– Ben Martens

Mt. Pilchuck

Logan, Tim and I met up early Saturday morning for a hike up Mt. Pilchuck. This hike has been on my list for a long time. There is an old fire tower lookout at the top of the hike and it has a fantastic view. (Duh, that’s what fire towers are for.)

The top of Mt. Pilchuck is over 5000 feet but thankfully the drive up to the trailhead takes you a good portion of the way up the mountain leaving only about 2200 feet for the actual hike. Be prepared though because that road includes about 6 miles of dirt road and some of it has very big potholes. I was happy to have the truck.

We got to the trailhead at 8am and had no trouble finding a parking spot. I’d say the actual lot was about half full. There were plenty of bugs in the parkling lot and on the whole hike, but they weren’t much of a problem unless you stopped walking. And even then they were just gnats, not anything that would bite.

We made good time heading up and the trail was nice, but the view at the top was a bummer. It was totally encased in a cloud. Coupled with wind and chilly temps, it wasn’t an inviting place to stay so we quickly came down from the tower and found a calmer spot to eat our food. The hike down actually took longer than the hike up because we had to stop for the hordes of people heading up the trail.

The elevation and distance aren’t too much to handle, but the trail gets it’s difficulty rating from the constant rocks. You have to watch where you put every step or you’ll add to the large number of people who sprain or break ankles. The climb up to the tower (pictured below) is the most intense part. Be prepared to scramble on all fours, or as one guide book put it, “minor acrobatics are required.”

All in all, it was a good workout and prep for Camp Muir, but I want to go back again to witness the view. You can view the stats from our hike on the Garmin Connect site.