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.

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Tags

Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Picnic Area

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