best) place to get water is at Deer Horn Creek just after you enter the meadows.

The first part of the hike is a trudge up a bunch of switchbacks through the woods, but then you enter beautiful alpine meadows where the scenery and the views of the surrounding peaks are spectacular.

You know you're almost to the top when you see the ruins of what used to be a lookout tower. The last part of the hike is a short scramble up some rocks to the summit. If you're afraid of heights you might not like that part, but most people should be OK.

The hike is fairly steep and if you're out of shape or hiking on a hot day it can kick your butt. There is no shade in the meadows, so you may wish to bring sunglasses and sunscreen if it's a sunny day.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Stunningly gorgeous. Like right out of a storybook. Definitely a challenging trail.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

By far my most breath-taking summit yet. I loved this hike. There was so much to look at all the way up. There was quite a lot of snow on the back part of the meadow and if there had not been hiker tracks before ours, we wouldn't have been able to know where to go. We got a late start (12:20) and didn't expect to summit due to a ranger at the station saying there was probably too much snow and that we would need snow gear to get past the meadow. We talked to a couple of lady hikers appearing to be in their 50s who were on their way down and had made the summit, so it was game on. (It was July, so we had plenty of daylight.) After getting through the snow - my least favorite part - we summitted right about 5 pm and stayed until about 6 and then headed down and were back to the car by 7:30 ish. The summit took my breath away! Do this hike!

Monday, August 13, 2012

If you like step masters and bugs this is the hike for you! Hard. Really hard, but if you decide to go up go all the way up to the tippy top. If you don't find a cable to help climb up rocks you have not gone far enough. Keep going! It is well worth it. Never doing it again, but glad I did it :)

Monday, November 07, 2011

I have been here twice and both times I was caught in intense lightning storms that came from beautiful sunny skies in seconds. Temperature drops of 30+ degrees with freezing rain and the rest!
The fishing is VERY good here as it is an extremely unlikely place and very difficult to lug any type of gear in to. Especially a float tube, fins, waders, rod & reel, and the rest of it. Bring a rain shell and some seriously good capilene and fleece layers!!!! If you like to catch untouched fish in places most people wouldn't think to go (like I do) then its worth the risk.

1 month ago

10 months ago

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Monday, August 08, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

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