Sunrise snow hike of Mt Pilchuck

Rate this Adventure 5.4 miles 2300 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Joe Tobiason

This is a beautiful morning hike that is only an hour away from Seattle. It is easy to get to and provides great views as the sun rises over the Cascades.

We arrived at the base of Mt Pilchuck right at sunrise. On this clear and cold morning, the clouds were a bright pink as we started climbing through the woods. For the first mile, the snow was not very deep and was easy to do with just hiking boots. As we entered the 2nd mile, we rose out of the forest into the north-facing view from the mountain. You could see the early morning light on Liberty Mountain and the Three Fingers. For the second mile, you have a fairly steep climb. In summer, there are lots of smaller shale rocks to climb over. In the snow, the ground is smothed over. This is where we wished we had snowshoes. Most steps would only dig in 3-6 inches, but there were occasional steps that would bring us down to a knee-deep stash of powder. Having the extra surface area to prevent this would have been helpful. Once we rose above the north facing face, the trail flows around the west and south of the mountain. The trial is not particularly hard going up, but you are more exposed. Therefore, this is where wind protective clothing will be more important (especially when you reach the top). At the summit, you will be greeted by the open fire house (use it to stay warm) and enjoy the view. The snow gives more texture to the views around you. It also gives the downhill an easier trip because you can run/jump through the snow all the way back down to the car.

Read More


Easy Parking
Picnic Area


Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Granite Falls, Washington

Verlot Campground

Overview Verlot Campground is located just off the Mountain Loop Highway in the stunning Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.Situated on the west side of the Cascades between the Canadian border a...

Granite Falls, Washington

Turlo Campground

Overview Turlo Campground is located just off the Mountain Loop Highway in the Mt.Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The campground is nestled in tall firs, cedars and hemlocks, adjacent to the sout...

Verlot, Washington

Wiley Creek Group Camp

Overview Wiley Creek, a popular campground for youth groups and organizations, is situated in an old-growth Douglas fir forest with lovely shaded trails. It is the first group site located on the n...

Granite Falls, Washington

Gold Basin Campground

Overview Gold Basin Group Campground sits near the banks of the tranquil South Fork of the Stillaguamish River, close to several wilderness areas and hiking trails, offering visitors opportunities ...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike to Heather Lake

    The trail takes you on a gradual climb up to Heather Lake with beautiful second growth to admire along the way. The trail can be very wet and muddy with many tree roots to catch your toes, so make sure to wear a sturdy pair of tennis shoes or hiki...

    4.6 miles 1034 ft gain

  • Snowshoe to Mount Pilchuck Lookout

    Snowshoe or hike through old-growth forest and snowfields to reach the summit of Mount Pilchuck. Along the trail you’ll catch glimpses of the phenomenal views that lie ahead. The second half of the hike emerges from the forest and snakes through b...

    5.4 miles 2300 ft gain

  • Hike to Mount Pilchuck Lookout

    Hike the well-maintained Mount Pilchuck trail through old-growth forest and boulder fields. At the top, you'll reach a lookout tower perched on Mount Pilchuck. Pilchuck sits on the western edge of the Cascades, which offers up amazing panoramic vi...

    5.5 miles 2200 ft gain

  • Winter Hike to Heather Lake

    After exiting Mountain Loop Hwy, follow the gravel road up 1.1 miles before you reach the parking lot. WATCH FOR POTHOLES! The trailhead can be found to the left of the small parking lot. After filling out your group information in the small stand...

    4.6 miles 1100 ft gain