The Eaglet, a prominent Highpoint located just north of Mount Pilchuck is a moderately climbed mountain on the Mountain Loop Highway. Because the mountain is very close to the very popular Mount Pilchuck and the Eaglet does not contain a formal trail or established both-path the peak is rarely climbed on most times of the year. Climbing the Eaglet require a steep bushwhack up very thick forest with a number of blow downs. Therefore most people do not go through the effort to attain this peak despite good summit views, when there are other larger peaks nearby that requires less effort. However when the snow level in Washington is very low and a good amount of snow has fallen at low levels, the Eaglet becomes a great summit to attain and is climbed more often by highly dedicated hikers and climbers when other summits in the area become hard to reach.
The best way up to the Eaglet is to take the Heather Lake Trailhead (see topo above) up about halfway to Heather Lake. You will hit a number of switchbacks just before the place where you need to start to bushwhack. This elevation of the start of the off trail part of the route will be at almost exactly 2000 feet. You should try to follow the ridgeline as much as possible to make the grade easier. The grade up at first will be quiet steep so even if there is a lot of snow, where snowshoes could be very tough. Even on low snow elevation days the lower section is rarely covered with heavy snow. This will be about 1200 feet of steep bushwhacking until the ridge then levels out in grade. The there the ridge will start to steepen and though the entire ridge is forested, the western slope of the ridge will drop off very steeply. From there follow the ridge to the last narrow section to the summit. This last sub-crux section follows the steep narrow ridgeline to the summit. Views start about 200 feet below the summit and become increasingly better at the summit.
From the view at the top you can clearly see a detailed shot of nearby Mount Pilchuck to the south and Three Fingers and others to the north. Views here are not as legendary is nearby Mount Pilchuck but on a clear day they rewarding despite the fact that mountain is somewhat forested. Just south of the true summit though lies a nice open field with a couple more good shots of Mount Pilchuck and other peaks on the Mountain Loop highway.
Getting ThereVIA THE HEATHER LAKE TRAILHEAD: From Granite Falls, make a left on Mountain Loop Highway. You can either hit the Mountain Loop Highway from Quarry Road on the south side of town or through town on the north side of town.From there you want to go 13 miles. Turn right (south) on Mount Pilchuck Road and take it roughly 1.5 miles to the Heather Lake Trailhead (Forest Service Road 42) (elevation 1390 feet). We will be parking on the right and the Heaqther Lake trail will be on your left accross the road.
Red TapeNorthwest Forest Pass Required on this trailhead. They can purchased either by the ranger station one mile west of the entrance to the Mount Pilchuck Road or at REI and other hiking and climbing stores.
CampingCamping is not recommend for this mountain. The mountain itself only feature one possible are for a quick bivy which is on a flat area on the summit.
External LinksA Winter trip report ot the Eaglet
Another trip report from the Eaglet
Weather LinksA NOAA satellite weather link
A detailed forecast for specifically the area located around The Eaglet