Mount Pilchuck Trail

HARD 485 reviews

Mount Pilchuck Trail is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Granite Falls, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2116 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

snow

Mount Pilchuck Trail is a challenging hike to a old fire lookout tower at the top the mountain that offers panoramic views. The trailhead is located within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in the North Cascades area of Washington State off of Mountain Loop Highway. The hiking trail itself is in Mount Pilchuck State Park. The trail is well maintained and there's a fantastic change in scenery as you ascend up the mountain, starting with lush/old growth forests at the beginning and then transcending into arid/rocky overlooks towards the top. The terrain can be rough and requires good balance to navigate the rocky pathway. From the top of the lookout tower there are great views of Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, the Puget Sound, and the Olympics. This popular hike is one of the busiest trails in the area so expect to see others. Arrive at the trailhead early to secure a parking spot. The final stretch of road leading to the trailhead is in very rough shape. The last few miles are comprised of crushed stone/dirt and contains potholes throughout.

hiking
7 days ago

I went in November and trail didn't have snow till half way up.we didn't have right shoes or microspike but we able to go the top and great view!

12 days ago

Road to the trail head is closed for the season at Heather Lake trail head, be prepared to hike an additional 5 miles up the road to Mt pilchuck’s trail head.

hiking
19 days ago

One of my husband's and I's favorites!

koo koo machoo

hiking
2 months ago

Well went hiking. They closed the trail head and I had to start all the way from heather lake. Snow was crazy but I wanted to do it. I had to stop at the 2 mile mark because my party got too tired. I am going to do this again.

hiking
2 months ago

25NOV17 Hike, great weather & views. Snow startling between ~3,000-3,500 feet. Ok without spikes, bit “greasy” in spots coming down. Poles & spikes recommended. You can do it in trail running shoes apparently, as some were doing but that seems a recipe for cold, wet feet. Fire tower covered in ice, last bit to the ladder & the ladder itself a bit slick but ok without spikes if you are careful. Love this hike, will be doing it in all seasons.

3 months ago

Awesome trail.

3 months ago

I enjoyed the hike. Very rocky though. Amazing views. I would hike this one again.

3 months ago

It has some great views and an old lookout. U have to scramble boulders to reach it. A tiny bit of snow on the side of the trail close to the top. This trail has a lot of rocks u must step on. It is a good workout. We went today Sunday and it is a
Popular trail w lots of people and dogs. I only saw 2 owners with dogs on leash’s. Parts of the trail was muddy. It was a beautiful fall day and we could hear hunters across the valley. The scenery is fabulous as it used to be a ski area in the 60’s.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Wow- this is an amazing hike! Great trail, some muddy areas, snow on trail at top, easy to navigate with hiking shoes. Didn’t need spikes, used poles. Boulder climbing is dangerous but so fun to get to the top. 360 degree views on a 60 degree sunny day. Can’t be beat. Digs had trouble up the boulders. This week is supposed to be great weather! Road up from highway is gravel & potholes. Used 4x4 truck

hiking
4 months ago

Interesting hike with the snow and all. Didn't risk the rocks going to the tower though. Didn't want to risk slipping. Beautiful hike, nonetheless. Will have to do it again on a clear day.

Beautiful but very crowded. Trail is a mix of mud, water, snow and ice. I would suggest micro spikes.

hiking
4 months ago

I hiked Mount Pilchuck yesterday and it was beautiful! I personally loved the middle section with the stream, rocks, and fall colors! By time I got to the top it was snowing - the lookout even had ice on it.

I knew I was taking a chance hiking it on a rainy day but it was so foggy at the top you couldn't see anything. I'd love to come back and hike this in the summer (or a sunny day)!!

A few things to note:
- The road has some pretty big pot holes but I made it in a car just fine.
- This trail is very rocky and slippery when it's rainy so don't try and hike this in tennis shoes! I saw several people slip and hurt themselves.
- I would consider this hike more moderate than hard for sure!

4 months ago

Alltime favourite!

4 months ago

One of the best hikes I've been on. Really fortunate to have such a clear day. The elevation challenged our group but the break at the top for lunch was epic.

hiking
4 months ago

Stunning views at end of a challenging hike but well worth the climb. Occasionally difficult to find trail (on wide rock face in 2nd half of hike - head left) but mostly easy to see. Watch out for transmission eating pot holes on road up!

hiking
4 months ago

Love this hike. I went on a hot, sunny day and saw people coming down in shorts... It was cold at the top though and there was a lot of slippery snow. Next time, I'll bring my spikes.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. The difficulty comes from being very steep at some parts and the rock crawling at the end. Worth it!

4 months ago

Best hike ever!!!

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