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Little Mountain

Little Mountain

Little Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 48.39660°N / 122.3079°W

Object Title: Little Mountain

County: Skagit

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 934 ft / 285 m


Page By: Redwic

Created/Edited: Apr 13, 2010 / Feb 28, 2012

Object ID: 613211

Hits: 12366 

Page Score: 81.18%  - 13 Votes 

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Little Mountain is a low elevation mountain located immediately southeast of the city of Mount Vernon, Washington. Despite its small stature (with only 934' elevation), Little Mountain is one of the most visited and popular recreational destinations in the Mount Vernon area.
Little Mountain
Little Mountain

Most of the mountain, including its entire upper half, has been designated as "Little Mountain Park". At approximately 480 acres, Little Mountain Park is Mount Vernon's largest city park. The park has two major access possibilities: by road or by trail. There is only one road within the park boundaries, and that road leads 1.5 miles up to the summit and two viewpoints. The summit road is accessible for motorized and non-motorized use, and is open daily year-round between 10:00 AM until dusk, except during periods of snowy/icy conditions.
Little Mountain
Communications Towers On Summit

Multiple hiking trails also exist on the mountain, including a 2.5-mile roundtrip summit trail. The summit trail is the most used trail on the mountain, is considered easy-to-moderate difficulty (depending upon fitness level), and passes through thick second-growth forest. The true summit of Little Mountain is actually where the communications towers are located, but that fenced-in area not open to public access. However, public-access trails do exist that circle around the communications towers fenced area.
Little Mountain - Trail Map
TRAIL MAP (Credit Given To "Mount Vernon Trail Builders")

Little Mountain Trail
Upper Trailhead For Summit Trail

The summit has a long history of human influence. Before the 1900s, local Native American tribes regularly visited the tiny peak for hunting and as a viewpoint for the Skagit River lowlands. Later, settlers did the same. Later still, the Washington Division of Forestry {(which later became the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR)} constructed a 100' tall wooden fire lookout tower on the summit. The tower had a 7' x 7' cab and shake cabin. In 1942, due to the mountain's convenient location and ease of access, an Aircraft Warning Service (AWS) cabin was added at the summit with a purpose of watching for any enemy aircraft that might approach the region's nearby coastal waters during World War II. In 1980, the lookout tower and cabins were destroyed by the DNR.
Little Mountain - South Viewpoint
A View From Pickering Viewpoint

During the mid-1980s, a gazebo and picnicking area were established at the summit, with south-facing views. The South Viewpoint is officially called "Pickering Viewpoint", in honor of the "Frank C. Pickering Trust Fund" donating money in 1986 for the construction of the south-facing retaining wall at the summit. Also, with the peak's close proximity to Mount Vernon, the summit became an ideal location for several communications towers. Later, a north viewpoint ramp was constructed in 2004 and then officially opened in 2005 near the summit area, overseeing the city below.
Little Mountain
North Viewpoint

On a clear day, views from the summit area include Mount Vernon, Skagit River valley, Olympic Mountains, San Juan Islands, and Mount Baker. The summit area has also been known to be an interesting far-range viewpoint for the region's vast colorful tulip fields during early Spring months.
Little Mountain - North Viewpoint
A View From North Viewpoint Ramp

Little Mountain is locally popular as a destination for hikers, bikers, picnickers, birdwatchers, and even hang-gliders. The South Viewpoint, also known as Pickering Viewpoint, still has a concrete ramp near it that used to be very popular with local hang-gliders as a launch spot (until safety concerns caused the ramp to be fenced-off).
Hang-Gliding Ramp
Hang-Gliding Ramp At South Viewpoint

Hang-Gliding Ramp
Looking Down Hang-Gliding Ramp...

Getting There


1) From I-5, take the "Kincaid Street" exit, near the south/downtown section of Mount Vernon, WA.
2) Head east and uphill along Kincaid Street for approximately 0.7 miles.
NOTE: Once uphill out of the downtown area, Kincaid Street turns into Broad Street.
3) Turn right (south) on South 18th Street. Follow for approximately 0.6 miles.
4) Turn left (east) on East Blackburn Road. Follow for approximately 0.6 miles.
NOTE: Little Mountain will be the hill seen south of the road.
5) Turn right (south) on Little Mountain Road. Follow for 0.3 miles, and then veer right and uphill onto an unmarked road (the Little Mountain summit road) to enter Little Mountain Park.
Little Mountain
Little Mountain Park Entrance Sign


1) From I-5 heading northbound, take the "Anderson Road" exit.
2) Take a right onto Anderson Road, then soon afterwards turn left onto Cedardale Road and head north.
3) Cedardale Road ends at Blackburn Road. Turn right (east) onto Blackburn Road and follow for approximately one mile.
NOTE: Little Mountain will be the hill seen south of the road.
4) Turn right (south) on Little Mountain Road. Follow for 0.3 miles, and then veer right and uphill onto an unmarked road (the Little Mountain summit road) to enter Little Mountain Park.
Little Mountain Trail
Lower Trailhead Near Entrance Gate

Red Tape

Little Mountain Park is open all year. There are no fees or permits needed to hike or drive on Little Mountain.

Little Mountain Park is open daily, 10:00-Dusk. However, the entrance gate and road might be closed to motorized traffic during times of inclement weather and road conditions. The summit (hiking) trail begins right before the entrance gate.


No camping is allowed on Little Mountain.